? credit: @lifeportraits_fitness
Online Personal Trainer and body positive influencer Sami Rose has spent the past five years growing her business and social media account, and working with women all over the world to adopt a balanced and realistic approach to diet and exercise. But this doesn’t mean she hasn’t suffered from her own bouts of body hate and online bullying.
SFMA: What’s your definition of strong?
Rose: To me, strong is about being empowered – physically and mentally. Women should feel they’re capable of tackling any goal because we are! A strong woman is one who is unafraid to back herself and work towards what she wants, whether it be fitness, business or relationship goals, or how she wants to feel within herself.
SFMA: Do you think that social media influences women’s perceptions of an ‘ideal body’?
Rose: I think times are changing on social media and it’s amazing! A few years ago, Instagram was about the ‘perfect’ image. Now, people use social media to connect, share stories and talk openly about their struggles. It’s less of a highlight reel, and it’s nice to see more people sharing their fitness journeys and their unedited photos. I hope the fitness industry continues showing people that ‘fitness’ isn’t just one look, and everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own body.
SFMA: What has been your personal experience with body image issues?
Rose: I used to get a lot of online trolling – when I was lean during my competing days (anonymous accounts would call me ‘disgusting’) and then when I was gaining weight afterwards (people suggesting I was ‘lazy and fat’, and questioning how I could be a personal trainer). It took me a long time to accept my body, which was 12 to 15 kilograms heavier than what I was used to.
SFMA: What advice would you give women to help promote body positivity?
Rose: You are more than your body! I used to pressure myself to look a certain way to impress others. I thought I’d be more liked, more successful in my business, and more popular on social media if I ‘looked the part’. But since taking a more relaxed approach, I haven’t experienced any of the negatives I was so fearful of – my business is thriving and my social media account continues to grow. I now appreciate aspects of myself other than appearance, and I allow those qualities to shine, and that’s what draws people to me – not what my body looks like.
To find out what Rose’s day on a plate looks like, read the full Q&A in the December/January edition of the magazine.