Name: Sallie Miles
Industry: Education / Health / Fitness
SHEro: Lauren Atkins
I am Sallie Miles, and I am the wife of Joe and the mama of Hallie James. I am also a teacher and a healthy living coach. I’m from Williamsburg, VA, but as of 4.5 years ago, Nashville has become home.
What inspired you to a position in health/wellness? What was your path there?
Oh gosh. Lots of things! In college I read my first “Fitness Magazine” and instantly immersed myself in all things fitness and exercise and health related. I couldn’t get enough info on foods that helped your body in certain ways, exercises that worked different muscle groups, and how important other factors were like getting the right amount of sleep and drinking lots of water.
Then, I turned 21 and couldn’t get enough dirty shirleys (vodka, sprite, and grenadine- sooo healthy). It was like everything I knew about taking care of my body went right out the window and I felt like I was trapped in this cycle where during the week I’d try to be PERFECT and then completely sabotage all the work I’d done over the weekend by drinking and eating way past the feeling of comfort. Not only was I not taking care of myself physically, I was also beating myself up mentally for not maintaining this idea of perfection I had in my mind. Not only was I not taking care of myself physically, I was also beating myself up mentally for not maintaining this idea of perfection I had in my mind. Over the next few years, I’d go back and forth with this pattern of getting in really good shape (my version of it, at least- I know it looks different to everyone), then something would happen and I’d go back to my “eat as perfectly as possible and workout a ton during the week then eat like sh*t on the weekends and beat yourself up for it” way of living.
It wasn’t until I moved to Nashville and was living on my own until I finally realized I truly needed to take care of myself. I stopped reading all the fitness-y magazines (partially to save money- they’re expensive! But also because it was too much “perfection” for my brain to handle), and I just started eating more produce, less alcohol and pizza, and started training for a half marathon. The better I ate, the more energy I had when I was running (and just in everyday life). I felt like I was finally in a consistent place with taking care of myself!
Fast forward to this past May, when I gave birth to my first baby! After a healthy and fairly active pregnancy (I walked almost every day for at least 30 minutes), labor was actually not as bad as I was anticipating. I’m 100% sure most of that reason is because I took extra good care of myself for those 9 months. Now, though, with this baby, finding time to workout at the gym or go for a long run were off the table. I have a good friend who is also a Beachbody coach, and about a month after giving birth, I signed up for these at home workouts myself! I became a coach because I wanted to encourage other women I wanted to encourage other women who were either stuck in that hellish cycle OR were in a spot in life where getting to the gym just wasn’t convenient OR wanted some accountability for getting workouts done. I just wanted to help people!
What about your job brings you the most joy? What challenges you the most?
I LOVE motivating and inspiring other women (and maybe some men? Hopefully I’m able to motivate everyone!). The messages I get from ladies telling me how good they’re feeling/how they’re fitting into clothes they haven’t worn in years/telling me they’ve ended toxic relationships or broken bad habits has given me LIFE. Who wouldn’t feel good about helping others reach those goals?? The main challenge with Beachbody has been trying to not come off as “salespitchy”. As a coach I am selling a product, but my main goals are to 1. motivate and help others and 2. connect with other like-minded people, but sometimes people don’t see it that way!
What obstacles have you faced, internal or societal, in your involvement in health/wellness?
I’m all for the body positivity movement. 100%. But there are some women who really do want to just lose the last 10 pounds. Or they want to fit into a pair of old jeans. For them, their goal IS to look slimmer. I want my posts to reach those women to let them know that there are healthy ways to do that! Not crash dieting, not juice cleanses, but something that can fit easily into their lifestyles and doesn’t have to be drastic or dangerous. If I post about ways to lose weight, I feel like I’m somehow going against the body positive movement and I’m constantly worried that others will think my main goal is to help people slim down. FYI- IT’S NOT!
What advice would you give SHEs considering a career path or continuing their journey in health/wellness?
Oh my goodness GO FOR IT SISTER!! GO FOR IT SISTER!! If it’s with Beachbody, go all in and be brave and vulnerable with your posts and stories. If it’s through school or certification classes, stay focused! Just remember your ‘WHY’ for doing this- my guess is that you overcame something in your life, and now you’re ready to share your gift with others.
How has becoming a mother impacted your fitness goals?
It completely changed what I deemed as being “fit.” Before, I was fit if I could run 7 miles at an 8 minute pace. Now? That run wouldn’t do a thing to help me, and it would take an hour of my day. My goal now is to be strong enough to lift my rapidly growing, strong, wiggly baby girl and preferably get that workout done in 40 minutes or less so I don’t miss out on time with her.
How is Beachbody different from other fitness programs? What is your favorite part about being a coach?
We take on a well-rounded way of being fit, not just focusing on the physical aspect. We check in with girls (our “challengers”) on a daily basis in our group pages to give them a tip for the day (i.e. get to sleep 15 minutes earlier than usual) or we share a recipe, or an inspirational quote. SOMETHING to get you focused on the day ahead of you. Personally, and I know other coaches who do this as well, I check in one-on-one with my challengers every Sunday to see how they’re doing, how their weekends were, and give them some tidbit for the week ahead. Sometimes I’ll ask them to set goals for the week, sometimes I’ll share a personal development video, sometimes I’ll just share some of my favorite recipes! Selfishly, my favorite part about being a coach is the responses I get back from these weekly check-ins. Knowing what I’m doing/saying is appreciated
and helpful is the best feeling!
What are some tips for balancing work/family/fitness and other daily responsibilities?
Focus, focus, focus! And get to sleep early! I recently watched a personal development video (Beachbody is big on personal development- another one of my favorite parts of coaching) about managing your time wisely. One piece of advice given was to set your goal for what you want to make time for. Is it to spend an extra hour with your kids? Is it to have an uninterrupted family dinner? Then you need to just make. it. happen. you need to just make. it. happen. Don’t watch TV as long, stop scrolling your feed, put the trashy magazine down. *TIP: you can go to your iPhone settings and see what your average screen time is each day. Instagram also has an alert you can set when you’ve been on it for a certain amount of time. Try to get it to an hour or less!
What role does mental health play in leading an active lifestyle?
The two kind of go hand in hand. If you’re eating right and your muscles and tissues and cells are, in turn, working the way they were intended, and if you’re working out and getting endorphins going and your blood pumping to your brain and heart, you’re going to feel good. No doubt about it. Working out for healthy amounts of time and getting plenty of nutritious, filling food is enough to make anyone feel better!
ICYMI: Want to hear from more HealthSHEs like Sallie Miles? Check out the first in the HealthSHEs series with Frankie Fernandes.