Name: Sheila Viers
Location: Santa Monica, CA
What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
To me, being a Girl Gone Strong means being a woman who owns her power. She is physically strong and nourishes her body with food and movement that help her feel fit, energetic, and fierce. She is also strong in her spirit. She knows who she is and is proud of who she shows up as every day. She sees each new day as an opportunity to appreciate life, expand and learn more about herself and what she wants, as well as to inspire others to step into their truest power too.
How long have you been training?
Since I was 15 years old, although today I do it for a different reason than I did back then. Back then I worked out because I was trying to make my body look a certain way so that I could feel skinny enough, beautiful, and worthy of my own approval.
Today I train because it’s fun to challenge my body and see what I can create.
How did you get introduced to strength training?
My boyfriend in high school belonged to a gym so I started going with him. I remember the first time I went I was really intimidated by the weight room so I just spent 45 minutes on the stationary bike. My legs were Jell-O after that! He taught me about strength training as I got more comfortable with it. And then when I became a cheerleader we also had weight room days as part of our summer practice schedule.
What does a sample workout look like for you?
I really love working my lower body. It’s so fun seeing my legs and booty transform over time with consistency in the gym.
Here’s a typical lower body day:
Most memorable PR:
I don’t really do 1RM, but have been consistently hitting 135 pounds for my squat and deadlifts, even through a leaning out phase… which makes me happy because I am not losing strength. I know this doesn’t seem like a lot, but having two 45-pound plates on the bar used to be scary to me!
Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:
Do you prefer to train alone or with a training partner? Why?
I like training alone mostly because I am an introvert and like to get in and get out eaaaaaarly in the morning. That being said, I do love my girl time and get together for workouts with my sis or to run the Santa Monica stairs with a friend. As they say, friends that sweat together…
Most hilarious pick-up line you’ve heard at the gym:
“You know girls shouldn’t lift heavy.” [Punch in the face! Just kidding, maybe...]
Most embarrassing gym moment:
I can’t think of any! I’ve certainly had my share of fly-off-the-treadmill-while-sprinting moments, but nothing totally mortifying.
Ok, choosing just one is so hard! I will share a few.
My favorite green/veggie-filled, go-to meal is a Cobb salad with all kinds of fun ingredients added to it. For example, recently I had one with hard boiled egg whites, smoky bacon and smoked chicken, avocado, chickpeas, sliced grape tomatoes, blue cheese, and blue cheese dressing. If I was making it at home I would use Bolthouse Farms Ranch instead for dressing and add grilled corn, because that’s how I roll.
Annnnd my favorite non-green meal, would be a tie between a juicy burger with provolone and caramelized onions with sweet potato fries (well-done) dipped in ranch (of course) with an IPA (beer) …..OR….. fluffy crust barbecue chicken pizza with red onions and cilantro. Yummmzzzz….
Favorite way to treat yourself:
Hands down, deep tissue massage. Just got one today in fact!
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel
The Queen's Code and You Are A Badass All time favorites: All books by Esther and Jerry Hicks (big Abe fan… their work has been life changing for me).
What inspires and motivates you?
The idea of getting the most out of life. There is so much to experience, so much fun to be had, and so often we sell ourselves short and forget how amazing and brilliant we are. What if we really could have and do and be all of the things we want to have and do and be? What if our wildest dreams were actually possible? A lot of times we get disconnected from this idea and stop ourselves before we even start. I want each and every day of my life to make me jump out of bed in the morning because I’m just so excited about what I get to do that day. I really do believe it can be that fun.
What does a typical day look like for you? (From waking up to bedtime)
I bounce between periods of travel where my schedule is all over the place, to periods when I am at home and in more of a routine. I love having a mix of both because I feel like I get both adventure and excitement, as well as, routine and stability. I crave both equally. Here’s an example of my at-home schedule:
5:00 AM — wake up and go to the gym
6:30 — home, shower, meditate
7:30 — email, check my schedule for the day
8:30 — breakfast
9:00 — writing and/or most creative tasks for the day
12:00 PM — lunch!
1:00 — client calls, email, interviews
4:30 — leisure walk/run errands (I try to swing by the Santa Monica bluffs for a minute of gratitude whenever I squeeze it in)
5:30-6 — make dinner
6 — catch up on favorite TV shows on Hulu
7:00 — self-care like mani/pedi (I actually like doing my own), foam rolling,
8 — reading/watching YouTube vids to learn about things I want to educate myself on
9:30 — chat with my boyfriend who currently lives in Michigan
10 — lights out
What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve noticed from lifting heavy?
I feel like my body responds fast when I add in heavier weights. My shoulders are typically the first area I notice a big difference. They show more definition pretty quickly. I also notice that my skin is tighter. It also feels like my body processes sodium, alcohol, and higher volumes of food better when I am lifting heavier as well. This could totally by a placebo effect and all in my head, but who cares! I like it.
Next training goal:
I like looking to other women for inspiration. A strong, fit, but still very feminine look is what is most appealing to me. Nikki Blackketter and Lori Harder are really inspiring me right now.
What are you most grateful for?
My family. I moved out to California from Michigan 6 years ago. My mom followed 2 years later. Then my middle sister a year after that. And finally, my youngest sister and her boyfriend were the last to make the trek this past November. My sisters and I have grown a lot closer over the past 5 years. I am 8 and 10 years older than each of them, so when we were younger I was first the babysitter and then the “uncool older sister that was always trying to ruin the fun.” Now we laugh until we almost pee when we get together (kidding but not) and there are moments when I feel like they are the big sis to me instead of vice versa.
My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader and the one that tells me I am amazing and brilliant when I forget. My dad has the biggest heart. He is currently working in North Carolina, but he owns a house outside of Vegas and he keeps saying he’s going to retire soon, so soon I’ll get to see him a lot more as well.
We all have so much love and support for each other. Even my parents, who have been divorced for 20 years respect and care about each other so much. I really do have the best family.
What life accomplishment are you most proud of thus far?
Co-founding Live Well 360 in 2008 and then selling it for multiple six figures in 2015. Sometimes I forget everything that that experience helped me to become.
I had to grow so much. I had to teach myself (often through making mistakes) so much. And I am the strong, clear, business-minded woman that I am today because of it.
I feel like it was the training ground for me to learn what I needed to learn to be at the level to handle this next phase I am in now, building a team and a community of women that are game-changers in the world of nutrition and rocking your dream body (and life).
Three words that best describe you:
Passionate, inspiring, loving.
How has lifting weights changed your life?
It has shown me how possible it is to transform yourself both physically and mentally. It helped me to realize that being strong and fit is so much more important and fulfilling than simply being "skinny."
What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
Most women want a nice butt and fit-looking arms. Most women want their body to burn calories like a well-oiled machine so that they can eat to fuel their body. Most women don’t want to have to count calories and restrict in order to maintain or get lean. Lifting heavy weights supports all of this and more. Lifting heavy enhances your booty, your arms and so much more.
For women who are worried that they will look "too masculine" (whatever your definition of "too masculine" is), I just want to remind you that there are so many women out there who lift heavy and look feminine. It's hard to bulk up, but if you’re scared, like with anything new that you want to teach yourself, hire a great coach who can help you create the results you want. Invest in yourself. Educate yourself about the things that you want to create in your life. Inspire yourself toward your goals.
Show yourself what is possible for you. The human body is an amazing machine. Have fun with it. Treat it like a project, like, “What if I could create this for myself?” rather than “I have to see these specific results or else I’m not good enough…”
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