GGS Spotlight: Janine DeMichele Baggett

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janinedemichele1-450x33Name:  Janine DeMichele
Age: 25
Location: Atlanta, GA

What does being a GGS mean to you?
To me, being a Girl Gone Strong means gaining the courage to step outside your comfort zone and really push yourself to achieve things you never thought possible! It also means having a strong, positive mindset. Being strong in your beliefs and convictions. Following your heart, truly, in all aspects. Also, having strong character, and knowing how to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

I've come to realize that the positive mental aspect I've gained through fitness and how strength training has been beneficial in all other facets of my life!

How long have you been training?
About a year and a half of consistent heavy lifting.

janinedemichele3-450x338Favorite Lift:
Deadlift

Most memorable PR:
Hitting a 185-pound deadlift for five reps because I realized that I can now technically deadlift my husband and that makes me happy.

Top 5 songs on your training playlist:

  1. A$AP Rocky ft. Skrillex- Wild for the Night
  2. Pendulum- The Vulture
  3. Flux Pavilion- Do or Die ft. Childish Gambino
  4. Jay-Z feat. Kanye West –Who Gon Stop Me
  5. Iggy Azalea- My World

Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym/in your gym bag:
Headphones/Music, Pre-workout, Water

janinedemichele4-350x375Most hilarious pick-up line you’ve heard at the gym:
Thankfully I haven’t encountered too much of that lately since I mainly train with my husband! And I try to put my mean face on at the gym. I’m pretty small and non-intimidating looking so I’ve learned to seem tough so nobody messes with me. (I’m not sure if this works.)

Favorite post workout meal:
Mexican food! I frequent the Mexican restaurant across the street more often than I’d like to admit, and I’m also known to whip up some fish tacos or quesadillas often with homemade salsa/guacamole. I get passionate about my Mexican food!

Favorite way to treat yourself?
I have a major sweet tooth, so I love to create healthy desserts and things that seem really indulgent. One of my favorite of these creations is banana slice “sandwiches” with PB in the middle, dipped in dark chocolate, and then frozen. I also love freezing Chobani Key Lime Greek Yogurt. Yum.

Favorite quote:
I have many, but this is an awesome one I came across recently:

“Happiness is an attitude.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.  The amount of work is the same.”  ~Francesca Reigler

Favorite book:
My best friend gave me a coffee table book called “Glamourpuss” which is a fashion photo book of cats in colorful wigs. It never fails to give me a chuckle and I will always cherish it. It makes me happy.

What inspires and motivates you?
Being able to motivate others inspires me and keeps me going. When I started my serious fitness journey, I decided to start a Twitter account as I noticed there was a huge community there of fit-minded people. I also realized there was a huge community of girls suffering with eating disorders which really struck a chord with me. I wanted to use my voice to encourage others to lift heavy, eat real food, and gain body confidence while promoting healthy balance in fitness. After getting somewhat of a following there I also started a blog.

It’s really an amazing feeling when a girl tells me that she feels better about herself after reading my tweets/blog, or that they’ve finally mustered the courage to try lifting for the first time and love it! Also, my husband keeps me going every single day and never lets me miss one of our workouts!

janinedemichele2-450x338What has been one of your favorite side effects of strength training?
The amount of self-confidence I’ve received! Instead of worrying about the scale numbers I am able to focus on my performance and my lifts getting better, which is such a great way to refocus my thoughts. Also I never played sports or was athletic at all growing up so it’s an awesome feeling to see my muscles at work! It’s truly liberating to not focus on getting skinny but on performance goals instead. Makes you really appreciate your body and what it can do, and I’ve stopped most of my negative thoughts that used to plague me. I want every woman to experience this feeling!

Next training goal:
Right now, I’m trying to just slowly but surely increase all of my lifts. Hitting a 200-pound deadlift is a short-term goal, for sure!

janinedemichele5-350x375Three words that best describe you:
Focused, Goofy, Dreamer

What's the best compliment you've received lately?
I had someone message me from my blog's Facebook page that one of my vlogs was super helpful and inspired them to get seriously into lifting. Sometimes I put things out on the internet and just assume nobody listens/watches- but it's always so gratifying when I know that someone was influenced positively by something I put out there!

What's the most recent compliment you've given someone else?
"You're cutest in the entire world and you're my best friend ever!" (to my cat)

What's a recent risk you've taken, and how did it turn out?
I'm struggling to think of a very specific example recently, but you know, when I think about it, all the good things in my life have pretty much come from taking major risks. For example, when I graduated college, the next day I moved to Atlanta without an apartment or a job. After crashing on a friend's couch somehow I ended up with a job and an apartment in under two weeks. When my car got stolen during an internship, it was the wake up call I needed to start freelancing instead of working for a catering company. It pushed me to learn new skills that have led me to my job today, one that gives me the stability and flexibility I need to pursue the things I love! I'm a firm believer that life happens outside of your comfort zone and there's always room to grow.

Tell us about a time when you faced fear or doubt and overcame it:
I have a very close relationship with rejection and self doubt in my field! While I generally have thick skin,  I did have a time period recently where I literally questioned everything about my career choices and felt really down about myself and my abilities. I decided to focus on other things instead. Things that really weren't "me" but I felt kind of pressured to do, career-wise. After being miserable and realizing that I was pushing away the essence of who I am and the things I loved, I made the decision that I had to come back to the world of performing. Once I got my mind right, things seemed to fall into place, and I started booking roles like never before!

I learned that it's so important to stick to your guns and not stray from the things that are your true calling—even though it can seem impossible at times!

What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous to start lifting heavy?
First of all, I want to say that it’s okay to be nervous, as truly amazing things happen outside of your comfort zone! Also, make sure to get your technique down, as it can prevent a lot of problems in the future. And invest in some cute yoga pants, because those things are going to be your new best friends.

Do you struggle with body image? Have you ever…

  • Felt anxious about clothes shopping or wearing certain clothes?
  • Dreaded going to an event (like a reunion or a wedding) — or even skipped the event altogether — because you felt too self-conscious about how you looked?
  • Found yourself not wanting to be in pictures or videos, or hiding behind other people in the picture to shield your body?
  • Scrolled through social media and felt worse and worse as you went?

If these sound familiar to you, you are not alone.

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About the author:  GGS

GGS is an organization dedicated to empowering women. We do this by creating world-leading resources, and educational materials that help women, and health & fitness professionals who work with women, take their skills and knowledge to the next level.

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