Name: Heather Osio
Location: San Diego, CA
How did you find out about Girls Gone Strong?
A few years ago, some of my online friends started talking about lifting weights. I was curious to see what the big deal was, so I started searching for info on strength training for women, which led me to Girls Gone Strong.
What does being a Girl Gone Strong mean to you?
It means showing up for myself in every situation and not apologizing for the space I take up in this world. It took me a while to get here, but I feel like I’m finally growing into myself as both body and mind get stronger. And that’s so empowering!
What do you do?
I was a journalist for many years, and now I’m a technical writer. You know those instruction manuals you don’t want to (but often have to) read? I write those.
What else do you do?
To get the blood moving, I lift weights, play with kettlebells, hike, or walk at the beach. In my downtime, I watch movies, read, and most recently, I’ve been learning to crochet. I needed a creative outlet, and hopefully I’ll get a scarf out of it.
How did you get introduced to strength training, and how long have you been training?
I feel like I’ve been a beginner for years. I research everything to death before diving in, so I really started by just reading a lot. In 2013, I searched for info on strength training for women, which led me to Nia Shanks’ and Neghar Fonooni’s wonderful troves of workouts and blogs. From there, I read Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe, cobbled together a home gym from Craigslist, and started lifting.
The next year, I fell in love with kettlebells while doing Lean & Lovely from Neghar, and I started getting serious about lifting heavier and dialing in form while doing the Unapologetically Strong coaching program and then Strongest You Coaching. At this point, I feel like I have a solid foundation of strength and have started focusing on being able to add more weight to the bar.
Lifting weights has had a bigger impact on me than anything else I’ve done. There’s something so empowering about reaching down for the bar or putting all of that iron on your back and knowing that if you lift it or squat it, that’s all you. I’m still working on becoming a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, and lifting has been the best thing to help me grow more confident in that area.
Nothing makes me feel more feminine than playing with iron.
Deadlift! No, squats! Wait… do I have to choose? Both make me feel powerful and grounded, and I chase that feeling in every workout.
Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym or in your gym bag:
Training notebook, phone, hair ties
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I work out at home or with a trainer, so I’ve never really lifted with anyone else. I like being able to focus on the bar and my body – that’s it. If I’m doing active things outdoors, I do like to be with other people.
Best compliment you’ve received:
A friend called me tough when I was working through an emotional situation. I don’t often see myself this way, but I’m working on it.
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
“You should just never wear pants! Like, ever.” The compliments I give are often strange but always genuine.
Favorite way to treat yourself:
Uninterrupted time to read a book or a walk on the beach
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that – that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” – Amy Poehler
I love this quote because it homes in on the idea that
…growth comes from being uncomfortable and you’ll be OK if you just lean into the resistance.
Three words that best describe you:
Curious, strong, resilient
What inspires and motivates you?
I love seeing women taking up space and being unapologetic about it. I can’t get enough of lifting videos on Instagram, whether it’s a powerlifter moving hundreds of pounds or someone putting the big-girl plates on for the first time. It has nothing to do with what they look like and everything to do with how they approach the bar to do the work.
Describe a typical day in your life:
I wake up at 4:40 a.m. to meditate and get ready for work without rushing too much. I work from 6:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and I sit at a desk for most of the day. During the day, I try to get up every hour and walk around, and I take a midday walk outside with a friend every day. After work, I either work out at home or with my trainer. I eat dinner around 6:30 p.m., watch a little TV with my husband or read for a bit, then try to get to bed before 9 p.m.
When did you join Strongest You Coaching, and why did you decide to join? What helped you make the decision to join?
Before I joined Strongest You Coaching, I was stressing myself out trying to lose fat and gain muscle by trying every program I could get my hands on but not really having a clear direction. I was ready to let go of a focus on weight loss but had no idea where to go next. The coaching program was appealing because it factored in nutrition coaching as well as strength and mindset work. I knew I needed help in all of those areas, so I took a chance on it.
What has been your biggest challenge in the Strongest You Coaching program?
My biggest challenge was trusting the process and myself through the tougher parts. For example, one of the nutrition habits was eating single-ingredient carbs 80 percent of the time. I was on this one habit for eight weeks! I resisted this so hard, and it wasn’t until I leaned into it and treated the habit as an experiment that I was able to do it. This way of eating comes naturally to me now.
What has been your biggest success in the Strongest You Coaching program?
Honestly, just finishing the program and knowing that I got out of it what I put into it was huge for me. In the past, I’ve bought programs and when life distracted me, I abandoned them and moved on to the next one. With this program, I still got distracted or off course a few times, but I always came back and picked up where I needed to be. I feel like I actually “did” this one and I’m taking with me all that I learned.
What is the habit you’re currently working on most?
Drinking enough water! I was guzzling like a champ for a while, but I’ve fallen behind on this habit lately. So I’m trying to look at what has changed and I’m employing little reminders to help me drink up.
What do you like best about the Strongest You Coaching community?
The SYC community was a valuable part of the process. Even though everyone in my group was at different points in their journeys and had different goals, we could all confidently share what we were dealing with at the time and receive support or cheers or advice or whatever we needed in the moment. Everyone was willing to be vulnerable and honest, and that goes a long way in establishing an active and supportive community.
What “BIG” goal did you want to achieve by the end of Strongest You Coaching?
My goal was to get stronger and hit some milestones with the barbell. I thought that by setting specific number goals that it would help my strength overall, but my coach, Jen Comas, showed me what I really needed to grow stronger: building a solid foundation. We worked on form and slowing down each exercise to make sure I was hitting the muscles I needed to with each rep. By the end of SYC, I hadn’t hit the specific numbers I had wanted to in the beginning, but I was just shy of those goals. My foundation and form were much stronger than they would have been if I had just focused on hitting milestones. Jen’s guidance and feedback helped me become a stronger and smarter lifter overall.
How has Strongest You Coaching changed your life?
Working on the nutrition habits was not fun during the process! But now they’re just a part of my daily life. I still have daily reminders set on my phone and sometimes one or two will slip for a few days, but I don’t have to work so hard at them because they’ve truly becomes habits now. Anything that feels more automated and ingrained just helps my day goes more smoothly.
What would you tell a woman who’s nervous about joining Strongest You Coaching?
There’s a place for you here. Age, body type, fitness level, nutrition habits, obligations – there’s a place for you and it will work with your life. SYC is a big investment in time, money and effort, but you what you get out of is is something incredibly valuable.
If you’re inspired by Heather, read on to learn more about—and join!—our community of strong, supportive women…