I think it is now around six months ago that I became an FTF ambassador. I’ve been following Kendall Strampel (@fearstofit) for a while now and she is one of my biggest inspirations, not only fitness wise but also business wise. She just reached 200k followers which I think is insane! Since I became an ambassador, I was able to learn a lot about her and she is always there to help. I think it’s amazing to see her business grow and at the same time, she’s offering so much free help with her free challenge she did, her workout videos, YouTube channel, Facebook group and lives… In this interview, we talk a lot about her journey, having an eating disorder, her business, her future goals… and she even shared a business secret!
Can you tell us something more about yourself?
I’m 20 years old. I live in San Diego (California). I grew up in Florida and moved to Pennsylvenia when my Dad lost his job. It was hard for me because my family wasn’t doing well and I didn’t like it there. We went from having everything we wanted to not being able to have what we wanted. I wanted to make friends and I think doing sports is one of the easiest ways to make friends so I tried volleyball. It was not really my cup of tea. After that, I joined the track team and I fell in love with running. I saw results and I was losing weight which I thought was amazing. I didn’t really need to lose weight. I started a personal account on Instagram. I started following people who were into fitness and health and I specifically loved following people who were bodybuilding, prepping… I got in a very bad mindset and I was eating what those people were eating a few weeks out of their show. I developed an eating disorder and long story short, I managed to recover. A friend encouraged me to recover. Then I started my @fearstofit account which became very popular. I wasn’t expecting that. I really fell in love with bodybuilding. Now I’m a full time coach. I am living on my own. That was my life in a nutshell.
Why did you start your Instagram page?
I started my Instagram when I was 17 and I was trying to recover. It was called @foodismyfriend. My parents deleted it because it was not helping me with my eating disorder. I was sharing a lot of my meals. I re-activated my Instagram when I felt better. I changed my name to @fearstofit and I started posting more about my recovery.
Did you decide to become a personal trainer because of your eating disorder?
I found a love for bodybuilding. I thought if I could do this, others can do it too. I decided to become certified when I was 18.
When did you become a personal trainer?
When I was 18, I started working with girls I went to college with. I was freelancing in the gym when people started seeing me. I was charging almost nothing. I learned a lot from it and applied that to my online coaching business.
When did you decide to quit school and become a full time personal trainer?
In May 2017 I competed and I was only in my first year of school. In summer, I applied to jobs in Florida where my sister lived. I got a job as a personal trainer. I took the summer to see if I could actually do it for a living. By the time I had to go back to school, I realized that I could earn enough money to quit school.
Was it hard to make the decision to quit school?
No. I knew I was still going to grow. I was able to do the things I was good at.
What did your family and friends think about you quitting school?
I didn’t have that many friends because of my eating disorder. A lot of them went away to live in different states. My close friends were very surprised because I was a great student but they loved it and they supported me. My dad was very supportive. He said to see what happens. If it didn’t work out, I could always go back to school. My mom was not that supportive at first. She never went to college and she wanted me to do it. It’s so traditional in America to go to school. Now she supports me.
How did you choose your FTF ambassadors?
There was one question I asked in the form that I thought was really important. I went through it with one of my friends. We looked at the forms anonymously. The question was why you want to be an FTF ambassador and what your goal is. There were 220 applications that didn’t really were what we were looking for. We wanted people that wanted to grow the community to more people. There were a few other questions I looked at. I stuck with people that have supported me for a long time. I wanted to be a mentor to the ambassadors. I wanted them to invest in me and I would invest in them. I wanted ambassadors that wanted to serve and help other people. That is also my goal. I want to help people with fitness, nutrition, mindset, recovery…
What are your business goals for the future?
Starting 2019, I am launching my last round of my fitness coaching. After that, I want to create an FTF coaching team. I also want to become a business coach. I want to teach people how to get clients, how to retain clients, how to serve your clients, how to structure your business... I haven’t come out publicly with that but I guess your blog might be the first place. That’s my goal for 2019.
Do you think it’s hard to have a social life when you own a business?
It can be so hard. I really like to work. It’s almost a problem. Sometimes I would rather stay in and work. I try to work on it. It’s gotten a lot better but it’s definitely hard.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up at 4:30 am. I make a cup of coffee. I look at my Google Calendar. I prepare myself mentally. I eat breakfast. I check my e-mails and get an hour of work done. I go to the gym for 1-1,5 hours. Then I work from 8 am until 3 pm. I take 10 minute walks as a break. It’s good for my mental health. The rest of the day I do what I want. Sometimes it’s more work, sometimes I hang out with my friend or with my boyfriend. I just moved to a new location and there’s a lot around here. It’s a lot of freedom but only if you choose to have a lot of freedom. 3 days in the week, I do something ‘fun’.
Why did you decide to move to California?
I wanted to be independent. I didn’t want to rely on my parents anymore. I’ve wanted to live in California since I was 7. My boyfriend lived here at the time. If he didn’t live here, I don’t think I would have moved here alone. I lived with my boyfriend for the past year but we moved out seperately. We wanted to work on ourselves and have our own spaces. We wanted to have a balance where we were not together all the time.
Was it hard for your relationship to make that decision?
It was very hard because at first, I was the only one that wanted it. I had to explain why I wanted it but now we are very happy. It’s super important to communicate.
Why are you talking about gut health so much?
I was struggling with my gut health ever since I was a kid. The gut health of a competitor is also not very healthy. It messed up my gut health and I want to help other people with it.
What are your best tips for gut health?
Eat less volume and get in a lot of different foods. Everything is good in moderation. Probiotic foods were a big change for me. I eat a lot of sauerkraut, kimchi… It has made a major change for me.
What are your best tips for students to find a good balance between studying, free time and health?
Put everything you need to do on a sheet of paper. Put everything in a calendar. You need to decide what your priority is. If studying is your priority, you can’t to expect to have the perfect body. You will get slower results but you will get there too.
I was honored to have Kendall on my blog, especially since her life is so busy. I think she is super inspiring and it was so interesting to hear her story.