Member Spotlight: Danielle Smyre

Because we are so proud of our fitness community, we like to find out more about what makes certain members tick especially Danielle, who inspires us with her self-care goals, especially fitness. Learn more about Danielle, a new member of the Body Zone family, in her own empowering words.

Hi BZ friends! What an awesome honor and compliment to be selected for the BZ Member Spotlight. Health and well-being is such an integral piece to life satisfaction, and BZ is an essential component of my daily grind to stay active and maintain my self-care.

A Bit About Me:
I am a School Psychologist in Berks County and love supporting the students, families, and educators I serve. Shoutout to all the educators and ‘helpers’ out there! Supporting others to achieve success, whatever that means to the clients I serve, brings me joy while giving back to my community.

Outside of my career, I enjoy working out at BZ (my second home), spending time with family and friends, playing softball, studying for my doctorate, traveling, hiking, impromptu beach trips, and laying by my pool. Staying active every day, in one way or another, is an extremely important piece of my self-care plan. The cognitive, emotional, and physical benefits of exercise are well-known, but for me, it’s truly my therapy.

Upon moving to the area in October 2019, I was determined to re-examine and prioritize myself. Shortly after moving to Leesport, I joined BZ. Then, the world was forever changed by COVID. However, I wasn’t going to let this global pandemic derail my self-care goals! Rather, I used it as an opportunity to energize and support my need to focus on my health so I can lead a richer and fuller life. Initially, when re-starting my exercise and self-care routine, I felt guilty, but I couldn’t pinpoint ‘why.’

With some critical reflection I realized: As a culture, we often feel inundated with media messages that “putting ourselves first” is selfish or self-centered. The opposite couldn’t be truer. When we make time for ourselves each day, focusing in upon our own unique needs, whether physical, mental, or social, we set the foundation to tackle the problems that swirl around us because we are feeding the parts of ourselves that become depleted.

Back Story:
After college, upon starting my career, I started to gain weight. A LOT of weight. I leaned into my profession and career. However, in the process of hyper-focusing on my career, I completely neglected my own health and well-being. I gained a substantial amount of weight, and a sense of self-hate for my body slowly crept into my mind because I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.

When I moved to the area in October 2019 I made a commitment to myself that I was going to dig into myself and prioritize my needs. Maintaining this sense of putting myself first has been the biggest challenge in my fitness goal. Life is demanding and dynamic. Things pop up and our loved ones have needs. Making time for ourselves, and others, can be daunting and overwhelming at times.

My Daily Activity:
Daily exercise is a key component of my self-care package. I love taking the HITT and Les Mills classes offered by BZ. A typical workout for me includes a class, with lifting afterward, followed by a cardio finisher. I try to stretch for 10 minutes before leaving BZ each night.

I meal prep my lunch and dinner every Sunday for the upcoming week so I know exactly what I am eating. Once per week is cheat day, which I coordinate for nights out with family or friends, and on that day (e.g., Saturday), I eat whatever my heart desires! Gotta live a little, right?

Fitness Goals:
I think my fitness goals mirror the goals of most Americans. First, make it to the gym. That’s half the battle some days! Then, I settle in and focus upon what I want to accomplish during my workout. I have found that setting short-term goals motivate me on a daily basis, resulting in the achievement of my long-term health goals.

My long-term goal is really abstract, but generally related to the continual maintenance of my overall well-being. In other words, I try to maintain continual active engagement in exercise to keep my mind, body, and soul healthy.

Biggest Health Challenge:
Like many of us, in high school I was an athlete and so strong. I look back and think “Man, I wish I knew how great I looked!” Hindsight is 20/20, and although my self-concept isn’t wrong, it’s also not fair to compare my current 35-year-old body to my teenage self. That former “self” helps to shape “where I want to be now” relative to my weight and physique, but I also have to love my current self.

Getting back to my best self is my ongoing challenge!

Greatest Fitness Achievement to Date:
My greatest fitness achievement to date, since October 2019, has been reaching my high school graduation weight. The reason this was used as my target goal is because my high school weight signifies a time in my life when I was healthy, active, and STRONG.

Just this past week I was able to push 540 lbs. on the sled! Hear me roar.

Fitness and Lifestyle Advice:
Life is crazy, overwhelming, and at times, plain crazy!

In order to tackle it head-on, with sound mind and body, you MUST prioritize your needs and make sure you care for yourself, in whatever way that manifests for you. Fitness and exercise is just one of the many pieces of how we self-love.

Make time for your simple pleasures. Read a book, watch your favorite movie, write in a journal, visit a museum, make that delish Italian dinner you’ve been craving, call a friend you haven’t checked in on in a while, book that trip you’ve wanted to go on for years.

These little self-care activities, paired with regular exercise, will create a richer sense of lived experience, which is not only beneficial to you, but also the people you support in your life!

Keep grinding, friends! You got this!


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