Alyssa Ages: From Physical Challenges to Mental Mastery—A Journey of Strength

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In this episode of Experible, we dive deep into Alyssa Age’s transformative journey and how she went from thinking she wasn’t cut out for sports to competing on national stages. We uncover the mental shifts that accompany physical training, the impact of fitness on self-esteem, Alyssa’s insights on overcoming self-imposed limitations, and how she challenges the traditional narratives around body image and strength. Alyssa’s story is not just about physical strength but a profound psychological evolution. 

Alyssa Ages: From Physical Challenges to Mental Mastery—A Journey of Strength

About the guest-

Alyssa Ages is a journalist whose work has appeared in GQELLESELFMen’s HealthSlateThe Globe and Mail, and others. She is a former personal trainer and group fitness instructor, as well as a strongman competitor, marathoner, triathlete, and occasional rock climber. A born-and-raised New Yorker, she now lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

Shownotes -

00:00:00 – Guest and Episode Introduction

00:01:40 – Early challenges and journey to strongman competition

00:05:33 – How strength training impacted Alyssa’s self-image and confidence.

00:07:15 – Connection between confidence, body image, & physical performance

00:09:55 – Facing and redefining failures

00:12:25 – Importance of strength training & how to get started

00:20:00 – Cultivating a healthy relationship with food and exercise

00:24:25 – Ageing & cues that indicate body fatigue

00:28:30 – Trying different techniques to up your performance

00:33:00 – A helpful perception towards body size

00:41:50 – Mindset for pursuing challenging goals

00:51:40 – Helping children build a positive relationship with food and exercise 

00:56:00 – Navigating personal goals amidst societal expectations.

Resources + Guest Info

[00:00:00] Krati: Why did you become a strong man? Competitive athlete? What drove you to doing these very strength focused competitions?

[00:00:09] Alyssa: Yeah, so I was um, my story is I was not an athletic kid. I, you know, I kind of grew up initially doing all the, like, the stuff that any kid does. So, you know, soccer, gymnastics, baseball, that kind of stuff. And we were living in Brooklyn until I was about 10. We moved out to the suburb of New York, Long Island and all of the kids were playing softball and baseball out there, they were doing tennis, and all the girls I knew were doing softball.

[00:00:39] And I had this kind of image of myself as this, like, tough Brooklyn kid, and I was gonna play baseball with the boys, and at the time there was literally only one other girl playing baseball. And I guess I just had this vision of myself as being like naturally great at this which I was not, I realized very quickly and my, in that entire season, I played the like lone accolade [00:01:00] I got was getting the MVP game ball for not hitting the ball and getting on base, but for being hit with the ball. And I kind of, I was 10 years old and I really sort of told myself this story from there of, you know, okay, you’re just not an athlete. Like you’re not an athletic person. You’re not good at this. And that’s sort of the narrative I told myself for about 10 years. So it really just didn’t do anything. I mean, I avoided gym class if I could, I certainly avoided any class where I was going to have to play something with a ball and a bat.

[00:01:31] I briefly played field hockey, but that did not go well either. Yeah. And fast forward, I was at my first real job out of college and we had to do a corporate softball game and I was like, Oh my God, this is like literally the first time I’m stepping onto a baseball diamond in 10 years and I went and I got up to bat and I hit the ball.

[00:01:51] And I remember just being ecstatic. And I, so much so that I like left the field and called my mother and said, you know, Oh my God, like [00:02:00] after all those swings and misses, I finally hit the ball. And my mom goes, she’s like, well, that’s, that’s so great, honey. But you know, it’s not that you used to like swing and miss it’s that you never swung the bat. And that was this kind of moment of, you know, This is truly a made up story that I have told myself for 10 years and like, what could I have been doing in those 10 years? So that set me off on this kind of decision. I’m gonna try everything. Everything that I didn’t think I could do. So I started out by training to run a marathon.

[00:02:32] Which I did. And when I finished the marathon, I thought, okay, what’s next? And I trained for a triathlon, even though I like literally had no swimming ability at all. I taught myself how to swim. I went, I did a triathlon and then I did an Ironman. And at the end of the Ironman, I thought, okay, well now what’s next.

[00:02:49] And I did do, I signed up for a hot yoga membership for like a year, which I quit after a couple of weeks. It’s probably the only sport I’ve quit. It was just not for me. I don’t know. And then I found my [00:03:00] way into a CrossFit gym and I just, I don’t know what it was. I loved it. I think I, I liked that there was this really clear opportunity to just kind of screw it up all the time.

[00:03:11] Like you were just almost certainly going to fail a lot. And I, I really, I leaned into that. I wanted to, to see what that felt like. And from there, I had a friend who said, you got to come and made this group Strongman class. And I had no idea what I was getting into. I mean, I knew strongman from ESPN, like carrying refrigerators on your back.

[00:03:30] Uh, And I went and that first day we picked up an Atlas stone and which is just like this big round concrete boulder. And I remember getting it to my shoulder and feeling like, Holy cow, I could do absolutely anything. It was this sudden feeling of invincibility that I’d never felt before. And, and that was it.

[00:03:49] It’s probably other than running. It’s my longest sports relationship. I’ve been doing it for 10 years.

[00:03:55] Krati: How did this whole journey shift your self image? Like when [00:04:00] were you when you started that journey and where did you get to as you reached a sort of a level of success with those the goals that you had set for yourself?

[00:04:10] Alyssa: Yeah, I mean, that first time that I ran, I think the first race I did was a 10k. And I just was like, Oh my God, I can actually do this stuff. You know, this is not something that I, I’m going to just quit or I’m going to go, okay, well, it’s just not something that I’m good at. That pretty quickly shifted things for me and it really did make me feel like, you Okay, anything that I’m willing to commit to intensely, I can do what was interesting about marathons and triathlons was that they’re, you know, triathlons a little bit less so, but at least with running, for the most part you set out for a run, you set out for a race barring some sort of injury you’re going to finish.

[00:04:50] Maybe it’s not in the time that you want, but there was a certain safety in that. And when I moved into strength training, it was kind of like, No matter how much I [00:05:00] wanted to, or I grinded to put the weight on a bar over my head, if I wasn’t strong enough, I just wasn’t strong enough. And there’s, there’s kind of nothing you can do about that.

[00:05:09] And so that really shifted things in another direction because now I did have to go back to facing failure. On a regular basis. But doing that really sort of taught me like, okay, you fail. You’re not a failure, right? I can go back to that baseball story where I did say, okay, you failed at this season of trying to play baseball.

[00:05:26] Like, you are a failure at this. And now I was able to look at it and go, actually. You know, maybe this is something where it’s an opportunity to learn and, you know, change what you’re capable of doing.

[00:05:38] Krati: Right. I have loved the content that you’ve created around the theme of failure. But before we get to that, I would love to know, you know, confidence, we often talk about this theme of whether confidence has anything to do with Your physical fitness, , your relationship with your body. So there is one.

[00:05:58] The one thing that stands out in what [00:06:00] you’ve shared up to this point is that you were accomplishing very difficult things and that made you feel amazing about yourself. But do you think there was this element of confidence that was connected to how you were honing your body?

[00:06:15] Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, I think when you, and not in an aesthetic way at all, I think initially, especially as women, you know, at least for me, like I was driven to do a lot of these things because I saw what you could look like and I was like, Oh yeah, I’m going to come out of it and I’m going to look like that. But the truth is like.

[00:06:33] For the most part, I don’t know any marathoner who finishes a marathon and has lost weight. Like, that doesn’t really happen. It’s just this weird misnomer about it. And you know, certainly it drew me to CrossFit. Like, it’s just a sea of people with washboard abs. It’s amazing. And that wasn’t it. You know, that’s not what happened to me either, but I think for me what it was, and it really didn’t occur to me until I was in the strength world that this is, this is how I could feel about it, which was, [00:07:00] it was about being really confident in the things that my body was capable of doing versus how it looked, right?

[00:07:08] So now. I walk down the street and I, I mean, it’s not normal, but I look at like a truck and I’m going, I wonder, I think I could pull that one or look at, you know, a big rock on someone’s front lawn. And I’m like, that’s, I don’t know, that’s like 200 pounds. Like, maybe I could pick that up off the ground. It really shifts the way that you, yeah.

[00:07:28] How do you see the way that your body kind of exists in the world and not separate from how it looks in the clothes that you’re wearing?

[00:07:36] Krati: I think that makes a lot of sense. It’s something people are very reluctant to talk about it now, because we, most of us end up going to that place where we think, oh, it’s about how we look, except that it’s not. It’s about how you feel in your body, how much your body can do for you and whether it Support you in your pursuit of a variety of goals and also just having a [00:08:00] good life I think that that is one of the things that I love about your story how you’ve managed to Put that forward for especially for young girls that this is what you need to keep in mind There’s a lot going on here.

[00:08:11] It’s not just about how you look even if You know, people do try to make it about that. Yeah, I, I love that. Talk to me about the failures that you must have encountered on this journey. How did you deal with those without letting them create, you know, holding you back from pursuing more difficult goals?

[00:08:31] Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, I’ll say I, I think there, I’m much better at handling the sort of little failures that you go through in the gym. And in life outside of the gym because of what I do, but you know, I’m not immune to feeling like crap after failing at something that I really wanted. So, you know, a really big example for me was that.

[00:08:51] I made it to a national level competition in strongman and I kind of thought, okay, well, I just want to get out there and I want to just be out on that stage and that will be [00:09:00] enough just being out there. And then I did, I mean, kind of exactly how I expected it to do in fairness. But because everyone around me did better than that, I really felt like, Oh my God, people are looking at me like, what is she doing here?

[00:09:13] Does she even have a right to be here? And that was really, really hard. And I was down on that for a while when I came back from the trip to nationals and people were asking me how it was. I just kind of was like, Oh yeah, it was fine. And I didn’t, you know, I didn’t do a post on social media about it for a week because I was really sort of sorting through these feelings of like, why do I feel so crappy about this thing that, you know, I worked so hard for and all the things I accomplished up until that point, it was like, they suddenly didn’t matter.

[00:09:42] And I really had to take that step back. And I do think that. All of my experience in lifting has given me the opportunity and the, the tools to do this, but I was finally able to step back and go, okay, well, what are all the things that you achieved on the way to get here? Right? You know, sure. I didn’t pick up the [00:10:00] deadlift, which was 340 pounds, but I, I knew I wasn’t going to get that.

[00:10:04] I think there was a pipe dream that I could, but then I had to go back and go, right, but you did get, you know, 300 pounds in training and that’s, you know, a wild goal that you were able to achieve. So yeah, it’s, it’s a work in progress, I would say. It’s always this sort of back and forth.

[00:10:22] Krati: Yeah. I’m glad you, you’ve said that because a lot of people for the sake of their audience and for the sake of anyone who’s out there trying, they always say that, oh, no, no, it’s about participation. And yeah, it is, but it’s hard to maintain that mindset when things are not going quite how you want them to go.

[00:10:41] And I’m glad you said that, that it is a work in progress for all of us. I do want to go deeper into that, but talk to me about whether you believe that like any woman can do this any woman Or do you think there’s an age limit to it? Because I think when people see you your videos, they read your content [00:11:00] They are inspired to do more with their body But is there something you would recommend that they do to assess their strength before they dive into strength training?

[00:11:10] Or any extreme form of exercise or do you think it’s for everyone as long as you’re careful about it

[00:11:16] Alyssa: Yeah, I do think it’s for everyone now barring, you know, I don’t know anyone’s chronic injuries or you know Things that they’re still working through any of that stuff, but for the most part I do think that anyone can pick up lifting in some capacity. Maybe you’re not gonna do what I do, right? Maybe you’re not gonna, you know, pull a truck and lift up rocks But any amount of strength training is better than no strength training at all And I think again, same thing with, you know, age, they’re really, for the most part, as far as we know, there is no point at which you can’t put on muscle anymore, but we also know that there is a point at which you start losing muscle.

[00:11:54] And so the best thing you can do is start strength training before that point, right? Because [00:12:00] then at least you have more going into that stage of your life. As we get older, that’s just part of the natural aging processes that we start to lose muscle mass and muscle strength. And for women. We start to get into perimenopause and menopause, we’re also starting to lose bone density, and the only way to build back bone density is through strength training.

[00:12:20] That’s just the only way. You have to be putting pressure on the bones in order for them to want to build themselves back up. That’s just how that works. But you don’t want to start, you know, going from zero to a hundred. I was saying something the other day, it’s like, you know, in the same way as there is a couch to 5k program for running, right?

[00:12:35] Like there’s a reason that you don’t just get up, go lift the thing, go run the 5k or get up and go lift the thing. You know, you want to, you want to really start slowly and carefully so that you don’t injure yourself. So the best thing I always tell people to do is to get a coach if you can. coach or a trainer.

[00:12:53] You know, one on one training is the best thing because you want someone who can watch how your body moves. Because your body doesn’t move like someone else’s [00:13:00] body. Your muscular imbalances aren’t the same thing as someone else’s muscular imbalances. And so you may go to deadlift something and you may tilt a little bit to the right because that’s where your imbalance is.

[00:13:10] Or you may round your back a little bit more because, you know, that’s just, that’s the muscles that work on you differently than someone else. So working one on one with someone is, is the best. After that, I would say small group. So either getting a friend or a couple of friends together and going to a trainer together, or even going to a class that’s small enough.

[00:13:30] So you don’t want to be jumping into a class. That’s, you know, 30 people in one. Trainer where you’re lifting weights of any size because they cannot possibly see you and give you the feedback that you need. And also getting to, I think people like to hide in the back of the class. You want to go up to the front of the classroom, right?

[00:13:49] Because you want to be seen, you want somebody who’s we can see right away as soon as you make a mistake and can help correct. There’s also a lot of resources online, you know, there’s plenty of apps [00:14:00] and that will give you, you know, beginner exercises. The key is finding something with video and then also videoing yourself, right?

[00:14:09] Because you’re going to watch someone else lift. Then you’re going to go lift and you’re going to go, Oh yeah, I was doing what was in the video. You take video of yourself. You get to look and go, Oh no, I am not doing what is being done in that video. Right. And then you save yourself from an injury before it happens.

[00:14:25] Krati: we talked about losing muscle mass at what age does it start for men and women? Is it like i’m guessing the age differs for both genders?

[00:14:33] Alyssa: So we don’t really know there’s no kind of finite age. A lot of it is related to the things that your body is going through, right. In the same way as women are going to start going through perimenopause and menopause at totally different ages. You know, I know somebody who started perimenopause at 35.

[00:14:49] Krati: Wow,

[00:14:49] Alyssa: Right. Whereas the average age is, you know, a decade later than that. So it’s kind of impossible to say, okay, this is when it’s going to happen for somebody. And if you are doing consistent strength [00:15:00] training, you may not lose muscle mass or muscle strength at all because you’re continuing to build it as you get older.

[00:15:05] Right. So you’re, automatically kind of stunting that loss from happening because you’re continuing to build. So I have, you know, I think that there’s constantly research coming out to show different things, but to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t like a finite age.

[00:15:23] Krati: Anything else that you did to support the process, like supplementation or consulting maybe professionals in that department?

[00:15:31] Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, I’m very lucky that my coach is also a nutrition coach. So for me, for the most part, I was kind of just sort of going along, doing my thing. And then when I was training for that national competition, I decided I wanted to put on muscle mass. So I worked with him really closely on that and kind of trying to understand that I couldn’t fall back on the sort of like diet habits that I’d had for my whole life of trying to, you know, eat less.

[00:15:57] Always thinking like workout more, eat less. [00:16:00] That was always the thing that you were told to do, right? It’s really hard to kind of change that. That’s so ingrained in us. And he was like, well, not if you want to put on muscle, then you got to eat more and not, it was, it was almost like, you know, I had to really not listen to my hunger cues, but in the opposite way.

[00:16:18] So, you know, when you’re dieting, you’re being told, okay, don’t listen to your hunger cues, because, you know, you can just, you can just keep not eating for a while. Right. When I was doing it, it was sort of, okay, you don’t listen to the fact that your body’s saying it’s full. You need to eat more protein.

[00:16:33] You need to eat more food. You need to put on this mass. So it was a really interesting exercise for me to go through. You know, it’s not something I’m currently doing, but it has made me. I question every single time that I go, Ugh, like, your jeans are fitting we already less. And I at least now I have the knowledge to say, why are you thinking that and what stop for a second and go, what’s the goal here is your goal to be [00:17:00] some sort of tiny person that like, I don’t know you have deemed is worthy of existing or is your goal to continue to lift more and heavier.

[00:17:08] And if that’s it, you’ve got to keep eating the food. You know, you can’t restrict yourself in that sense. So certainly it’s about everyone’s individual goals. But I and I don’t begrudge anybody doing anything because they want to look a certain way. I think that’s just fair. It’s just human. I am not immune to it.

[00:17:26] It’s not like I have come out of this with some phenomenally perfect relationship with my body where I never feel badly about it. It’s really, it’s a push and pull all the time, but I think the best thing for me that strength training has taught me is just to question that feeling.

[00:17:43] Krati: Eat more protein and I’m guessing eat more of the healthy stuff, not just eat more. I can take that and, and fit that to what I do want to eat more. That’s a lot of junk food. Which I’m guessing would be [00:18:00] counterproductive, right?

[00:18:01] Alyssa: Well, I mean, listen, at a certain point, if you’re really trying to just put on mass calories or calories and you know, most of that is, is helpful. But you know, you’re trying to put on lean muscle mass. That’s different.

[00:18:12] Krati: Yeah.

[00:18:13] Alyssa: I think you just have to, you gotta, you know, eat what feels right for your body when it feels right for your body too, right? Like I have two, you know, I have two little kids. I have two girls. And what I don’t want to do around them is put a meal in front of them, you know, give them a treat of pizza and then sit next to them and eat a salad because they are going to watch what I’m doing.

[00:18:36] And at some point they’re going to say, Why are you eating salad instead of this? And now I have to like demonize a certain food or, you know, whatever it is. So I’m, I’m really conscious of, you know, obviously I’m giving them good food most of the time. But if we’re having cookies, I’m going to eat the cookie too, because I want them to know that that’s okay.

[00:18:57] Krati: Yeah, that makes so much sense because if you’re [00:19:00] going to eat it Don’t demonize it and then eat it because I think that would just because energy is so important Very real you you are creating negative energy in your body considering you are now putting that food Into yourself having demonized it that makes a lot of sense You are a mom also that is something else that I would like for my listeners to know that you are you continue to do All of this athletic work.

[00:19:25] You are still strength training and doing it at a very like the intensity is still up there and and you’re also balancing it with all of your parental duties. I think that is really cool. What are the challenges?

[00:19:39] Alyssa: Yeah, I mean, certainly, obviously it’s, it’s time. I get up often before my kids are up. So this morning I was up at 5 30 to do my workout get it in and get showered and get ready for my day before they woke up. I am extremely privileged to have a gym in my garage that we built. So it’s easy for me to get [00:20:00] up and just go downstairs, get the workout in and come back upstairs.

[00:20:03] You know, so there’s that but I also, when I can on the weekends, I bring them into the garage with me. So when I do my Saturday workout, I try to do it a little later in the day and let them come in and be a part of it. And I want them to, you know, I just want them to see that, like, this is what, this is what women do.

[00:20:19] This is what I do. And this is what you can do. If this is something that feels good to you. You know, we, we also, we had a nanny up until recently. So that certainly helps the situation and I don’t work traditional hours. So, you know, my ability to train like this is not everyone’s ability. I recognize but it’s what works for me.

[00:20:40] Not

[00:20:40] Krati: And how much sleep do you get, do you get? Because

[00:20:44] yeah, not enough. Right.

[00:20:46] Alyssa: not enough, but I, I’ve never gotten enough sleep. That’s just like who I am as a person. I’ve always run on, on very little sleep. As I get older, I find that I need more sleep. Oddly enough, becoming a mom, I think made me [00:21:00] realize how much I value sleep because there’s such a long period of time where you don’t get it.

[00:21:05] Krati: Right.

[00:21:05] Alyssa: And so as soon as we could start getting it again, I was like, why would I wake up early? No, I’m going to just, I’m going to sleep as long as I can. And now it’s kind of this, this balance, you know, my workout days, I’m up early, but when I have a rest day, I am sleeping until the absolute last possible second.

[00:21:22] You need it. Like your body, that is when your body repairs itself. And I think you can get away with it. Less of it when you’re younger and then you get older and things change. And it’s funny how quickly they shift. I mean, we joke, but it’s true. My husband and I, you know, we put the kids down, we like watch a show together.

[00:21:42] And then we spend the last 30 minutes of our night basically on foam rollers. on the floor, rolling out our hips and our quads and our lats and everything before we go to sleep. Because if not, like at this age, you wake up and it’s just, everything is off and everything is tight. [00:22:00] And

[00:22:01] again, you know, I would go for, I would run 10 miles and just like go right to brunch and sit down and then go out at night in a pair of heels.

[00:22:11] I can’t do that

[00:22:12] Krati: Right. Yeah. There’s always this ongoing debate between, Oh, is what is more important, sleep or food, getting the food right? And I have like concluded through my own experience of sleep trumps everything else. Yeah. If your body is given adequate amount of time to recover, I think that really beats everything else.

[00:22:32] I mean, if you can get everything right, that’s awesome. Awesome. Bye.

[00:22:36] Alyssa: Yeah.

[00:22:37] Krati: yet sleep is the first thing that gets ignored. If you have like a stuffed to do list, you just, you take time away from your sleep. Yeah. How are you feeling about aging?

[00:22:51] Alyssa: You know, it’s a mixed bag. I think I am getting into those years where I’m, I’m getting closer and closer to perimenopause. And I feel very lucky [00:23:00] that there’s a lot more research around it now and the conversation around it is suddenly everywhere. And so there’s like cues that I now know to look for earlier on.

[00:23:09] You know, I think it’s, it’s only scary to me from the perspective of, I have to just have to think about things with my training and taking care of my body that I didn’t have to before. So again, like it’s just having to stretch out my hips and my, you know, like roll out my soft tissue multiple times a day if I want to just exist in a comfortable space in my body.

[00:23:34] I, you know, I think that’s, that’s probably the biggest thing, the aesthetic stuff a little bit less. So, I mean, you know, like I’m covering up my grays. It is what it is. You know, I don’t know that I’m, I don’t know that I’m the kind of person that’s going to do like the slow descent into just like aging gracefully.

[00:23:52] But, but everybody is different about that. I think, you know, that said, I also like, I [00:24:00] want to be. the strong as hell, you know, mom in their late forties. I want to, you know, I want my kids to always see me like that. And I, especially, you know, I had kids a little bit later in life. You know, I had my my first daughter when I was 36 and my second when I was 38.

[00:24:17] And so for me, it’s really crucial that I take care of my body. Because I want to be around as long as possible for them. And I want to be able to do the stuff that I’m doing now with them when they are old enough to do it. I want to go for runs with them. If they want to lift, I want to be right next to them lifting.

[00:24:38] I want to be able to do all of that stuff. And so that, yeah, it’s just, it’s, I think it’s more now about really having to kind of focus a lot of my energy on that.

[00:24:48] Krati: Yeah, that is definitely what is now pushing me to explore different forms of exercise. Cause I, I do yoga. But when my niece wants to play with me, when she and I are playing together, I [00:25:00] get tired and then it’s like, I am really not in shape. I mean, yoga may be doing wonderful things for my, organs, I guess for my agility, but like that endurance is not there.

[00:25:15] That’s what made me, you know, start researching endurance exercises, strength building. I was like, I’ve got to do this to keep up with my niece. And eventually someday if I have a kid to be able to run around and do play for as long as the kid wants to play. So yeah, that’s definitely good fuel. You mentioned cues that your body gives you to notice when it’s slowing down, when it perhaps needs more attention.

[00:25:40] What are some of the cues that you would recommend that people look out for? If you want to talk about cues for women only, that that’s okay.

[00:25:48] Alyssa: No, I mean, I think this is kind of for everybody, but you know, I’ve been. doing similar movements and strength for a really long time. And obviously the weights change. And I had said to my coach recently, I was like, I don’t [00:26:00] know, like lately my lower body workouts, like I’m sore for much longer than I was before.

[00:26:05] Or my lower back is starting to feel really sore and my form hasn’t changed. I know I’m lifting with correct form. And he was like, are you doing the soft tissue work I told you to do? No, I’m not. He’s

[00:26:18] like, do the soft tissue work I told you to do. Or I was like, eh, you know, sometimes when we start pressing stuff overhead, like this feels kind of weird.

[00:26:26] Oh, are you rolling out your, your pec muscles? No. So it’s just kind of, you know, starting to pay attention to that kind of stuff. Like, does something feel different than it used to? And if it did, if it does, think about that and what can you, you know, what can you actually pay attention to from that and what can you work with and what can you shift around and try to make it so that you don’t feel like that.

[00:26:50] Krati: right. You know we see like on YouTube, we see all of these fancy videos of the ice bath with people doing a lot of like [00:27:00] temperature what, what did they call, what do they call it? The, the creating stress through temperature changes, stuff like that. And somebody looking at those videos might think that if I’m, if I really want to get that body, if I really want to be that fit and strong, I need to have access to all of these things.

[00:27:17] Do you think that’s at all true or Can someone who does not have the resources to really be able to do any of this? Can they also do the workouts build strength and also maintain their? Sort of their the quality of their body like not have it depreciate at a faster pace,

[00:27:38] Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, I think there’s always, this has been happening forever, right? There’s always going to be the next big quick fix thing that’s going to suddenly make you a completely different person. You know, listen, if there was one thing we’d all be doing it, and we’d all look the same, and you know, that [00:28:00] would be great, terrible, or whatever, however you feel about it.

[00:28:03] But, you know, that’s not really the way things work. I don’t begrudge anyone doing anything that feels really good to them. So, if like, a cold plunge feels great to you, By all means, add that to your regimen, but don’t expect that that’s going to suddenly make you a completely different human being or completely change your body.

[00:28:21] Right? I think that just, I think we want to believe that there’s one thing that we can do that will change how we feel, right? And change how we look and, you know, Be this really easy thing that we can rely on in large part because it’s just easier than thinking about doing hard work I like a cold plunge.

[00:28:39] I think it feels awesome in the moment that you do it And in like a little bit afterwards you kind of you vibrate differently for the rest of the day But like it’s not part of my regular routine Um, I don’t think it needs to be a part of Anybody’s unless you really, really like it. You know, I think we, intermittent fasting is also a big thing like that, right?[00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Where I tried that for a while and I liked it for a while, and then there were some mornings where I was like, I am starving and it’s 8:00 AM and I was like, there’s gotta be a point at which you don’t just kind of blindly glom onto something because that’s what. Everyone’s telling you to do and you just go, well, is that right for my body?

[00:29:22] So I stopped doing it. That said, if I wake up in the morning and I’m like, Okay, my kids are eating right now, but I’m not hungry. I don’t eat until I feel hungry. I don’t call it intermittent fasting. I just call it, I don’t know, I felt like eating an hour later. You know, I think, yeah, you just have to do, what’s right for your body and it’s gonna be different for everybody.

[00:29:47] But there’s no quick fix solution. There just isn’t. I mean, I guess people have now found a quick fix weight loss solution

[00:29:57] of taking Ozempic, [00:30:00] but you know, listen, that also with the weight that you’re losing on that as muscle,

[00:30:07] that’s a real choice. As you’re getting older and you know, you’re going to start losing muscle mass to say I’m willing.

[00:30:13] I’m so committed to the idea of you know, fitting into whatever this like societal norm of how thin I’m supposed to be is that I’m willing to sacrifice. The future of my body for it,

[00:30:27] Krati: Yeah, that is

[00:30:29] Alyssa: not for me.

[00:30:30] Yeah. I mean, I think as far as we have come and we’ve come really far with body acceptance and accepting all types of bodies, but I think, I think that if this insanity of Ozempic has shown us anything, it’s that society still rewards thin bodies over everything else. And that a lot of people still feel like that is the body they need to be in.

[00:30:57] And that’s, that’s [00:31:00] crappy, you know, I don’t know a better word for it. I mean, I still feel, I feel the same way too. Like I go, I vacillate all the time between feeling amazing that, you know, I put on this muscle and I can do all this stuff. I saw a video of myself speaking at something the other day.

[00:31:17] Where I kind of every single time I looked at it, I went back and forth between going my arms look awesome. Like look at the muscular, you know, look at my biceps and also going my arms look bigger than they used to, right? Because I’m not, I don’t have like 2 percent body fat where it’s just pure muscle.

[00:31:33] Like there’s mass there too. And it’s It’s always gonna be this back and forth Yeah, I I I don’t have a solution to it. I wish I did

[00:31:45] Krati: I don’t think there is one because I this was something I noticed like I consumed a lot of content and had a lot of discussions around how Like this is difficult to say because there is just such so much stigma attached to it right now [00:32:00] A lot of like people pursuing political correctness over actually saying what needs to be said wanting to avoid talking to people with obesity Issues that you need to lose weight Suddenly we were almost glorifying being overweight, like going really, really far with the whole thing about how, you know, your body’s wonderful.

[00:32:23] Even if you’re unhealthy, like nobody was talking about it except for like people like Joe Rogan pointed it out. Some of the other athletes pointed it out that yes, you should accept your body and you are beautiful no matter your size, but you also should notice if you’re unhealthy.

[00:32:38] If your body weight is at a level that is concerning to your doctor, then that is not about how you look. That is about how you feel, how much your body can do for you. Like, you know, you’ve talked about in your content, your content has a very high degree of positivity to it. And that is something that you should notice that it’s not about how you look.

[00:32:57] You shouldn’t be taking these discussions. So [00:33:00] personally, all of that content is out there to support people who perhaps don’t fit the conventional idea of attractive or fit and then there is this drug abuse that people are using ozempic and then they are trying to be thin even if it means hurting your body.

[00:33:18] Like there is such those two things that exist they coexist together on internet. It’s just so disorienting When you go from this one Side of the discussion to another it’s like there’s just no balance. There’s no point of sanity that someone can attach themselves to and accordingly Set their goals and accordingly set their you know, hold their self image too because it just yeah

[00:33:43] Alyssa: Yeah, I mean, I have, I, I take issue with the narrative that still I think unfortunately exists of like, you know, Oh, you, you’re at a certain weight and therefore, you know, it’s unhealthy because You know, there are people who are in larger bodies [00:34:00] who are just as healthy, if not more healthy than someone in a traditionally thinner body.

[00:34:05] You know, weight does not equal, like, more weight does not equal more health issues. And especially, you know, incredibly, incredibly thin people

[00:34:15] are also wildly unhealthy. I mean, There are runners who, you know, elite runners lose their periods. Literally their body loses the ability to do one of the biological things it’s supposed to do.

[00:34:28] That we, but we don’t talk about that because they, you know, they look great in a swimsuit, right? So we just sort of put them aside and we’re like, well, yeah, maybe the inner workings of your body are not so great, but like you look fantastic. Whereas it’s much easier to demonize an overweight person and say, you know, it’s, it’s, yeah.

[00:34:46] are kind of biases of looking at them and going, I don’t like the way that person looks, that doesn’t fit the mold that I believe. And so therefore I need to create this narrative that they’re also unhealthy. They might be just as healthy as somebody in a thin body, right? Or the thin, the thinner [00:35:00] person may be wildly more unhealthy than they are.

[00:35:03] So, yeah, I mean, like, I think a great example of of just kind of the differences in bodies and what bodies can do in their health levels. Is if you look at the women who competed this year in the, it’s, it’s one of the big global strongmen competitions called the Arnold sports classic. The sizes of the bodies of the women who competed at the professional level are so different.

[00:35:29] I mean, you have one woman who looks like a legitimate bodybuilder. There’s I don’t know, like a couple of percentage of points of body fat on her. And then you have a woman who won, who I think if she was just walking down the street, you would just go, Oh, that’s just an overweight woman. Right. But she is now the strongest woman in the world. She is, you know, she’s healthier than. the person who’s just walking around and doing no fitness at all whatsoever.

[00:35:58] So I think, yeah, I mean, I [00:36:00] think we’re always, it’s just, it’s always going to be a battle always between, you know,

[00:36:06] how, how people’s bodies actually are and how we want to see them.

[00:36:12] Krati: yeah, I think the problem is that it’s it’s a political conversation. It has become a political conversation instead of it being a conversation that’s all about health and well being of the people that we are talking about. It has been turned into a political discussion that people use to sort of peddle their own ideas and their own agendas.

[00:36:31] And what you have said, that is perfect. If we can just get past this obsession with language and how we should be putting it, political correctness, all of it, it really does come down to health and how you are feeling in your body. And like, I’ve seen so many choreographers who work for working pretty much all day long, but their body weight.

[00:36:53] Is, you know, it’s not that conventional body where that you would associate with someone who’s working out all day long, [00:37:00] but they’re working on all day long and their body is supporting them in it. They have like, They’re expecting so much of their body and their body is supporting them with all of those goals.

[00:37:10] I have seen very few thin choreographers. I mean, I know they’re there, obviously, but I’ve seen so many of them who don’t fit that conventional idea that it’s heartening to me that yes, you know, you, you need to understand that not everybody’s body works the same way. Let’s get past this whole debate and let’s just talk about health and well being instead.

[00:37:31] I mean, we, that’s what we want to teach young girls and yet we adults get bogged down in it. In just the words that we want to use, the ideas that we want to push, and we completely lose the script somewhere.

[00:37:44] Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, listen, one of my, one of the wildest discoveries when writing my book was when I was writing this chapter about body image, one of the first things I did was I looked up the definition of bulkiness, right? Because one of the things that happens when you start to [00:38:00] lift weights is you hear one of two things.

[00:38:02] You either hear from, you know, people who don’t lift, they’re going to say to you, Oh, you don’t want to lift weights because you’re going to get bulky. And then if you are talking to people who already lift, they’re going to say, Oh, like, don’t worry, you can lift and you, and you know, you won’t get bulky.

[00:38:17] Right. But either way, we’re suggesting that whatever this term is, bulky is a negative thing. So I was like, okay, well, what exactly, what do we mean by this? And I Googled it and this gets me every single time I repeat it, which is the definition for bulky was taking up much space, typically inconveniently.

[00:38:36] And I thought, Oh, there it is. It’s the inconvenient part, right? Like that’s, that’s just. Perfect. Because what do we, you know, what do we think of when we think of a woman who is challenging what we expect, you know, the female body to look like that’s inconvenient. It’s inconvenient. If a woman is taking up space with her body, because it’s typically assumed that that space is being taken from a man.

[00:38:58] It’s inconvenient [00:39:00] to challenge gender norms, you know, with the way that your body looks, how many times do we tell a woman who is Jack that she looks like a man? And I’m like, well, she, first of all, she looks better than most men who lift weights. But you know, what, what man are we referring to? And why is that a problem?

[00:39:15] Like, look, no, she looks like a very strong woman. So I think that, you know, it’s just this, this constant, this constant narrative of like bigger is bigger is bad. And that’s. Yeah, that is something that I just think needs to be challenged as often as we can.

[00:39:34] Krati: that is a beautiful idea, definitely. And I wish we could just, in isolation formulate our expectations where our bodies are concerned, where our life, you know, is concerned. What do we want? From our body, from our life, what happiness looks like to us, and then get out there in the world and accordingly pursue things, except that doesn’t happen.

[00:39:54] You know, you are a kid in the playground. Suddenly someone’s laughing at you because of how you look. [00:40:00] And then that just the journey begins. Yeah.

[00:40:03] And it’s a constant struggle from that point forward. Stepping away from um, the discussion around body specifically, talk to me about what sort of psychology you think people should maintain as they start pursuing a goal that they identify as challenging.

[00:40:18] What should be motivating, like, what is healthy motivation there?

[00:40:22] Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, I think, and I’ll go back to kind of the idea of failure here. It’s just, you have to be less afraid to fail at whatever it is that you’re doing, right? Because you’re never going to really know what that limit is for you. Until you’re willing to fail a whole bunch of times on your way there, because the more you push up against whatever you think that limit is, and then you fail, well, now you go, okay, well, so I’ve got right here.

[00:40:48] So maybe the limit now is actually a little bit further away from that. Um, if you’re not willing to fail, like, you’re never going you’re actually capable of doing. Um, I think that’s incredibly important. It’s, it’s [00:41:00] one of the biggest lessons to learn throughout this whole process.

[00:41:03] Krati: Yeah. I often wonder that like, there are people who are very attached to their goal and they’ll change everything else except that goal. And that goal pushes them to do whatever it takes. To get to that point. I often wonder if that’s a healthy way to go about it, or is it I want to grow?

[00:41:25] Yeah, there is a goal Yeah, I want to get there. But as long as i’m growing on this journey, i’m good with it

[00:41:31] Alyssa: , I think you, you hit the nail on the head right there. Um, one of the people I interviewed for the book said something to me that when he said it to me, I thought, okay, this doesn’t really apply to my life. He was talking about um, the world’s strongest man. And he said, and I didn’t try to get this right from memory.

[00:41:47] He said uh, the world’s strongest man is invariably someone with a hole in his heart because he thinks when he wins and he’s crowned king of the world, you know, he’s going to be a completely different person. And then he wakes up tomorrow to find out he’s [00:42:00] the same person as he was yesterday. And that’s a terrifying thought.

[00:42:03] And that didn’t resonate with me until I went to that national level competition and I failed at what I wanted to do and I had to go, Oh, oh my God, I get it now. Like if, if the only thing that matters to you is the top of that mountain, then you’re never going to be satisfied because you’re going to get there and you’re going to see the next thing that you can do in the next thing that you can do the next biggest peak.

[00:42:27] And if that whole climb up there didn’t matter to you. If none of that felt like an accomplishment to you, then nothing else you do is going to matter. And that is something I think about all the time. It’s just, it’s so crucial to care about the process of what you’re doing, right? It was, for me, I had to go back and go, Okay, what are all of the lifts that you achieved on your way to get here?

[00:42:51] You know, yeah, you didn’t get these gigantic ones on this national stage, but like, how far did you push your body and what did you, what did you find out that you could [00:43:00] do when you got here? Like I, that hitting that 300 pound deadlift for me, it was a goal for eight years and I couldn’t pass the moment where I did it.

[00:43:09] I couldn’t be excited about it because I was like, okay, but I

[00:43:12] have more, I gotta do more. I gotta do more,

[00:43:15] Krati: When you were on this journey? Do you think that the external noise the societal expectations what looks good? What doesn’t look good? All of these narratives. How much did they impinge on your progress?

[00:43:28] Alyssa: probably a fair amount. I mean, I, I don’t think that I, looking back on it, I don’t know that I committed fully to this goal of, of gaining mass because I was fighting constantly against this narrative that I’d had in my head for my whole life. Um, you know, I hope that if I was to do it again now, I’d be able to commit more to it, but I don’t know.

[00:43:52] I don’t know. I think you know, I did more. I did more than I could have done before. And I did [00:44:00] more than I expected to be able to do. And I challenged myself a lot more than I thought I would do. Um, but there was always this push and pull, you know, there were plenty of times where I was, you know, chugging a protein shake that I didn’t want to drink and thinking, Oh my God, I can’t wait until this is done.

[00:44:16] And I can just like not eat if I don’t feel like

[00:44:19] it. It’s yeah, it’s always a push and pull.

[00:44:22] Krati: I feel like exercise it’s such a healthy conduit tell me if you disagree with me because I feel like For everyone not someone who is going to be participating in some xy competition, but Just whoever you are Whatever you’re pursuing like if my even if my day sucks but when i’m on that yoga mat and I am able to get 60 minutes of yoga do it well and That connection to my body it sustains me even when there’s a lot of shit happening and I feel like i’m failing on all fronts Those 60 minutes, it’s like that [00:45:00] grounds me.

[00:45:00] Alyssa: Yeah.

[00:45:01] Krati: I don’t know why

[00:45:03] Alyssa: Well, I mean, listen, with yoga specifically, right, like you, what other sport, what other athletic endeavor can you think of where you have to be so focused on your breath, right? Like this thing that we just do all day because we have to do it all day to live. , but you, we know, like, For me, just taking one good deep breath when I’m stressed, it’s like, oh, oh, it’s that easy to just kind of mellow out a little bit and you’re sitting through an hour of just doing that repeatedly.

[00:45:33] So it doesn’t surprise me that that’s grounding for you. And for me, lifting is that there is. There are all these very kind of tactile things about it that just bring me back into my body. Like I know how it’s going to feel when I have my hands on the like cold metal of the bar. I know how it’s going to feel when I pick something up and then I put it back down and I feel that all of these muscles have worked in tandem to achieve this thing.

[00:45:58] That’s it for me, but also sometimes [00:46:00] that’s running for me. Sometimes it’s just chasing that little runner’s high that you get briefly afterwards. , It can be, it can be anything, but it’s whatever feels good for your body.

[00:46:10] Krati: Yeah I think there is something to you feeling like you have mastery of your body, like you can manipulate it to meet your goals for you. I think that is really something to it. Like that mind body connection that makes you feel awesome. It creates a degree of confidence. It’s, it’s one of the reasons why it makes me so angry when people hijack the narrative.

[00:46:32] These conversations glorifying people who do need help, who may be as you know, a certain weight and unhealthy. Like you pointed out, not everyone who’s overweight is unhealthy. Someone who does need help is not getting it because you’re glorifying it for their benefit versus those who are constantly, constantly pushing the thin body image that you’re like promoting drugs and for your own.

[00:46:56] Benefit because there is something so beautiful about that [00:47:00] connection to your body that shouldn’t be abused in this Way this is one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on the show because I feel like And I would want my listeners to really like make a note of it. It is better to have role models like yourself in our life who Constantly remind us of what is healthy not by creating content Or at least not just by creating content, but by actually living that healthy life

[00:47:25] Alyssa: listen, I’ll just say, I think, and maybe this is part of, because I grew up in an era, you know, before a lot of social media um, where, you know, most of the fitness advice I got was from magazines where for the most part they were interviewing, you know, certified trainers on things. Now listen, magazines pushed some really awful ideals that are still stuck in my brain.

[00:47:49] So there’s good and bad to everything. but I think what is always frightening about social media is that you are being, you’re being fed, whatever the algorithm [00:48:00] wants you to be fed and that isn’t necessarily content coming from a professional. So the best thing I can say to anybody is just like, Do you know, find a professional?

[00:48:15] Don’t, don’t just watch someone’s videos and go, yep. That’s the thing. That’s the thing for me to do. Um, find a professional and find out if whatever that thing is, if it interests you, which. Hey, maybe, maybe it’s great, but find out if that’s right for your body. Like one of the really fascinating things that I did not know when I started like years ago, when I was doing intermittent fasting um, there was just like, no one had said to me, and it was right around the time that I think I was going to be starting to try to get pregnant.

[00:48:46] No one said to me, Hey, this is like, not great for you when you’re trying to get pregnant. Like this is not great for your body, and in retrospect it should have been intuitive, but it wasn’t. I was just like, okay, people are saying this is good, I want to lose weight, this is what I’m going to do. And then I was like, [00:49:00] oh, I’m compromising my ability right now, because I’m not feeding my body what it needs when it needs to get it.

[00:49:07] So I think it’s really important that, you know, you can enjoy content online, and then you, if you’re going to apply it to your own life, then You ask an actual expert.

[00:49:19] Krati: Yeah, that is so true. Um, let’s have experts but also have role models who are embodying the values that You Protect us that, you know, push us, but also protect us. I think that is very, very important. Have your content experts, have your doctors, have everyone, but also have those role models in your life.

[00:49:38] Because I think we need role models who are happy, positive, not politically inclined, people who are just gonna remind you that, hey, This is nonsense. Let’s just be happy. Let’s be healthy. Yeah, I feel like that is a good place, you know, to leave that conversation at. And um, the other thing I want to ask you, you’re a parent, [00:50:00] so I am sure you are listening to all the narratives that are being peddled for children online and that you have your own concerns.

[00:50:10] But if you could control all of that and feed like one idea of strength and confidence to your kids, what would that be?

[00:50:18] Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, I’ll say, first of all, I, I actually really don’t read any of that stuff. I am like the parent who didn’t read a single parenting book before I had a kid. And it was just like, we’ll just figure this out. I guess. Um, I don’t think I owned a single parenting book, except for like a cookbook of baby food. So I will start by saying that. Cause I think there is just a lot of stuff out there to make moms feel really terrible about how they’re raising their children. But, you know, I, I think it’s when, if we’re just talking about being active , I think a great thing to do is just model, model active and healthy behavior for your kids.

[00:50:54] A lot of us grew up with our moms probably in particular Talking about [00:51:00] their own bodies in a certain way and their diets in a certain way. And that really sticks with us. And so I’m hyper conscious of not disparaging my body in front of my daughters. It doesn’t mean I don’t do it in private to be clear.

[00:51:12] Um, but I don’t do it in front of them. And you know, I talk about food at the dinner table as like, Protein makes us stronger. Fat keeps us full for longer. Carbohydrates give us energy. So, like, none of those three things are being demonized. Sugar is great when we feel like having it as a treat. But it’s also not this, like, thing that’s up on a pedestal. And, you know, exercise, I try to treat it as something that’s fun. I never say, Mommy has to go do a workout. I just say, Mommy’s going to work out now. Would you like to come with me? Or, Mommy’s going for a run now. Or, you know, as a family, let’s go do a big, long nature walk, or whatever it is. I just want it to be this, like, natural part of their lives, just [00:52:00] being active.

[00:52:01] Um, where it doesn’t feel like it’s this means to an end. I think that’s really, really important because it’s always, it always felt like that for me growing up was, you know, if I’m doing, I’m going for a run, it’s, you know, I’m punishing myself for something that I ate or I’m going for a run so that I can eat something else later or whatever it is.

[00:52:20] And I just really don’t want to pass that on to them. I want them to love exercise just because it feels really good for their bodies and that can take a million different forms, whatever it is. I just hope that they’re active

[00:52:32] in a way that makes them feel good.

[00:52:33] Krati: That is beautiful.

[00:52:34] But if they came to you and they wanted to understand what feminism is all about, what that feminine strength is all about, what strength is all about. What, what would you say to them?

[00:52:46] Alyssa: Well, first of all, my kids are six and four, so We’re

[00:52:49] not at that point yet. I don’t think they know what the word vulnerable means um, but, uh, you know, yeah, they’ve asked me why, why I do [00:53:00] this. I mean, a huge, huge inspiration for my book was like legitimately them just saying, why do you do this? And I was like, huh, no one’s ever asked me that before. Uh, and, you know, I just, I, at this point because of their ages, I really just tell them that, you know, this is just what makes me feel happy and good in my body. And I like having muscles and I like being able to do stuff with those muscles. And that for now is what they get. Um, you know, we’ll be sitting at the breakfast table and I have caught them flexing their biceps at each other and arguing over who’s stronger.

[00:53:38] And I’m like, that’s the coolest, like, we’re, we’re good. We’ve, you know, what, you’re going to get a whole bunch of other narratives as you get older, that if we can build this foundation now of you just thinking that strong

[00:53:52] is cool. is a great start.

[00:53:55] Krati: Yes, I love that. I love that. And that, you know, it [00:54:00] is reassuring to me. I’m someone who has like a little niece and I keep looking at her and I keep getting scared of then, you know, cause I’m a content creator. I spent so much time listening to all these narratives sifting through them. And I’m like, this kid is gonna interact with all of this.

[00:54:15] I can barely make sense of it. What’s going to happen to her. And so that is actually reassuring what you just said. And what, if any message would you have for people who deal with, because, you know, you’re pursuing goals. The journey is often there are ups and downs.

[00:54:30] So if you are encountering a lot of Anger a lot of resentment because you’re watching other people’s progress as well What advice would you give those people? How should they manage their emotions? What should they keep front and center?

[00:54:45] Alyssa: Stop watching other people’s progress.

[00:54:48] Seriously. Stop watching other people. No one’s watching you. Like that’s, I, I spent a lot of time when I first started competing, uh, before I would go into a competition, I was [00:55:00] like, you know, all over people’s social media of who I was competing against and like, Ooh, what’s their ability like, and where does mine stack up against them?

[00:55:07] And I’m like, I am, I am expending so much emotional energy caring about what this person can do. It shouldn’t matter at all. What can I do? Because I can only do what I can do and I’m only going to, you know, and I can push as hard as I can push, but it doesn’t, it’s, it’s irrelevant. You know, you just got to go out there and you have to play your own game and do it for yourself.

[00:55:33] I mean, this is just the whole nature of social media is just comparison, but,, the less that you can do it, the better when I went into that national competition, it’s the, first time, that I can remember where I didn’t, you know, a couple of people kind of added me on social media while we were training, but I didn’t seek anybody out.

[00:55:51] Alyssa: And I felt really good about that. I was like, you know,

[00:55:54] I can only get in there and do what I can do.

[00:55:56] Krati: If, you had to recommend something that [00:56:00] people can do that would allow them to manage their emotions, pursue their goals, be it related to body or not, and also show up in the world with a degree of confidence. Do you think that there is any kind of tool that you recommend,

[00:56:13] Alyssa: Yeah, I mean, getting ready to compete , visualization was a really powerful tool for me. so, you know, really getting so good and so detailed at it that you can feel your heart racing while you are imagining yourself. Getting up onto whatever it is, the field, the stage, the court, whatever you’re doing um, you know, really getting to the point where you can feel like your body is there in that moment.

[00:56:39] and knowing in advance what it should feel like. I think can really help you with your nervousness, with your excitement, with, you know, with this overstimulation that you might have as you go into it. And then someone I interviewed had really phenomenal advice, which was for her, she practices negative visualization as well.

[00:56:59] Alyssa: [00:57:00] So she doesn’t do that really close to the competition, but in advance of it, she also thinks about. The scenarios in which she fails, she goes for a lift and she misses it. And what is she going to do in that moment? How is that going to feel, you know, again, getting so deep that you can feel the disappointment in that and then going, okay, now, how do I, how do I move past this?

[00:57:21] How do I move forward? Because inevitably you are going to fail at some point during that event. And if you already know in advance how that’s going to feel and what you’re going to do next, you are so much better prepared than somebody else. You’re so much better prepared than you would have been if all you thought of was the positive aspects of it.

[00:57:40] Krati: Yeah Some of us are I think just wired to consider worst case scenarios and once we’ve considered them it makes us feel safer actually um I haven’t asked this question in such a long time on the show because we, I got some really weird answers, but I want

[00:57:55] to ask you if you could, like, if you had the power to be an [00:58:00] architect of the social dynamics at play that are shaping uh, not just young minds that are just shaping. Minds like influencing adults as well. Like, is there a particular narrative that you would want to amplify? Like this is something, an idea that we should all be more deeply in touch with

[00:58:17] Alyssa: oh, God Load of question um, I think it maybe just goes back to what we were just talking about before which is just comparison You know, I think social media has done a lot of really really wonderful things I think during kovat it allowed people to feel like they weren’t alone I think it allows us to connect with like minded people that we maybe wouldn’t have otherwise ever been able to connect with.

[00:58:44] You find people who like the same books as you, the same music as you, the same whatever, where like maybe you’re in a small town and you don’t know how to find those people. So I think there are a lot of really tremendous things about it., but I think that you can also get too deep in it and start to constantly be [00:59:00] comparing yourself.

[00:59:01] I have done as, you know, as a writer. Like I’m somehow threads is feeding me constantly stuff about other authors and their successes and failures. But I have to kind of go, Oh my God, you got to get off of this. Like you just take a break. Because someone else’s success doesn’t mean that you’re a failure and someone else’s success is not necessarily going to be your success.

[00:59:24] What worked for this person isn’t going to be what worked for you. And I think that I am, you know, probably just because I didn’t grow up on social media, I am a little more capable of doing that than maybe somebody younger. And so, yeah, I think that’s,

[00:59:39] it becomes a scary thing with younger people.

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I know what it’s like to fall apart and gradually put your pieces back together to build something better than what you had before and I share all my lessons in this space hoping that you will share my learnings without the struggle.

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