First off Emily, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to do this. It is greatly appreciated. To start, can you let us know a bit of background information on yourself?
My name is Emily Hayden and I am an IFBB Bikini Pro, Fitness and Lifestyle Youtuber, Social Media Influencer, Fitness model, and NASM certified personal trainer. I have 3 NASM specialty certifications in: fitness nutrition, women’s fitness, and weight loss.
After graduating from Texas A&M University with my Bachelors degree in December of 2012, in January of 2013 I opened my own business. I started a women’s fitness camp- running multiple groups of 8 women at a time, multiple times a day. Leading that fitness camp, getting to be a part of someone else’s fitness journey, and seeing the transformation mentally and physically that took place, made me realize that this is what I was meant to do. To share my love and passion for a healthy, active, fit lifestyle, with others- helping them to create an actual life change.
My goal is not only to inspire, motivate, and educate those around me, but to empower them to take action, and create real change in their own lives. This fit lifestyle isn’t just about being active, and eating things that nourish your body. While that is highly important, it’s also about having a healthy relationship with food, learning that “active” and “fit” can mean so many different things, embracing each stage you’re in, learning to love yourself every step of the way, and constantly striving to #EVOLVE into your next best self.
Every single person has something unique to bring to the table. That’s why I believe that if we all come together with the goal of becoming our best selves, that we are truly #StrongerAsACommunity. I’m so blessed to have the platforms that I do as it connects me with people from all over the world. And I’ve vowed to always use my platforms for good. I think YOU guys are amazing people and it’s my goal to use my platforms and audience, to connect you guys to each other. So we can all grow together.
There are a ton of females every year who step on a bikini stage for the first time. As a seasoned bikini competitor, what’s the best advice you can give these ladies to help ensure they have a pleasant experience?
Advice I would give to those who are first time competitors is to learn what it means to enjoy the process and the journey. What I mean by that is, the time you spend on stage and is nothing compared to the time you spend on your journey of getting to the stage. If you don’t enjoy the time getting there, then why are you doing it. Learn to appreciate the journey day by day because those are the moments that champions are made.
Since you started pursuing your passion for fitness, has your philosophy stayed the same? Or do you view the journey in a different light?
Since starting my fitness journey, the process of prep for me is teaching me to grow as a person. When I first started I focused solely on the show and the show date. As I have grown as a competitor and have done 14 NPC shows I have learned that show prep is more than just a date, it is another way to push myself in every aspect of life and allows me to grow as a person.
You have amassed quite a following on social media. Would you say there was a ‘tipping point’, where your following grew exponentially? If so, what might you attribute that to?
When I started Instagram I barely knew what the app was. I thought it was a way to add filters to your photos, and let me tell you I did not know how to use the filters properly. As I started posting about my fitness journey, I recognized the positive response that I was getting. So, there was a switch in me posting for personal reasons, to now, intentionally posting for helping someone that might see it. After that mindset switched I just focused on posting consistently and with the mindset that even if it only helped one person whether that was through a laugh with a funny post, a delicious recipe or life advice that it was worth it. There wasn't a single day where I woke up to this following it was through consistency and time.
In early June of 2016, you became a member of the Alphalete team. Since then, what has your experience been in that environment? If you’d like, you can also talk about your experience being part of the 1st Phorm team.
Both with 1st Phorm and Alphalete when I read their mission statement online I already knew that I was Alphalete and that I was 1st Phorm because it was as if they were writing my thoughts down on paper. Partnering with them wasn't just a business decision is was who I was, it was a natural progression. Fast forward to now, I feel so honored not to be apart of not just the company but the families that both companies have both created.
A glance at your social media makes it apparent that you’re all about self growth and actualization. What are some of your favorite books in that area, and do you have any general self improvement tips from your experience?
There are two books that I love and would recommend, they are Relentless by Tim Grover and Grit by Angela Duckworth. These books are amazing! As far as self improvement tips, all I can say is Life happens in full circle. We have highs and we have lows. No matter what we do, there’s no avoiding that. We can’t control exactly what will happen, but we can control how we respond to what happens.Don’t be surprised when something bad happens. Have hope. You will be okay. Stay humble when you’re in the good season of your life. Don’t take a single second for granted. This won’t last forever.
Do you have any big plans for 2017 that you can disclose for us?
In 2017, I plan to conquer the world. I am competing in my Pro Debut in May. This year starts my journey to the Olympia stage. I will be traveling more than I have ever traveled before, one of the most exciting places being Australia, because I have always wanted to travel there. Everywhere that I travel I will be holding my Bikini Posing Clinics and Question and Answer Seminars within each major city that I travel to. I am now focusing on creating content full-time (Youtube, Instagram etc.) I am also releasing merchandise for my brand, relaunching my new website and also two programs for beginners in the gym and guides to lifting, macros and supplements which I am very excited about. I am currently working on an Everything You Need to Know About Competing ebook. So, as you can see 2017 is already an eventful year and I can't wait to see where this year will take me!
Want to know more about Emily? Checkout her website and follow her on social media!