Welcome to the JRAZZ Spotlight, where we get to know people who are achieving greatness in their lives. We recently spoke to Zoe Novota, JRAZZ Collection Brand Ambassador and all-around awesome person. Here's what Zoe had to say.
JRAZZ Spotlight: Zoe, what would you like people to know about you?
Zoe: I'm a 20-something heavy lifter, body lover, and Christ follower and my life's passion is to love and help people. Health and fitness became important when I was in middle school and started lifting. I loved how it made me feel physically, and it also helped my mental state. Later, in college, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Once I began treatment, I used exercise and clean eating to take care of my body. Now I just love lifting because it makes me feel strong and in control. Hypothyroidism is something with which I will need to cope for the rest of my life. Although I wish I didn't struggle with this disorder, I am thankful for how it has motivated me to pursue a healthy lifestyle. It also forced me to learn how to love myself and embrace body positivity no matter how the disorder made me look. While I couldn’t change the way I looked, I had to change my mindset. I believe that beautiful things can come out of ugly situations.
JS: Weightlifters are known for their focus on setting and achieving goals. With all the priorities in life, how do you stay on top of your fitness goals?
Zoe: I work a full-time job and make it a point to be there for friends and family. I know I would not be able to be there for people if I did not maintain my fitness goals. Fitness is both what I use to stay physically and mentally healthy. My health and my passion for lifting keep me motivated. Also, I make sure that going to the gym is already embedded into my schedule. I recently started a new job with new hours and started going to the gym in the morning before work instead of after. I'm really enjoying it.
JS: Following your Instagram timeline, your life seems balanced—you stay on track with diet and exercise while making the time for restoration and reflection. What is your approach to life balance?
Zoe: I believe that that all of the components in my life are connected and affect each other. The key to life balance is to know what is important to you and making sure you know how things are prioritized. I am always listening to myself, mind, body, and spirit, and working to remain in harmony. I feel much better physically when I'm on track with diet and exercise. But I am also affected if I don't give my body time to recuperate. Every day is different and depending on circumstances I have to adjust. I am in no way perfect, but when I get off track I get back on. I don’t strive for perfection, but simply try my best.
JS: You’ve said, “the number one person who has your back should be you.” What inspired that idea? How does a healthy appreciation of yourself connect with your motivation to stay fit and active?
Zoe: Understanding yourself and taking care of yourself is fundamental to life. In the past, I tried to find a person to fill the voids in my heart, but it mainly led to disappointment. Eventually I stopped looking to others to take care of me and, instead, defined my own self-worth. It took a lot of soul searching, but God revealed to me that that I have intrinsic value and that I didn't need other people to define that for me. In that moment, I knew needed to love myself first, and rely on God to strengthen me.
JS: What advice that you received from someone else would you pass along to our readers?
Long ago, a mentor of mine told me to embrace being "uncomfortable". He said that often God's plan for our lives may not allow us to be comfortable. We don't know the full plan. Pursuing something without knowing the exact end result can be terrifying. It's much easier to play it safe, but in doing so you miss out on opportunities and the plans that God has for your life. If you set big goals for yourself and bravely pursue paths even though you are uncertain about how you will get to the end, amazing things will happen. It's okay to be uncomfortable, EMBRACE it. Just keep going, moving toward your goal, in fitness and pretty much every other aspect of life.
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Follow Zoe on Instagram @zoe_se_sas