BFT: Tell us a little bit about your personal fitness journey and how you got to where you are now.
RO: My fitness journey started in 2010 after I stepped on the scale at 222 pounds – and that wasn’t my heaviest weight! Like many, I was tired of being unhealthy and overweight, so I went to the gym and hired a trainer. My trainer introduced me to bodybuilding and I fell in love! I competed in a Figure competition nine months later and 60lbs lighter. The competition taught me the value of being self-disciplined and this trait has stayed with me ever since. I knew my personal journey had to be told so that it could encourage others to stay determined and disciplined. This is why I chose to train and coach individuals to live a healthier lifestyle.
BFT: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a personal trainer?
RO: Being able to give people the courage to want to change their lives!
BFT: How did you get into fitness modeling?
RO: I remember looking in the Oxygen magazines at all of the fitness models and I wished I could be as confident about my body as they were. So after my competition in 2010, I had photographers, artists and magazines coming from all over wanting to share my story and take pictures of me so I said, why not?! Here is my chance to be a “fitspiration” to someone like those girls in the magazine were to me.
BFT: When did you become a vegetarian and what affect has it had on your health?
RO: I began eating raw/vegan in March 2013. After constantly yo-yoing because I was never satisfied with the typical “American diet,” a friend of mine introduced me to eating raw/vegan and I went cold turkey. It has changed not only the way I feel mentally, but physically, I feel like I can move a mountain. I am more focused than ever, my energy soars and my body looks and feels amazing! Plus, I am not restricted and I live in abundance! I can eat as much as I want when I want and not have to be worried about portion control, calories and artificial products.
BFT: What foods keep you operating at your best?
RO: WATERMELON!! I love watermelon!
BFT: What is your current workout regimen?
RO: I currently run 2 or more miles 6-7 days a week, weight train 5 days a week and do high intensity interval training (HIIT) 5 days a week.
BFT: Are you training for anything in particular?
RO: I am currently training for another figure competition as a vegan athlete.
BFT: How has fitness changed your life?
RO: I was in the real estate business for 11 years and worked hard. I never would have thought I would own a gym, a lifestyle brand and coach others to live a healthier lifestyle. It allowed me to retire early.
BFT: What keeps you motivated and how do you motivate others?
RO: It motivates me to see others change their lives through my help. I motivate through my personal success and drive!
BFT: How can people find out more about you?
RO: Facebook | Facebook.com/owerashidat
Instagram | Instagram.com/owerashidat
My gym Build Your Body Jungle Gym | Facebook.com/BYBJG