Today I am VERY excited to share with you an interview with Michelle Spadafora of Faithful Workouts. I first learned about Michelle’s ministry via YouTube of all places and will never forget the first time I completed one of her workouts. I was sore, tired, and almost in tears because for the first time ever, I got in a great workout while listening to encouraging and upbeat Christian music and I ended feeling encouraged both physically and spiritually. All that to say, if you are looking for a challenging DVD workout with a positive message Michelle’s got it covered.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, your family, and how you got into fitness training, etc.
I am 51, have been married to Jeff for 22 years and have 3 children Denika, 18, Neal 17 and Quinn 15. I have been teaching exercise classes for 29 years. I began teaching to make some extra money, have fun and get in shape. I learned the truth about Jesus in 2003 and a few years later began to change my fitness classes. I believe I heard God say to me to bring Him to my fitness platform. I started playing Christian music and sharing what God was doing in my life. God then opened the doors for me to share this unique class with others.
2. You created Faithful Workouts. How are Faithful Workouts different from your typical DVD workout?
Faithful Workouts is different then other workouts for several reasons.
- Christian music with upbeat tempo and inspiring lyrics
- I reiterate that they should be thankful that they are healthy enough to exercise and eat healthy. It starts with the way we think!
- God’s truth and love is included in some way in all the workouts
- We are not exercising and dieting just so we can look good in a swimsuit, we are taking care of our body so we can love and serve others and live life to the fullest!
3. Have you ever struggled with your weight and/or health? If so, how were you finally motivated to change?
When I graduated from high school I was 17 pounds heavier then I am now. When I went to college I took a conditioning and weight reduction class and it started me on my journey to better health. I was not a believer at the time so it was more about what I looked like. Although I lost some weight I did not have a healthy body. I truly am stronger and in better shape at 51 then I have ever been in my life. I do not look at food as the enemy. I don’t deprive myself because I don’t have the desire to eat unhealthy foods. God has changed the way I look at food and even the way food tastes.
4. What is your favorite exercise routine and why?
I am big on interval training/boot camp format. I have a very short attention span and get bored quite easily. I love to change what I am doing often. It keeps it fun. I HAVE to have Christian music playing, it is what motivates me more than anything. I never do the same workout. I always change things up. I also love to teach classes because I have such awesome people who come to class and they motivate me too. I am really big on strength training. I do a lot or reps with lighter (not too light) weights. Women, especially those over 40 have to include strength training.
5. What are your favorite resources for fitness tips and information?
I go through YouTube looking at new exercises. My favorite is Cathy Friedrich. She comes up with some great, effective moves. Also, after teaching for 29 years I have soooo many different exercises in my mind that it is easy to mix it up.
6. What are your favorite tools, products, or apps you use or encourage clients to use in their fitness?
Best tool is an exercise band with handles. There are so many things you can do with them. They are east to travel with and add so much to my strength training.
7. What top 5 kitchen substitutes would you recommend for someone just beginning a healthier lifestyle change?
This isn’t a substitute but cut out sugar. It is damaging to our body and puts weight on. If you eliminate sweeteners from your diet you will be amazed and how disgustingly sweet so many foods are. If you want something sweet go to fruit and veggies or 1 tiny piece of good quality dark chocolate. As for substitutes use low-fat plain Greek yogurt mixed with fresh fruit instead of flavored yogurts. Drink water with fresh lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit squeezed in it in place of other beverages. Do NOT use the flavored, artificial coffee creamers (so bad). Use low-fat milk instead. Saute your veggies and meats in organic broth instead of oil. Lettuce wraps or open faced sandwiches instead of typical sandwich. Whole grains instead of white flour.
8. What is the best fitness advice you have received and/or could give?
Best fitness advice, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. On our own we will not be able to make healthy changes but with God’s help nothing is impossible. He is our source of comfort. Food fuels our body, God gives us comfort.
Have any fitness questions for Michelle?