Ellen Italiaander’s life is a blur of business as a mother to six kids and the owner of Elevate Your Body, a fitness studio that focuses on strengthening the whole body. Today Ellen shares with us her passion for health and wellness and how she carves out time for herself during her busy week!
What led you to open Elevate Your Body?
As I was approaching my 50th birthday, and spending 30 years as a personal/group fitness trainer, you might say it was my time. Three of my six children were in college, and I had more time available to start this business. It was as if the business found me!
What is the biggest obstacle you faced in opening the studio?
I can honestly say it was the fear of rejection. After that it was preparing myself financially for my future.
Can you tell us a bit about your belief in strengthening your core?
I often tell my clients that the core is your “root”system. Only imagine the roots are in the middle of your body. The power of the core supports the spine to create a powerful strong body. While the training is not like the momentum you feel in a cardio workout, the benefits are much greater. It not only takes pressure off your spine and limbs, it affects your posture in the most graceful way.
What brings you the greatest joy in your teaching?
For me, it is the moment when the light goes on in the client’s mind, and the results follow shortly thereafter. Clients come to me for many reasons, and when I help them achieve their goals, I feel gratitude in a way that keeps me motivated to continue to do what I love.
With a house filled with kids and a business to run, how do you carve out time for yourself?
Raising six kids and running a business is certainly a challenge. But all of my life I have been selfish about my “me” time. It is a priority for me to do the things that make me feel well. I usually take the afternoon before the kids get home from school and schedule things just for me. I could not get by without my massages, facials and, of course, my hair color appointments!
What tools do you use to stay organized?
I love my iPad, but I am an old-fashioned girl. I still use a paper calendar to highlight all my obligations. I also delegate a lot. My kids are very independent, and they often remind me of things I need to do. I also have a wonderful support system of family and friends to help me.
What was your first job?
I was a salesperson at The Limited during high school.
What sports and activities did you play growing up?
During high school I was very active in the performing arts, and as far as sports, I played tennis.
What is your favorite piece of advice?
While I believe in destiny, I also believe that you have to be an active participant in your life. Focus on where you want to go in life, and take the steps to make it happen. I try and look at every day as if something good is about to happen!
How do you begin your day?
I wake up every day at 4:30 a.m. My day begins with a morning ritual where I wake my three dogs, we go outside and then we eat breakfast. This also includes a strong cup of coffee. It is very quiet in the house, so I have time to check texts and emails from clients and prepare for my day.
What is your favorite peaceful spot in Atlanta?
My parents have a beautiful condominium in town. While I don’t get there often enough, the view from there is peaceful and beautiful. You can see almost all of Atlanta, and on a clear evening, it is special.
What are you reading?
I do not read a lot, but I recently started The Lost Dogs. This is the story about Michael Vick and the dogs they rescued. I love dogs, and this is such a bittersweet read.
What are you looking forward to in 2014?
I am always looking forward to good health and wellness. I mean that in all areas of my life — physical, emotional and mental. I am also looking forward to preparing my fourth child for college and my fifth child for his driver’s license! Really, did I just say that? Five children driving. What was I thinking?
Did you set any New Year’s resolutions?
I usually do the typical, which includes cleaning up the stacks of paper accumulating on my desk and making better choices in all areas of my life!
What are three things you cannot live without (excluding God, family and friends)?
- Sleep, I truly love to sleep.
- Ahava hand cream. I wash my hands before each client, so they get so dry.
- My reading glasses, yes! I am blind without them.
Thanks, Ellen! Visit elevateyourbody.com for more information on Elevate Your Body!
And, thank you to our weekly FACES photographer, Cat Maxwell!