Ethnicity: African American, Polynesian, Samoan & Tuvaluan
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York
With hundreds of thousands of followers on her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, fitness expert Lita Lewis is not only a social media sensation, but an inspiration to people all over the globe. She started off as just an ordinary woman sharing her fitness and health journey through pictures and words, and blossomed into a role model whose story has garnered both passion and profit. Leader of the #ThickFit movement, Miss Lewis is doing more than just burning fat, sculpting abs and toning muscles; she’s changing lives, mending minds and boosting spirits. All while making some loot! (That’s a true hustler’s spirit!)
Check out this exclusive interview with the body-shaping queen as she opens up about her journey as a fitness expert turned entrepreneur, her growing social media presence, and key ways for us all to stay clean, healthy and lean.
CM: How long have you been into fitness? Were you always this super fit chick, or did you just come into that wonderful body of yours in recent years?
Lita: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into sports! Always super competitive, always athletic and always looking for a new physical challenge to tackle. I ran track in my teens years and also played touch-rugby back home in Australia. It wasn’t until my late 20s I began to train as I did in my teens and take training for specific sport events seriously.
How did you get into fitness training?
I started sharing my personal journey and body transformation on social media. After some time, I would receive emails and direct messages from people asking if I ran boot camps or if I’d be open to training with others. With very little time to dedicate to multiple people wanting to train with me, I began leading a group session in my local neighborhood park in Brooklyn. A handful of people one week turned into 10 people the next; from there, numbers grew and the demand to take my style of training to other cities across the States was hitting my inbox in numbers.
You also compete in bodybuilding competitions, correct? How did you get into that? And have you ever won any titles or placed in any of these competitions?
I did compete, yes. But my last show was back in 2013. I started in bodybuilding because I was at the time looking for an extreme challenge. I dreamed of hitting the stage in my very best physical form and hadn’t given much thought to placing, however my very first show I won my class in the Women’s Figure division and then went on to win the Figure Overall title. I was beyond thrilled, I’ll never forget it!
Tell me about the #ThickFit movement. How did that come about?
Thick-fit came about when I started hash-tagging it: #ThickFit. And I’d include it with all of my picture uploads on Instagram. It was simply my own way to label how I saw myself, and being proud of it. I’ve always been on the thicker side and I wanted to put a positive and healthy light on what it means to be ‘thick,’ but with a fitness spin; seeing that my life is centered around all things fitness related. And BOOM: The birth of Thick Fit started! What’s awesome is that many women can also identify with it; they began to claim it with a sense of pride and ownership of their own curves and the movement quickly caught fire!
Give me the rundown on your Body Blast Boot Camp classes. Where are they located and what should people who sign up expect?
The Body Blast Bootcamp is a high-intensity, high-dynamic workout that consists primarily of functional movement. In others words, I lead the class through various movements similar to how a track star or football player would run drills and prepare the body for competitive action! The basis of camp is to improve our strength, speed, agility, power and explosiveness. It is one solid hour of constant movement that requires no equipment, only body weight and a resilient work ethic. People can expect to sweat, have their muscles and endurance challenged, and they can also expect to have difficulty walking the following day! Hey, no pain, no gain!
You having a thriving Instagram page, but you also offer exercise and health tips on your YouTube channel. Which platform do you like best as far as spreading motivation and giving fitness advice?
Each platform is different and its benefits and downfalls are of equal measure. I love Instagram because it’s instant, it requires very little work. YouTube is great because it allows me to express myself without having to compress content into a 15-second window. If I had to choose, I’d say Instagram is what I like best because much of my content has been photographs. However, I am currently producing more video content for my YouTube channel because there’s so much more I want to say and share and YouTube will be a much more efficient platform to use for this purpose.
So you have the #ThickFit movement, you’re training people, and just being an overall inspiration through your social media accounts. Why is influencing people to be fit so important to you?
It’s important to me because I love sharing the message that health is true wealth. Not money, nor possessions, or any other materialistic item, but optimum health. Without health, we don’t have much at all. I was able to help myself out of a very bad place once in my life and I used fitness to crawl out of a deep, dark hole and transform not just my body, but my mindset. Since doing so, and sharing my personal journey on social media, I have found a true love and passion for helping others do the same. Being a source of inspiration for all those looking for an example, a positive role model, or seeking motivation has been one of my life’s greatest gifts.
Well, now your name is a pretty big deal. You’re a brand. So what have been some of the major milestones that you’ve accomplished with your movement thus far?
I’m so new to the entrepreneurial space that I celebrate every little milestone; from launching my website, to running a 100-plus-person bootcamp on my own, to being asked to participate at various fitness events! Everything is a milestone to me. More recently, I launched Thick Fit and You Fit Apparel which was exciting.
What achievements are you most proud of?
What I am most proud of isn’t something I’ve created or produced, or been apart of. For me, I’m most proud of the positive influence I’ve had helping others find the strength to turn bad circumstances into a positive. It’s an achievement I can’t measure or justly describe, but when somebody says, ‘Thank you for helping me become a better version of myself,’ my heart opens and I feel like I have achieved something that really matters. I’ll never take that type of feeling for granted. It’s priceless.
Being that you’re a fitness expert, I know you’ve heard a lot of stories because people turn to you for tips and advice. What would you say is the biggest mistake people make when trying to get fit and lose weight?
Biggest, most common mistakes: They think ‘quick fixes’ and fads are the fastest and smartest way to go. They set vigorous goals but only give a subpar effort. They squeeze their bodies into waist trainers and smear ‘sweat cream’ on their cellulite and think they’re burning body fat. They lack patience and expect everything to happen overnight and they think eating less means weight loss. All of the above, dead wrong!
So what’s the best piece of advice you could give to anyone struggling with their weight and unhealthy eating habits?
Start simple! Don’t over complicate a diet plan or restrict yourself by going cold turkey from jump. Most of us starting out need to retrain ourselves and taste buds as well as change our relationship with food. I would suggest adopting a eat-clean approach for 80% of your 7 day week, then 20% towards treating your taste buds to all your favorite things. Eat your cheats during the earlier part of your day so you have all day to burn those calories. I would also suggest you not drink your calories. So drop all soda, juice–unless freshly squeezed–your favorite frappuccino, and limit your alcohol consumption. Instead, drink plenty of water, herbal teas, coffee and naturally flavored seltzer water.
What’s next for Lita Lewis and your fitness movement?
I’ll continue to pursue my business endeavors and expand the Thick Fit apparel line. I’m looking forward to partnering with my favorite supplement company and doing some really cool events with them. I also look forward to releasing my Total Body Blast training program, the newest addition to my online training offerings, as well as collaborate with some great reputable brands that I love and respect and together create cool digital content. The grind is real and a blessing!
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