My Interview with Danny-J of The Sweaty Betties!

When I first started started to develop clean eating habits and found myself in the gym more and more, I looked to others for inspiration. I searched the web and magazines for other women who lived a healthy lifestyle and I was inspired by hearing their stories and looking at their photos. These ladies helped me to believe that I could continue to live this healthy life! This lovely lady was and still is a HUGE inspiration to me! I first found her on facebook, I followed her fitness modeling career and watched as she helped to create The Sweaty Betties. She is dedicated to living a healthy life and to helping others be healthy and fit. She is funny, creative and truly has a heart of gold!

I think many of you already know this amazing gal but in case you don't, I am please to introduce you to Danny-J from The Sweaty Betties!

How did you come to love the world of health and fitness?

I was a gymnast growing up so I loved being physically active, but it wasn't until college that I realized how much diet played a part in everything. I had a lot of anxiety and depression and changing my diet changed my body as well as my entire mental outlook. Then an unfortunate illness that left me paralyzed and in the hospital, eventually got me back into the gym and I decided then that maybe this was something I could do for a living, help others!

 What is a typical day of eating for you? 

Oh wow, you picked a bad time to ask that question! LOL. Currently, I am living with my parents, in a temporary move, I just moved from Utah to Vegas and I am moving to Dallas soon, so my meals have been very inconsistent! I don't like it! BUT lately I've been having 3 eggs cooked in coconut oil and some fruit most mornings. I have been trying to rebuild a damaged metabolism, so I am consuming a lot more fats and trying to eat more when I feel like I need to. In the past, I planned meals every 3 hours, with protein at each meal---> lots of chicken, fish and turkey. Veggies at nearly every meal and lots of sweet potatoes and brown rice.

I am becoming a little more open to new ideas about food, and realizing that some people can lose a lot of weight on high fat diets and honestly, there is no "one size fits all". I would consider my eating more typical of Paleo, because I don't buy breads or many grains. However, I will have a Subway Sandwich when I'm out! AND shhhhhh (don't tell the Paleo peeps) I don't like bacon.

What is your favorite healthy and naughty meal? How often do you have cheat or treat meals?

My favorite "naughty" meal is probably any Thai food! I wouldn't even consider it naughty, but if I have a chance to eat out and have something different, thats what I'll choose. I usually gain at least 5 lbs the very next day though, just due to the sodium content! Even if its just chicken and soup broth! LOL My favorite healthy meal is simple-- just grilled chicken, stir fry veggies and sweet potatoes! I could eat that every day, I like to mash everything up with the sweet potato, so it doesn't look all that pretty.

I used to NEVER have cheat/treat meals, it was kind of a Pandora's Box thing to me. Then I had this metabolic damage and I kind of went extreme the OTHER way--- ate/drank whatever I wanted (which was not always the best)

Now I have found some balance and I really just eat what I want, which is usually healthy and if I get invited out with friends or to parties, I try some of the things I want but for the most part I choose healthier things. I've found that my MENTAL space has changed and I no longer crave all the junk because I don't think "I can't have this"

It took awhile to get here, but I feel like balance is necessary, you can't live life in a world being so restrictive all the time.


Do you have any food allergies, intolerances, or foods you choose to avoid? If so what are they and what do you do to keep them out of your diet?

Haha, I don't! Sometimes I say that I WISH I did, so I wouldn't want junk so bad. One of my friends is deathly allergic to peanuts, so she usually can't eat chocolate because most of it is also processed on machines that have nuts. I used to say I wish I had that as a reason, like I'd die if I eat bad stuff so it would be easier.. but, no such luck. I can and will eat just about anything, if given the chance.. LOL For me, if its not in the house, its not an issue, so I don't buy bread and pasta and chocolate.

 What motivates you to stay healthy? What is your current workout program?

My family motivates me... and not in the way you would think. The majority of my family is overweight and have a lot of health issues. I don't want to be that way. I've always been slightly obsessed with health and I'm also a very disciplined person, so I think my discipline has helped me. Currently, since I'm still on a metabolic "rehab" type program and between homes, so I have no gym, I am just doing a lot of my own made-up workouts (in the garage) and posting them on my page. I also take my dogs on leisurely walks and am taking a boot camp class taught by a good friend of mine once a week. I'm not sticking to a regimented schedule at the moment, just trying to listen to my body.

I WAS doing my 12-week program (which is avail for free for anyone to download) until I moved. I plan on starting back up on that again when I get to Dallas and have a gym and then I will probably sign up for Crossfit once I finish the 12 weeks and recondition my body. Its very important to have a good base when doing Crossfit, I think.

What has been your biggest fitness struggle?

My biggest fitness struggle has been one that I have openly shared this year, my issues with metabolic damage. It was caused because I LOVED fitness maybe too much. I pushed too hard for too long and I thought I should just do more, more, more. I had to totally stop! For someone like me, that LOVES to be active and that had so much of my identity wrapped up in fitness, it was rough! Emotionally and mentally it was probably harder to give it up, because physically, my body needed a break. I am determined to help people who are going through the same experience. I find that trainers and group ex instructors often have this happen, because we love fitness so much and want to help others so much, that we don't take enough time off and our bodies just shut down eventually. It actually even got to the point where I hated exercise and I would drive to the gym and cry in the parking lot because I didn't want to go in.

I'm happy to say I'm past that now, and I'm excited to workout again, with a more balanced approach and I love the NEW way I'm living my life now, with fitness a PART of it, not all of it.

 What is your top most rewarding experience since dedicating yourself to helping others reach their personal health and fitness goals?

There are sooo many! I am so lucky to have clients that really let me into their lives. When you work one on one with people, you really get to know so much about them and you see them transform in front of you. I've had women who come to see me; overweight, in tears and can't even look in the mirror when they work out----> to months later-- literally showing off their muscles, smiling, telling me stories about the comments people make about their transformations and you just would never know its the same person. Lives literally change forever. I've experienced so many moments of pride in my clients, often they end up inspiring their friends and family and suddenly you've opened up a world for them that they never dreamed for themselves. Its a pretty blessed place to be.

 What is going on with your amazing blog The Sweaty Betties now and what can we expect to see in the near future?

Oh wow! So many exciting things! First its the One Year Birthday of The Sweaty Betties, so I have some great gifts and giveaways in a contest soon (keep your eye on Facebook!). Then I have a new site being worked on where anyone can log-on to the community and share ideas and there will be a members access area so if people want workouts they can download every month, they will be there! I understand that not everyone can afford me to train them at $500-$600 a month! (I couldn't even afford myself! LOL) BUT this way, I can charge a nominal amount (I'm thinking $8-12 a month) and you will be able to get my workouts with videos and access to me for questions all in a supportive community. There will also be recipes and meal ideas of course:) Then, I'm excited to be holding a workshop in Las Vegas, Oct. 20-21st called Inspiration & Perspiration. It will be a weekend of fun! tough love, self-love, workouts, meal ideas, balance and friendship. I have two wonderful guests-- Rebeckah "Bex" Borucki from (she's a youtube star) who is going to teach yoga for healing and share her amazing personal story. I also will have Angie Gooding-- Body Image Specialist who will share her amazing personal journey and how to love our bodies and have a better relationship with food and ourselves. Tickets are available now and the price will go up on Sept 5th. Your level of fitness for this workshop does not matter, if you are anyway attracted to the posts on The Sweaty Betties page, are ready to "get real" and have a little truth mouthwash, I would sign up! Its an investment in yourself and its going to be a wonderful weekend. Please check out details at