Erin Bahadur, Unbreakable Woman

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Erin, ErinsInsideJob.com

Erin, ErinsInsideJob.com

We’re excited to introduce you to Erin Bahadur of ErinsInsideJob.com, the second runner-up for the Unbreakable Awards. This week you met Jess who founded Cook Smarts, and Charice who coaches boys and girls ice hockey. Today, you’re going to get to know one of the strongest women on this planet. Her story is one that’ll stick with you for ages. Here’s how our time with Erin went.

Q: Where does the story of “Erin’s Inside Job Blog” begin?

A: I started my blog a couple years into my recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. I felt it was important to share the lessons I had learned about myself through that process and that I felt were universal to others also not in recovery. I wrote a lot about running in the beginning because it was important to my growth, and it was a way for me to stay accountable. At first, it was a way for me to process certain things, but over time I realized I had a larger opportunity to teach others about addiction, self-care, and finding a sustainable way to live a healthy life.

Q: When did you realize being healthy had become unhealthy?

A: When I started to obsess about exercise and restrict certain foods I ate. I started keeping a separate Google calendar for running, which normally is not a big deal, but I began to obsess about distances and paces, always trying to run farther and faster than I had the week or even the day before. It became very apparent to me when I suffered a stress fracture from running two 12-mile days one after the other.

I also worried about everything I ate. I completely cut out sweets and a lot of sugar, even normal sugar found in fruits. I would read menus before going out to eat to see if I would be able to eat anything, and food really just started to take over a lot of my mental space. My eating and my exercise became very disordered.

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Q: Can you talk a little bit about the moment (or point in your life) when you discovered that wellness comes from within? And what that means to you?

A: After everything I had gone through in my addiction, and then realizing that I was capable of abusing other things even in recovery, I really took a step back and saw that nothing I could do externally would make me happy if I wasn’t happy on the inside. For so long, I thought that making myself appear perfect on the outside would hide the fact that I wasn’t alright, but I finally failed enough times to realize that I needed to reverse my focus. No matter what I looked like on the outside, if I was happy and at peace on the inside, that would shine through.

To me, it really means working to accept myself the way that I am: an imperfect and unique human being.

I have to continually work on self-acceptance, confidence, and understanding who I am as a person.

Once I do that, the world is a much more peaceful place for me to live in.

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Q: What’s the most fulfilling aspect about being a personal trainer?

A: I love helping people realize goals they thought they could never reach. It’s hard to push yourself outside of that comfort zone, but once you do, that’s where you really start seeing changes and improvements. The confidence that another person gets by reaching a new goal is so rewarding and it also helps them realize that they are capable of much more than they give themselves credit for.

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Q: What motivated you to make the move into personal training?

A: I had always been pretty active, and exercise was something that was important to me. I had gone through enough ups and downs with it to know that it’s something you have to work at, but there’s a certain amount of balance that needs to accompany it for it to be sustainable. I wanted to help others reach their goals and understand it’s much more than just an hour in the gym––it’s a lifestyle change, and something that can improve so many different parts of your life than just the physical.

We’re so thrilled to have met and chatted with Erin, Charice, and Jess this week. This concludes our Q&A series with the three most fabulous women and winners of the Unbreakable Awards. Thanks for following!