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Working out. Eating well. Living mindfully. One thing I've learned is that the key to living a healthy life is to be in harmony with all of these different aspects. Listen to your body. If you're feeling stressed, anxious, or worried - the best thing I can recommend is to get yourself moving. Go for a walk, head to the gym, pull out your yoga mat. Take a deep breath and give your body what it needs. Focusing our attention in this way creates a shift in the way we are thinking, and as we know, our thoughts are what shape our reality. 

My passion for health and fitness began when I was 16. I realized happiness and fulfillment in life all comes down to one thing - how we take care of ourselves. Our lifestyle impacts our lives not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Growing up I struggled with my self-esteem, and the turning point for me was when I started on a journey of never ending self-improvement - my first day at the gym. As I started to strengthen my body, it turned into a desire to strengthen my mind as well. Both are connected, and both are tools we can consistently sharpen. Nobody is perfect, and there is always room to grow and to expand our awareness. 

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During my first few months at the gym 10 years ago I started off by only using the cardio equipment. It felt great - I was getting a good sweat and releasing endorphins, but I wasn't seeing the physical improvements that I really wanted to see. Then I was introduced to strength training. It was a game changer. My metabolism accelerated so I leaned out quite quickly, my clothing fit much better and life in general became more productive. It was a way to track physical progress, which in turn sparked a desire to improve other aspects of my life. I began to realize a strength within myself that I never knew existed.

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I experienced a shift in mindset. I went from comparing myself to my past, to realizing the importance of being present in each moment and living in the now. Every experience from the past, whether good or bad, is a lesson. There's nothing we can do to change the past, but we can learn from it and grow in the process. When you're in the midst of a challenging workout, there's that moment when you persevere and push through your challenge point - that state of mind follows us into our lives. It's a state of focused awareness, and the more we allow ourselves to live in that place, the more we allow ourselves to live in the flow of life. 

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A healthy lifestyle can transform your world. Realizing this first hand, I decided to become a certified personal trainer so that I could show as many people as possible a way of life that would bring them happiness beyond what they could imagine. I see health as living a life in balance. Through eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and living mindfully with regular meditation and yoga practice - you can achieve that balance. Our potential is limitless, and when we focus our attention on what we want and keep moving forward toward our goals no matter what - nothing is impossible! 

Written by Leighla Claydon

About the athlete

Model, trainer, dancer, Leighla Claydon is passionate about helping people reach their full potential through developing the strength and discipline necessary to reach their goals.


June 14, 2016 — Leighla Claydon
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