Nadia Murdock, of Nadia Murdock Fit, helps others as a fitness coach, a barre instructor, and a role model for women who want to live more healthy, active lifestyles. Nadia hosts The NMFIT Mind & Body podcast, maintains a fitness blog, and teaches barre classes online and in person, Her transformational work has been featured in segments or articles for E! News, Today.com, Harper's Bazaar, SheKnows.com, The Huffington Post, InTouchWeekly, FabFitFun, Life & Style, PopSugar, SELF Magazine, and local broadcast news channels.
Now her primary focus is now one-to-one coaching for mindset and movement, helping women to train their minds and change their bodies simultaneously. She said without the mind-body connection, “You can never get true results.” Stress can manifest as exhaustion or an upset stomach, but, she said, “That’s your body giving you signals. You need to do a full body scan and check in. If the early warning signs are overlooked, the signals become stronger; it can become a heart attack.”
Beyond her work life, Nadia is also a wife and mother of a 3-year old son. She projects a sense of level-headed confidence, genuine caring, and somehow being able to “do it all.” We asked her to tell us more about exactly how she does it.
Go from “hustle mode” to groundedness
She became a Barre instructor in 2012 when she realized that women of color were not well-represented in the space.
She said, “What I was going through, as a black woman, was not being represented in the fitness industry. I didn't see women of color move and meditate. In group classes I would look around at the instructors and other students, and I wouldn’t see women like me in class.”
Starting out in the fitness world, Nadia was a self-described, “fan of the high-endurance workout” who also did some yoga and other forms of general fitness, just figuring out what would stick.
Nadia says, “I was my first client. When I look back on that hustle mode... 8 cups of coffee a day and ‘go go go,’ as an entrepreneur… that’s not really being successful -- it's exhausting to the fullest.”
She realized she had been over-caffeinating and overdoing it when she had to have a Thyroidectomy in 2015. That’s where the mind-body connection began to show up for her.
She says, “I thought I was being healthy by eating healthy and working out -- but it’s more than that.”
Nadia began experimenting with holistic alternatives such as acupuncture when looking to treat her thyroid and also to address fertility concerns, as she and her husband were trying to conceive around the same time. She notes, “This journey opened up a new world to me. From there, I did get pregnant naturally, and found more grounding forms of fitness that gave me physical and mental results, too.”
Eventually, she found herself weaving in mindset techniques and developing a stronger focus on mindset within her Barre classes. She saw results people were getting once they learned to calm and change their nervous systems.
Get it all done, with purpose
So what’s the secret to accomplishing so much, while retaining that inner calm?
Today Nadia says, “Sometimes... I don't know how I do it.” And she laughs. But, she adds, “The reason I do, is that I really love what I do. It’s cheesy, but it's true. I find I get excited about interviewing new people, learning, educating, helping women find their voice -- it’s not just for me but for others. That gives me the drive to get it done.”
She contrasted that with the life of her former self. “I’ve been where I hate it, where I’m no longer enjoying what I do. Now, if I’m not feeling it, I’m no longer doing it. There is power in saying ‘No,’ because it allows you to prioritize what you do.”
She added, “I used to be very hard on myself, but you have to be productive in a healthy way, and learn to forgive yourself. Choose to do what you love, and be kind to yourself in the process.”
In the past, she said she created more stress for herself by trying to get too much done in a short amount of time and by doing all on her own. But she stopped what she called the “comparison game” one finds on social media. She says you never know whether that person has a team, is fabricating the content, or what is going on. Nadia says, “This was important for me as a new mom -- seeing people losing weight fast, being a supermom, running a business -- I thought, “OMG, I’m super shit!” Now she unfollows accounts that don’t make her feel good, with no disrespect to them.
She emphasizes, “How you perceive yourself and what you’re digesting matters.”
Stay focused on fitness during the “new normal”
Nadia says that sometimes when you are forced to slow down, “You need that extra push to make you see what’s going on.”
She has found it very positive and helpful, for people stuck at home during the pandemic, to do self-reflection and realize, “Wow, I am stressed, I have self-acceptance issues, I have comparison problems.” In working with them to make the mind-body connection, she says, “We’re seeing a difference in self motivation and how to approach wellness, and mind and body. It’s hugely gratifying.”
She suggests clients read, relax, and go for a walk if furloughed at home. She warns that if you are new to fitness, it can be harder to stay motivated at this time. “If you’re a newbie, you have to focus on your mindset, the fundamental principles — setting goals and knowing what is your why. When your goal is not superficial, you’re more likely to stick to it. When it’s your kids, a marathon, or heart disease, more than losing 5 pounds for a bikini… a deep rooted cause in anything you do.”
For someone at an intermediate level of fitness or wellness, she suggests you make yourself wake up, journal, walk. Find the most important thing for you. Use kind reminders, alarms set on the phone, or motivational posters -- anything that works for you. It will be different for different people. It’s important not to follow the trend -- to find what you enjoy to do.
“It can be marathon season, but if running is not your jam, you’re not going to want to get up and run. Make it enjoyable -- that’s key,” she says.
Finding accountability is also important -- someone who says ‘Let’s go.’ She said a Meetup group (walking with a mask or without in a group), a coach, or a friend can keep you on track.
Nadia said her favorite part of coaching is helping women change not just physical results, like getting toned or seeing greater endurance, but also seeing changes in people’s lives. After a certain challenge, one client said to her, “I never journaled before, but now I do it every day and I found a way to move my body 30 min every day.”
Nadia says, “Coaching can have a huge impact on your life, on a grander scale. That’s why I keep doing it.”
With a BS in psychology, Nadia has also recently become trained in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). She says, “The universe has a way of bringing you back to what you are meant to do. I’ve always loved helping people through two things I love, mindset and wellness, so I’m happy.”
Make time to relax and recover
As a mom, Nadia loves to watch a Netflix series or take a walk as a great reset in the middle of the day. She says, “When I feel stress or anxiety coming on, a walk is a great reset.”
She also is learning to practice what she teaches others. “I’ve been teaching deep breathing for a year, but at first I would tell people to breathe deeply, but I wasn’t doing it! Now, I’m actually committed. It’s been helpful.”
She noted that especially when you’re a solopreneur -- it’s not Monday through Friday, it’s every day. So it’s important to slow down, chill, and enjoy the moment. Stop checking things off the list. Let things go and relax.
Use whole-food nutrition and high-quality supplements
Nadia met Stacy and Kylie at a wellness event, and enjoyed their approach to whole nutrition, using a farmers market, and buying food. She appreciated the Almeda team’s goal to share knowledge and education to make ever-healthier customers. She says, “Almeda is pure transparency and real nutrition.”
Nadia’s favorite Almeda product is Kasvi, and especially Kasvi Cacao, as a replacement for her morning caffeine habit. “I loooooove Kasvi Cacao! I was looking for clean ways to maintain my energy -- to put down coffee, pre-workout supplements, all this stuff… there’s a lot of crap in that stuff. I was trying to find true, whole nutrition.”
She said her husband was less enthusiastic at first, but she noted a difference in his energy and focus as well. “I honestly saw a difference in his concentration,” she says.
She noted that, once again, the key is to find something that works for you. “People are very set in their ways, and change is not easy for a lot of people. They may have a predisposition toward taste, so health benefits are not in their mindset. To those people she says, “Experience it.”
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