Photo Credit: Adam Silverstein Photography
Jess Glazer, owner of jessglazer.com, is a fitness professional, personal trainer, retreat planner, motivator, educator and all-around inspirational bright spot in the world. Working together on her branding project was inspiring for me in so many ways – her story is one that resonates with so many women and girls around the world! Read on to see how Jess has used her challenges in life as stepping stones to help others and grow communities of supportive women.
Hi Jess! Thanks so much for chatting with me today! It has been such an amazing experience to work with you – I can honestly say that your style has inspired me in so many ways. It has been so much fun to help you express yourself through your visual brand with neon colors, your edgy logo, and of course – your triangles! Can you tell us a little bit about what these elements mean to you?
Sibyl, working with you has been such an eye-opener, a blessing, and an amazing experience. You seem to always just “get me” and you’ve been able to not only help me clarify my vision, but you made it come to life; so, thank you!
Visually, I wanted my brand to stand out, to be bold and edgy, to scream confidence, but at the same time I wanted it to still look feminine and not be intimidating or too harsh. My personal style tends to be a bit edgy, a little rocker chic, and I have a thing for black, white, and metallics. I love the juxtaposition of black and white, whether it’s a photograph or on apparel. It makes us feel that the image/object is timeless, it’s been stripped down and is raw, real, and true.
Leaving my brand logo in black and white also gives me the opportunity to play with all/any colors and textures. The reasoning for adding the neon and brighter elements was because I wanted to bring energy into my brand. Since my brand is largely built around health and fitness, I wanted the viewer to feel alive and energized. Bright colors motivate and inspire us to move, dance, and play. I love the way they make us feel lit up from the inside out.
Of course, the triangles are my favorite part and mean the most to me. My logo has a row of three triangles, standing in opposing directions. There is so much symbolism and meaning behind the triangle shape. It is believed that triangles represent the holy trinity like “past, present, future” or “mind, body, soul”. My mission is to work with women and help them transform their lives from the inside out. No matter their past or what the future holds, we focus on the present and make strides not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and socially as well. So, what better way to represent the transformation than through a triangle. Also, the upward facing triangle depicts our masculine power and the downward facing triangle depicts our feminine power. It is crucial that we are aware and use both our masculine and feminine powers. Lastly, this is the exact reason why I totally fell in love with the triangle. No matter how much pressure you put on any of it’s three sides, it is impossible to break. Due to a triangles strong foundation on all sides and perfect angles, it is ultimately unbreakable and resilient. Strength and resilience, THAT is why!
(To see Jess’s brand launch, click here.)
Over the past year, I have admired your transparency so much. You tell a story that resonates with so many of us as women – and young girls. So first, I would like to say “thank you” for sharing because I am certain that you are touching so many lives. What are a few messages that you share with young ladies to help steer their mindsets towards healthy body images?
Thank you for your kind words. It has taken nearly two decades for me to become so honest and open with not just others, but with myself. In all that I have been through overcoming bulimia, an addiction to diet pills, and abusive relationship with laxatives, and hating my body, I have learned a lot. However, the lessons I have learned, the years I spent fighting myself, and the work I have put back into myself to find love and happiness, it’s hard to pick just a few messages to share. It’s only after years of personal development and therapy that I can honestly say I love myself and my body.
Being an elementary physical education teacher I am surrounded by how young girls (and boys) are thinking, acting, and talking about themselves. Unfortunately, self love and acceptance is not an easy lesson. We can read them books, have them recite affirmations, teach them techniques, and give them all the tools, but we need to do more. We need to be role models, not just for the younger generations, but for all of us. The best way to learn is by example. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to others or what we see on social media. We all need to stop measuring our success and our worth by a number on a scale. We need to stop criticizing ourselves for how we look, stop tugging at our skin folds, pointing out our cellulite, picking apart our wrinkles. Instead, we need to talk about how much we love what we are capable of, how smart we are, how kind we are, and how much love we can give. We need to stop dieting and stop eliminating foods, but start fueling our bodies and giving them the nutrients they need to run as our best selves. We need to stop treating exercise as a punishment or a way to negate food we ate, but rather express how it’s a gift and moving our bodies is fun, it’s what we’re made to do. We need to stop “exercising” and just start playing, we need to make movement fun. We need to start loving ourselves, working from the inside out, stop judging ourselves, and really truly learn to love ourselves and our bodies.
I have loved seeing your food prep and recipes on social media! I hope you will do more this year! Can you tell us about what started you on your vegan lifestyle path and a few of your favorite go-to recipes?
Oh, yay! I notice people always have questions about my vegan lifestyle and they always seem interested in what I eat, so I try to give people a glimpse into my kitchen! I actually stopped eating red meat and beef around the age of seven. I didn’t really care for the taste or texture and my love of animals just ran too deep. The thought of eating animals really upset me. As a curious child, I started learning more about other meats I had been eating (like chicken) and slowly transitioned to a full vegetarian before I was in middle school. Aside for a few “ok, I’ll try it again” moments, I spent my childhood and teenage years as a vegetarian. When I started college I got a job waitressing at an amazing restaurant (shout out to Crazy Burger in Narragansett, Rhode Island) which offered a full vegan/vegetarian menu. Between working there and having more freedom to do my own grocery shopping and cooking, I simply transitioned to a full vegan without any doubt or though. It’s been nearly 15 years since becoming a vegan and I haven’t looked back. People ask if it’s hard or if I miss those other foods, but honestly, they don’t interest me, so no it’s not hard.
As for go-to recipes, I tend to throw stuff together without measuring or really thinking. I do try and avoid soy products and I’m not a fan of the faux meat products. I generally stay away from the pre-packaged meals and burgers, unless I’m in a bind. I cook every night for my husband and I (no, he isn’t vegan or vegetarian) and I try to stick to real, whole foods.
Currently, I’ve been on a chili kick where I just toss in sweet potatoes, all sorts of beans, lentils, crumbed tempeh, peppers, zucchini, and tons of spices. It’s so easy and makes a ton for the week. I’m also loving zucchini noodles with pesto and a faux cheese brazil nut topping. So yummy. My quick and easy lunch that I love making is a faux tuna with chickpeas and sunflower seeds. The best part is just playing with food, flavors, and textures. I love creating new things and keeping my meals fresh!
You FitTrips – so amazing!! Can you tell us more about what a FitTrip actually is, and what FitTrips are on the list for 2017?
FITtrips, YES, these are my absolutely favorite thing! In all honesty I started FITtrips for selfish reasons. I wanted more girlfriends to come try new fun classes with me. I felt like social gatherings always revolved around food and/or drinks which isn’t really my thing. Anytime I would ask a friend to come, she would respond like I was a crazy person for wanting to take a fitness class. In talking to tons of clients and friends I realized their real hesitation was coming from a place of being uncomfortable, insecure, and uncertain. This was a huge red flag for me and so FITtrips were born!
FITtrip stands for “Friendship Inspired Training” trips. They are fitness based field trips where women can build friendships, muscles, and memories. They have been designed to help us get more comfortable stepping out of our comfort zones and trying new things. FITtrips offer a non-threatening, high energy, judgment free, and incredibly motivating environment for women of all ages and fitness levels. The trips are not all about fitness though; they are special days when we get to take a step back, focus on ourselves, bond with like-minded women, and celebrate crushing our fears with a little post workout brunch (and cocktail, remember we don’t judge!)
FITtrips are offered once a month at different featured location. Some of the most recent trips were to Surfset NYC a indoor fitness class on surfboards. We hung upside down on silks are practiced strength skills at aerial yoga at Fitnaholics U in NJ. We even got to play in a real live video game like tron where we chased LED lights at Asphalt Green NYC during their signature AG6 class. Our January 28th trip is to 305Fitness NYC where we will be taking a cardio dance party class in a club light room with a live DJ!
The list for 2017 has me so pumped up. Not only do we have incredible studios/classes in NYC lined up like Rumble boxing, Tone House, and Y7 hip hop yoga, but we will be heading North to Rhode Island and Massachusetts for some FITtrips! There may even be some talk of an entire weekend FITretreat this summer as well! Stay tuned.
And finally, it has been amazing to watch you grow your brand and business over the past year. Online accountability groups, challenges, workout programs and inspirational apparel – can you share with us a few things that are up and coming for Jess Glazer? We all want to know!
Sibyl, I can not thank you enough for the amazing work you’ve done, your professionalism, your honest opinions, and your friendship. As for Jess Glazer; well, I can’t say everything, but I can say that this is just the beginning of a whole new book.
We currently have 600 women worldwide (and growing daily) in our private VIP Facebook group (which is totally free). So much magic happens in there, so much love, support, accountability, learning, sharing, and inspiration. We’re just finished up another 8-week mind/body course with weekly coursework to get ourselves ready for the new year. The results have been incredible and I’m so proud!
I’m getting ready to launch my brand new 12-week “Sweat Addicted” e-book program. It’s a one stop shop with everything you need for 5 at-home workouts a week. It includes all your body weight exercises, cardio workouts, vision/goal breakdown, progress tracker, nutrition guidelines, grocery list, check-ins, accountability, and so much more! At the end of January, I’ll also be launching my full inspirational apparel and accessories line at zazzle.com/jessglazer
We have some incredible FITtrips lined up, a possible summer FITretreat weekend in the works, and a new #cool2beU campaign for young girls. I am on a mission to spread the importance of self-love. I will share my story, my ups and down, all of the tools I’ve found, and I will pour endless belief in each and every one of you! I have some huge goals for 2017 and I promise this won’t be the last you hear from me.
Thanks again, Jess, for spending time with me today! It has been a pleasure working with you and I am so excited to see what the future holds for you as you continue to change lives and bring women together.