Hello, hello! Today we thought we'd take some time to introduce you to us, and let you get a glimpse of who we are and why we decided to create She Thrives. I mean, if we're gonna be doling out health, fitness & lifestyle advice, you should know what we're about, right?! First up, meet Taylor. Upon moving to Seattle over 2 and a half years ago, she founded her own photography business, Taylor Gage Photography, and though it started it as a wedding based business, it slowly grew to be more focused on portraiture. Read about her struggles and passions and what drew her to the She Thrives concept.
What made you want to become a photographer?
Orginally I was inspired by the crazy gorgeous landscapes of the American West, namely Colorado (I lived in Vail for 3 years). But once I started working as a wedding photographer, I grew to love photographing people, and that love morphed into portrait photography. Making women feel beautiful became a passion, and almost a mission.
What was life like before you started Crossfit & Paleo?
Though I was a competitive swimmer for almost 8 years when I was younger, the last 10 years of my life had been pretty... sedintary. I would struggle with trying diets, eating well for a little while and feeling good, and then going on a binge. You know the one, where you already ate like crap for breakfast so you may as well make it a whole "cheat" day, and that day turns into a week and then you feel like crap because you ate like crap for so long and so then you eat some crap to try to make yourself feel better but you only feel like crap? That one. I was SO good at that game.
Once I found Crossfit I was determined to get my diet in line so that I could get better in the gym. But I was eating a near-vegetarian diet, too heavy on grains and too little protein, and it just wasn't working.. I hit a wall. After switching to Paleo 8 months ago, my world got rocked. I had people approaching me in the gym within a couple weeks of switching my diet, asking me what I'm doing differently becuase it showed thatmuch. It changed everything.
What got you into Crossfit?
I've never been a gym person. Ever. The thought of squeezing yourlself into tiny, stretchy clothes to go drive over to the gym just run on an electric hamster wheel under florescent lights in front of a bunch of smelly strangers has never been my idea of fun. Over the years I dabbled with at home workout videos since they were the only way to get a little workout in that didn't involve running or the dreaded gym: Tae-Bo, Zumba (yes this used to be a workout video about 12 years ago!), Insanity, P90X, Jillian Michaels, etc. When I was into the throes of Insanity and feeling pretty fit, I found Crossfit, and within 10 minutes, I was hooked. It reminded me of being on a swim team: You're all in this together and your 'team' has got your back, but really it's just you against the clock. The intensity and competitive aspect was also very appealing, and though I was intimidated at first, throwing around barbells quickly became my new favorite part of the whole thing.
What's been the biggest change for you since starting Crossfit and Paleo?
While my body shape, size, & composition have all gone through a tremendous transformation, I'd have to say the biggest change would be gaining serious mental strength. While I've always considered myself a "strong" person, being able to push yourself to new limits on a regular basis does some pretty amazing things to a person. It's the most empowering and rewarding feeling in the world, and I don't know what kind of person I'd be today without Crossfit. It's changed how I think about everything, how I approach challenges, and my trust, belief, and confidence in myself. I set goals for pounds lifted, not pounds lost. And I've never strived for bigger arms until I began Crossfit. Bring on the muscle!
With Paleo, the biggest change for me was getting off of my heartburn meds! I took Prilosec for SEVEN YEARS, and was even told once by a gastroenterologist that I had it so bad that I was a candidate for esophgal surgery. One month Paleo, no more hearburn. If I ever get the slightest sensation of it, I take a little shot of apple cider vinegar and within seconds, it's gone. Just amazes me, still.
What are you hoping to accomplish with She Thrives?
My mission with She Thrives is to get women inspired to do right by their body and mind, and to get to a place where they feel thoroughly wonderful, beautiful, healthy and happy. I want to photograph them, share their stories, motivate them, challenge them, and inspire them to never stop trying to improve themselves.