After struggling for years to face the woman she saw staring back at her in the mirror, Nadia Murdock decided once and for all that she would change her body (and her mind) for the better. Nadia became her own very first personal training client—and through hard work, the right mindset, and a little help from her loving support system, she was able to unlock the true potential that had been inside of her all along.
Although the road wasn’t always easy, Nadia has since become an author and fitness coach. If you’ve ever struggled with your outward appearance or feeling unsatisfied with your overall health and happiness, Nadia’s personal transformation journey is definitely worth your consideration.
How It Began
Your story is so inspiring. Can you tell me a bit about your personal fitness journey and how it all began?
I was fairly healthy before leaving home for college, largely because I rarely had access to bad foods in our home. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when I had junk food at my fingertips—not to mention the excessive late nights and college parties—that it really started to add up.
I was unhappy with the college I had chosen, so I would pretty much eat all the time and watch movies. After transferring I would work out here and there but was not active enough to truly see a difference. My eating habits slightly improved but remained unhealthy overall. It wasn’t until my senior year of college (I explain this in detail in my book You Can Have It All) that I got serious about my food choices and exercise and started to train my mind so I could change my body!
When did you realize that you wanted to change your life? Was there a specific moment that lit your fire?
My fourth year of college allowed me to re-evaluate what I was eating and how I needed to clean up my lifestyle. My brother gifted me a gym membership and that was such a pivotal change in my life.
How did you turn these thoughts into actions initially?
I kept my own version of a fitness journal where I recorded motivational quotes, recipes, after photos to remind me of how far I have traveled in my fitness journey … and I really put myself out there taking every group fitness class imaginable.
What was the hardest part of your personal transformation?
Realizing these things take time and there is no quick fix! Because of that experience, it’s the number one lesson I share with my clients and students. Also, learning to stop comparing myself to others. Nothing is wrong with a little healthy competition—actually it’s a great motivator!—however it took some time for me to realize just because I am not size 2 doesn’t mean I am not healthy and fit!
Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up and returning to your old lifestyle?
Definitely! It was a few years after grad school and I landed my first full-time job. Over the years I became very unhappy in that position and as a result my old habits started to creep back in (similar to my college experience). Although I was still going to the gym, my physique reflected otherwise! I still remember looking at a photo thinking something had to change! I landed a gig as a fitness contributor for a blog and that really helped put me back on track. I started trying new classes, meeting new people, and surrounding myself with the right energy.
Why did you decide to become a fitness coach?
More and more people started asking me for fitness advice both through my column and at the gym. I had dinner with a friend visiting from out of town and explained my working situation and my love for fitness. She encouraged me and convinced me I could live my dream and I needed to pursue my passion in health and wellness. So I looked into certifications and went for it!
How did you initially discover barre?
I was mainly teaching Zumba classes and I was looking for a way to diversify my teachings. I had taken a few barre classes on my own as a student and really loved the variety of the workout. As a fitness writer I had come in contact with several barre professionals and actually pursed my certification through Beyond Barre, who I had interviewed in the past.
I gravitated to the concentration on form and the variety that the certification offered. It was an excellent stepping stone for me to create my own classes. Since then I have received continuing ed certifications with Barre Variations and BarreAmped BOUNCE.
What keeps you coming back to barre?
I was originally drawn to barre as a way to add variety to my teachings. It then became the perfect option for me while I was pregnant with my son. Not only was barre perfect during my pregnancy, but post pregnancy too. Barre can be taught in so many different ways and styles; no workout is the same!
What do you enjoy most about being a fitness coach?
Hearing about everyone’s transformation. Whether it’s how much stronger they feel or how clothes fit them better, knowing that I helped to make a difference in someone’s life means a lot!
What other types of physical exercise do you enjoy outside of barre?
I make it a point to still find time for my own personal workouts outside of barre, which include spin, BODYPUMP weight lifting classes, Zumba, and BODYATTACK, which is like kickboxing.
Motherhood and Words of Wisdom
What is your personal training philosophy?
I really like to keep my relationships personable; it truly resonates with my personality. I also make it a point to customize my programs. There is no cookie cutter approach at Nadia Murdock Fit! My mind and body program digs deep to discover what obstacles and mental roadblocks are preventing each individual from achieving their goals. It worked for me and I created it to help others, hence my tagline: #trainyourmindchangeyourbody.
What words of wisdom or encouragement do you have for other women who are starting their health and wellness journey?
Don’t give up, don’t get discouraged, try to remain positive no matter what! A lot of people may not be supportive during your transformation. Do not allow that energy to derail you from your goals.
How do you balance motherhood with your career, training schedule, client needs, et cetera?
Oh—this is a big one! I am still figuring this out but it definitely takes a team to make it achievable. My husband and mother have been very supportive, and we all work together to make it happen! I think making any kind of time for myself is so vital and makes me a better mom.
What is your advice for fellow mothers who want to change their lives—especially when it comes to their experience of health and wellness—but who may feel discouraged due to time constraints or feelings of guilt about taking time for self-care?
Again, I’m still figuring this out! I think a lot of things as a mom—especially a first-time mom—are ongoing learning experiences. I do feel it’s not only important for moms but great for children to witness self-care! They are truly sponges and if they learn this important lifestyle lesson firsthand, they are more likely to make it part of their own lives.
One of your qualities that I’m always drawn to is your positivity and sincerity. How do you stay so positive and emotionally intelligent?
That is a really sweet thing to say, thank you! I think kindness goes a long way, and I feel good when I can make someone smile or improve their day in some way. I went through a period in my life when I wasn’t always so positive. Looking back on it now, that was a result of unhappiness in either my career or health journey.
Positivity is now a part of me for many reasons—most of all gratitude. When you can be thankful for what you have it’s really easy to be positive. I also think weeding out negative energy is a must in order to be the most positive version of yourself.
I see on your website that you’ve recently launched the NMFit Mind & Body Podcast. Could you give our readers a sense of what they can expect from your podcast?
Yes! The NMFIT Mind & Body podcast launched back in March. My goal was to bring some of my online interviews into an audible version. I focus on different topics with my interviewees, ranging from reiki to female entrepreneurship. I also include my own personal chats because I wanted to offer another opportunity for my audience to get to know me on a personable level. Have a listen! It’s like chatting with your girlfriends—perfect to listen to during your next run or commute to work.