Sylvia Nasser is a fitness professional, certified personal trainer with over a decade experience. She is also the creator of the national #irockthesportsbra body acceptance campaign. As a professional, Sylvia teaches HIIT, boxing, cycling, strength and conditioning, and is certified in Pilates and Yoga. From an extreme dieter and over-exerciser to a powerhouse of positivity, Sylvia's past relationship with fitness serves as a cautionary tale to women everywhere in their own journey to self-love. A boxing enthusiast, influencer, mother to her daughter living with Cystic Fibrosis, Lupus warrior, and self-proclaimed badass, Sylvia strives to empower women to face their fears, let go of judgements, and celebrate every step of their personal fitness journey. She’s been featured in Shape, Thrive, Medium, PopSugar, Well+Good, NBCNews, InStyle and more.
I’m not the trainer with the secret to the “perfect body,” because that doesn’t exist.
I’m not here to “fix you,” because you’re not broken.
And I’m not here to sell you quick fix diet and exercise plans, because they don’t work.
What does work? Kicking self-doubt in the a$$, ditching the fad diets, and learning how to celebrate yourself, by discovering how strong and powerful you are under all that insecurity.
Let’s be honest. Solely obsessing over your jeans size isn’t going to make you happy or give you confidence you deserve. If anything, it’s made you miserable. And I want to help you change that!
Want to know what it feels like to just workout in a sports bra without intimidation, fear, or judgments?
#irockthesportsbra was a mere thought – an instant universal download. I desperately wanted to overcome my body insecurities born out of needing to BE PERFECT as a fitness instructor & professional.
My Story & the #irockthesportsbra CAMPAIGN
Like you, I know what it’s like to be trapped in a mindset of deprivation and body shame. I’ve also been the woman who took extreme measures to achieve the body that I thought would make me happier - only to discover that all it did was make me sick and tired.
I had been chubby girl & teen growing up, and while I was never bullied for my weight, I adopted a HATE towards my body. It was self-inflicted. It was traumatic.
As an adult, I taught health, well being, & body love but I lived none of these principles.
It was a lie.
I did everything I could to be skinny – ephedra filled diet capsules, double laxative teas, multiple cleanses at once, extreme yo-yo dieting, hours upon hours of calorie burning cardio until I’d faint. The addiction to hating my body manifested symptoms leading to my Lupus diagnosis back in 2012. I vowed never to abuse my body again – quite frankly I was scared to die.
Although I corrected my health behaviors, I still suffered body image dysmorphia.
Now a wife, and mom, I needed to be a role model to my daughter and to the women I teach every day.
Learning my daughter has Cystic Fibrosis at birth did. I wanted to be fit, strong, and most importantly a positive role model for her.
I realized that body obsession and calorie counting wasn’t going to cut it. I was tired of being unhappy.
“Screw it!” I said to myself. “I’m working out in a sports bra.” Out of my own personal darkness and into that moment of self- empowerment, #irockthesportsbra became a mission bigger than myself. What came next not only changed my life, but it saved me.
What I discovered is that the problem was never my body. It was my mindset. It wasn’t until I stripped down to my sports bra in the gym and embraced how powerful my body was that I was able to shed insecurity and show up fully in my life. The minute that I detached from trying to change my body was when my body actually changed. It also helped me find more happiness than any extreme diet ever did.
#1 – FACE THE FEAR
The moment I took off my tank top in a public workout facility felt like a massive lump in my throat I couldn’t quite swallow. After a few minutes, that feeling dissipated. I noticed no one even looked at me. They were so focused on their workouts. Damn, how self-centered was I being?
#2 – FOCUS ON PERSONAL POTENTIAL
The more I worked out in my sports bra, the more attention I paid to my athletic abilities. I noticed muscles, power, agility, … I was able to athletically excel (particularly in amateur boxing). It was a “HELL YES, I’m a BADASS” moment. I was a fit pro, I was an athlete, I was strong and a feminine powerhouse!
#3 – RELEASE THE JUDGEMENTS
I immediately let go of judgments around my body. If no one else cared about what I looked like, why should I spend even one second longer on that negative energy? I also stopped being jealous & insecure. I started celebrating other women who wore sports bras too. I was no longer envious of them because I was one of them. It finally felt nice to belong to this “secret”, confident tribe.
#4 – CELEBRATE (totally rock that sportsbra)
The more I rock the sportsbra, the better I felt. THIS became bigger than me & my personal journey. I enlisted my friend, Daphne, NYC Women Empowerment photographer to help me on this journey by gathering women influential in the fitness space who believed in the same to help me spread the message. We got together and celebrated how beautiful an able, moving body is —- and we rocked the sportsbra! With grace, with ferocity, with power, with positivity & optimism.
And I mustered up the courage to invite other women in my tribe (fitness students and friends alike) to join in on what is now the #irockthesportsbra body neutral campaign. Today, women everywhere have accepted the challenge and are sharing their own experiences in their sports bra and helping to spread the good energy! Instagram has flooded with selfies and beautiful women who are empowered and unafraid of being in their skin—and their sportsbras!
While on this journey, I also discovered another secret…
No one is paying attention to you in your sportsbra despite your fear, because they are too busy judging themselves, so why not just workout like a badass, and rock a sportsbra ….in public… for good?
I created The Rip Then Rock Workouts along with the #irockthesportsbra national body neutrality campaign to help you realize that strength has nothing to do with that number on the scale but everything to do with confidence & badassery. Trust me when I say being fierce, sassy & badass-y doesn’t know body shape & most certainly doesn’t expire with age!
If you want to change your body, it’s okay to do that without condemnation or judgement.
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