We had the good fortune of connecting with Alison Avayu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alison, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
As a health coach and mother of two little boys (3 and 1 years old), my vision for “balance” has changed significantly. A few years ago I would have classified myself as a “workaholic” who rarely, if ever, took a break. When I was pregnant with my first son, I started the Self Discovery Life Mastery program and it was instrumental in helping to shift my mindset from constantly “doing” to “being”. This shift, while it has been a work in progress over the last 3 years, has helped me see “balance” in a whole new light. It isn’t about equal amounts of time for work and play, so much as it is about finding what works for you and simply being intentional every day. While I still have the same ambition and drive to “work” because I love what I do, I have had to give myself some grace and understand that this season in life looks a little different and that is okay. Balance for me now is about focusing on being present in the moment with my family and then when I sit down to work, being present in that space.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Three years ago, shortly after my first son was born, I left the hospitality industry to become a health coach. My pregnancy and birth had not been easy. I gained over 50lbs, and while I wanted a natural water birth, I ended up in a scheduled c-section because my son was breech. Not exactly what this self-proclaimed health and fitness junkie wanted. Looking back now, I can honestly say that my journey through pregnancy and birth is what inspired me to become a health coach. A dear friend and chiropractor introduced Xyngular, a whole food supplement company, to me and, in all honesty, I told her no for an entire year before finally trying it. I tried losing the baby weight, to no avail, with just fitness and exercise because that was all I ever needed before. Turns out, no matter how healthy we eat or how much we exercise, if we don’t give our bodies the proper whole food nutrition, we just won’t reach our health goals. Period. What makes me incredibly proud to be a part of Xyngular is that our systems are the ONLY ones in the health and wellness industry to address all 15 reasons why people struggle to lose weight and get healthy. Unless you address all 15 reasons most people inevitably fail. This is why you hear so many people say “I have tried everything and nothing works.” Knowing we have ALL the tools and a 94% success rate inspires me daily! The best part is that while our company is over 10 years old and has won numerous awards, many people have yet to hear about us! With over 600% growth in Q2 this year alone, we will be a household name in a few short years and I for one am THRILLED to be a part of helping introduce this company to so many new markets! My degree is actually in Interior Design, but after 2008 I got out of that industry and then spent almost a decade in restaurant management. Deciding to pivot out of the hospitality industry and into the sales industry, one in which I have ZERO experience, took a huge leap of faith. But I saw something in Xyngular that I knew nothing else could offer me, especially as a new mother who wanted to have the time freedom to stay home with the kids while still working to help provide for our family. The transition has been anything but easy and there has been no straight shot to the top. From day one, I have known my end goal, but balancing life as a new mom with my professional goals is still a work in progress. Working on my mindset has been crucial. Having the mental tenacity to keep believing in my goals even if I am not accomplishing them as quickly as I had intended is something I work on DAILY. Reading books, listening to podcasts and staying tuned into our team leaders are the keys to staying the course. The biggest lesson I have learned is that we all have our own journey, our own path and our own timeline. While it is insanely hard to not compare ourselves to others and their journey – we must stay laser focused on our own. Know your why; tap into it and “get your attitude up to altitude”. What I want the world to know is that there is hope. You don’t have to feel miserable every day. You can find self confidence again so you don’t have to hide behind the camera. You can accomplish your health goals. My story, struggles and journey as a new mother is what inspired me to become a health coach. After just the first 8 days with our program, I was so blown away by how incredible I felt, I knew I had to share. Connecting and empowering others to live their best lives, how ever that looks for them, is what I am all about. We don’t all have the same health goals, but we ALL deserve to feel amazing every single day because the world needs each of us at our best!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living down here in South Florida is such a blessing. We live where people vacation! I am from Kansas originally so when I have friends or family visit, obviously the first place we go is the beach. Our favorite spot is in Lauderdale by the Sea because you can snorkel right off the shore. If the water isn’t too choppy, we also love paddleboarding right there too! My husband is a chef so finding a restaurant that has it all (excellent food, service and atmosphere) can sometimes be hit or miss. Some of our favorite places include Taco Craft, El Vez and Bo’s Beach. All three are in great locations so we always enjoy walking around and people watching too. Another fun activity we love doing with visitors is paddleboarding the intracoastal, the water is much easier to navigate and the views are stupendous! What is a visit to South Florida without seeing the everglades! Everglades Holiday Park is only 30 minutes away and so much fun, especially for the kids. Since we live in Fort Lauderdale, no visit is ever complete without a trip on the Water Taxi and or Jungle Queen! Both are super fun and great ways to see all of Fort Lauderdale. We make a day out of it and grab a bite to eat on Las Olas, with of course a stop at Hoffman’s Chocolates 🙂 We don’t always venture down to Miami, but if we do, we try to hit up Espanola Way in Miami Beach. While Lincoln Road is great for shopping and dining as well, there is something so wonderful about the atmosphere here; It reminds me of Europe!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shout out is to all the amazing women who I have met through the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Council. Some of the incredible women I have met I now call dear friends. Each one has not only been instrumental in helping support me in my business, but also as a mother. Women empowering women is what we are all about! Graciela Valdes of Graciela Valdes Fine Art Photography is part of my mastermind group and she has also been there to capture every single moment from the time I was pregnant with my first son. Her guidance and wisdom as a colleague, mother and friend have been invaluable. Vanessa Seltzer from Gilda’s Club is another amazing woman and mother who is part of my mama tribe and I don’t know what I would do without her inspiration and support! She is one of the most giving and caring people I know – supporting all those around her! Dr. Elaine Cruz from Express Life Family Chiropractic is of course our family chiropractor but her friendship and partnership in my business have been a true blessing. Her passion for helping others live a holistic lifestyle is inspiring!
All photos for my headshot graphic are credit to Graciela Valdes Fine Art Photography.