Sarah of Rippel Effect Fitness explains how an "unhealthy coping mechanism" helped her get a better understanding of her clients.

Good morning. This is Peter Keller from FringeSport here. Today I'm talking with Sarah Rippel of Rippel Effect Fitness. Hey Sarah. How you doing?

Sarah Rippel: I'm great Peter. How are you?

I'm doing fantastic. Always fantastic over here. You're in Baton Rouge. Is that correct?

Sarah Rippel: Yes.

Awesome. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Sarah Rippel: Okay. I actually moved to Baton Rouge from Austin. I'm a native Texan.

What did we do to offend you, and get you to leave town?

Sarah Rippel: Nothing. I'll just say that I was homesick for Texas in general, still am, but it was a hard transition. I've made Baton Rouge my home now, but it's a while to get used to it here. It's a little bit different than back in the 512.

Cool. Tell us a little bit about yourself, other than the fact that you moved from ATX to Baton Rouge. Which are athletic background? How did you get into fitness and then training?

Sarah Rippel: Cool. Okay, well there's the condensed version. I basically started working out when I was a senior in high school. I was anorexic at the time, and convinced my mother to let me join a gym, Lubbock actually, where I went to college. Junior high, high school, and college we were in Lubbock. I joined a gym called Bodyworks. That basically started my fitness journey, and led to me figuring out that I wanted to get healthy, and also led me to my career. It was really cool, because I just fell in love with working out, and with lifting, and would hang out at the gym before and after I was working out, and would just bug the trainers constantly asking questions. The rest has snowballed from there, but that basically led me to major in Exercise Science at Texas Tech. Then go on and continue working with clients.

If I can interrupt for a moment-

Sarah Rippel: Yeah sure-

You had mentioned being anorexic, and then bothering your parents to join a gym. Are you comfortable to talk to us a little bit about that?

Sarah Rippel: Oh yeah.

Did fitness help you with the anorexia? Or did you go into an exercise, anorexic type of thing? Or what happened there?

Sarah Rippel: Actually, I have no problem talking about any of that.

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Rippel: Yeah, no problem. I'm pretty open about it. It is one of those things too that I think it's allowed me to be more empathetic as a trainer with my clients. Even clients that have come to me... who are overweight, obese, I understand the emotional eating disorder kind of thing. It essentially let me go from being anorexic and ... I fell in love with actually bodybuilding. Then it was like, "Oh, I need to eat so I can work out and gain muscle." That in itself became kind of an eating disordered world. It kind of just transitioned a little bit.

I actually started doing fitness competitions, so that kind of perpetuated that regimented, diet focused, workout focused mentality. It kind of lingered for years. It morphed, but then I found my way out of it. It took on the different stages, but then I came out of it.

Are you able to help us understand how you came out of it?

Sarah Rippel: Yeah. There were some issues in my family, some issues within myself that I wasn't able to really know how to deal with, other than just it's an unhealthy coping mechanism. Over time, it's as if I gained insight into a little bit more of that stuff. Did some work on myself, things to help overcome that. Then once it was all ... I want to say resolved or whatnot, but once I'd come to grips with everything, I was able to pretty much just shut the door on that, which is awesome, because now it's not an issue. It hasn't been an issue since, golly, my mid 20s.

Thank you for sharing that. I know it can be difficult to share, but I know also other people go through that sort of thing and not that I've been there, but from and empathy standpoint, I know that when you're there it can be very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Or even understand where you are sometimes.

Sarah Rippel: Oh definitely, definitely, but it's kind of one of those things where I think people are maybe ... Shocked isn't the right word, but maybe surprised that I'm able to talk about it as open as I do, because if someone is trapped in that, that's the hardest thing to think of doing.

Absolutely. Moving on to talk about Rippel Effect Fitness, describe what you're doing, and what's your training methodology. Who are your clients?

Sarah Rippel: Oh goodness. Okay. I have a tendency to ramble too, so just cut me off at any time, because I know how I can get. In a nutshell, I work with a wide variety of people. I've been training clients since I was 19. I'm 41 now. I worked with all ages, backgrounds, abilities, athletes, average Joes and Janes. I would say my methodology basically ... It's interesting, because I look back when I was younger, and when I was a younger trainer, I would try to shape everyone's programs to suit what I was doing at the time, or what I was interested in the most, or whatever, which more often than not that could work. But it's almost like you've got to learn, put the client first instead of making it all about you. I know that might sound kind of weird but-

No, I get it.

Sarah Rippel: I feel like a lot of trainers make it more about themselves than their clients, in the sense that they want to appear smart. Or look at what I'm doing that's trendy. Doing this, that, or the other, which it's great to stay on top of things, and stay current, and do the best that you can do of course, but I feel like if we were to step back more often than not, and reflect on the person in front of us, we would realize that we're making things way too complicated. As I've gotten older, I've really appreciated simplicity, so weeding things out that are really necessary, keeping things simple. Focusing on true mastery of just body, being able to move one's body without any barbells, kettle bells, this, that, or the other. Just getting clients comfortable moving their bodies around, and understanding why.

Yeah, I love that.

Sarah Rippel: Yeah. Cool.

You had, in a pre-interview question, you had suggested that we should ask you, which two foods make people automatically think of you. So, which two foods make people automatically think of you?

Sarah Rippel: This won't shock anyone, but Tex-Mex is the first. I could eat Tex-Mex every day, all day, never get sick of it. But Brussels sprouts is the other one, which is really funny, because years ago I wouldn't have ever thought of touching one. Now it's like ... I got kind of in a Brussels sprouts phase and ate them almost every weeknight for a year, or maybe even longer than that.


Sarah Rippel: But it's cool, because I converted people. People try them, because they hear me talk about it. They'll actually come back and be like, "They're good. I should've eaten them a while back." So, random ...

What is most interesting to me is not so much Tex-Mex, and not so much Brussels sprouts, because both of those things are awesome, but it's those two things that you mentioned, because Tex-Mex, you typically think of as fairly unhealthy, and while Brussels sprouts have kind of a bacon fueled Renaissance right now, lot of people think of them as very healthy.

Sarah Rippel: Exactly.

So you've got your unhealth food, and then you've got your health food.

Sarah Rippel: I can make a Brussels sprouts unhealthy.

I got a couple recipes also.

Sarah Rippel: Oh man, and the bacon thing yeah, I'm on board with that.

I love it. Well, this is pretty much what we've got.

Sarah Rippel: Cool.

I found you We'll link up to that.

Sarah Rippel: Cool.

If somebody's in Baton Rouge and they want to check you out, what's the best way for them to do that?

Sarah Rippel: Actually, just go in, I guess just my website, because there's Contact information on there. I do Instagram too (@fitprosarah). I do Facebook as well, but I'm kind of going through a social media tearing down phase. I think the website would probably be the best choice right there.

Sounds fantastic, and we'll make that happen.

Sarah Rippel: Awesome.

Sarah, thanks for spending a few minutes with me. This has been a pleasure. This is Peter from FringeSport, Sarah from Rippel Effect Fitness in Baton Rouge. Everybody go lift something heavy today.

Sarah Rippel: Awesome. Thank you Peter.



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