Member Spotlight — Ali Arazie
The awards just continue to pile in for Ali! As we close out 2017, it is fitting that our final member spotlight of the year goes to the gym's "Most Inspiring Athlete" awards winner from the Holiday Party last Friday. Ali has worked incredibly hard — showing up each day, doing (and winning) the nutrition challenge, and even showing up to an early morning 5:30 AM class, which might be her largest accomplishment to date. I give you... Ali Arazie.
So, you won the ole Nutrition Challenge. How did that feel? Talk a little bit about the challenges, along with the highs and lows of the 30-days?
UM, talk about feeling unstoppable. I don’t think I’ve ever won anything (personally) in my life. It was such a rewarding feeling when I looked at the before and after pictures on the wall at the gym… coming from someone who has had self-diagnosed gym-phobia, it was an incredible full circle moment. Nothing compares to feeling mentally and physically healthy.
What isn’t challenging about a nutrition challenge?? The online description that whole30 provides is relatively accurate of how you’re feeling. The most challenging part for me was the sugar withdrawals. I actually felt like an addict…I was super irritable, constant headaches, and basically had the shakes. It was also very challenging for me to participate in social outings with my friends who weren’t on the challenge!
The best part of the entire process is your “tiger blood” phase…and losing any amount of inches off of your waistline….that definitely gives ya some motivation!
What got you in the doors at CFJI and what keeps you coming back?
In all honesty, I was extremely unhappy with my health and physical appearance and was looking for something that was going to challenge me. I could never get the motivation to go to a commercial gym and workout…even when I was participating in group classes. I was afraid people were going to judge me by my lack of athleticism and size. Gym-phobia is real, folks!!
I actually cried in my car before walking into CFJI because I was so scared
…but everyone was so warm, nonjudgmental and encouraging that I went home and wanted to be a part of the fam. (aka gave Kyle all my money).
I look forward to getting to the gym now. I look forward to seeing everyone. I look forward to achieving more things and creating more goals. It such a cool concept that I never thought I would be a part of.
How has your outlook on nutrition and weightlifting changed since you started?
My outlook on nutrition has completely changed. Not only am I aware of the fact that I associate food with my feelings, I am constantly trying to change my mindset on food that is needed and food that is just a craving. I used to do all of the fad diets and would give up if something didn’t work for me. Nutrition is NOT easy. I look forward to continually challenging myself. My mindset has transitioned to believing in myself, and knowing that I don’t have the option to give up. My goal is to become a healthier person overall, no matter how long it takes.
Okay, so I don’t know if anyone knows this but I am HIGHLY uncoordinated. If you asked me a few years ago that I would be able to fling weight above my head while simultaneously dropping under a bar I would have laughed in your face. WEIGHT LIFTING IS SO COOL. I feel like such a badass!!
I am from good old Augusta, GA. They play this golf thing there every year.
What do you like most about CFJI?
I actually hate CFJI.
I would have to say my favorite thing about CFJI is the people. I have made such incredible friendships with you crazies!!!
Least favorite Lift?
I HATE SNATCHES.
Favorite encouraging words you’ve heard at CFJI...
“A week ago you couldn’t even jump on that box”
Just a reminder that little changes are happening every single time I get my lazy ass in that gym!
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I would love to be an open heart surgeon for a day, because I think I could only handle digging into people’s insides for one day.
Who was your role model growing up?
My momma. She’s the most selfless, kind and hard working person!! I continue to aspire to be more and more like her every day. If I am half the woman she is… I will be happy.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Otters hold hands when they are sleeping so that they don’t float away from each other…Brb, crying myself to sleep…
What is the worst gift you’ve ever received?
The whole “grow your own boyfriend” phase my friends went through.
If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why?
I want to be Jessie and Michael Gesmond’s golden retriever. I want all the snugs, pool time and to live in the gesmansion.
Top thing on your bucket list…
Skydiving! Nothing will push me out of my comfort zone more than flying out of a plane strapped to a stranger.
Most random thing in your car…
I have a car mezuzah! Props to anyone who actually knows what that is…
You’re a superhero...what’s your superpower?
Who would you like to be for a day?
Michael Phelps. I want a re-match with the shark.
Who would play you in a movie?
Rebel Wilson because Fat Amy is my spirit animal.
2018 New Year’s Resolutions?
Try to live by this mantra:
“Feeling guilty is living in the past, worrying is living in the future, and neither has to do with living in the present."
Also, be healthy af.
One thing about me people would be surprised to know?
The high school chorus group I was a part of won a Grammy.