Alexandra Sacco is a qualified personal trainer, naturopath and health coach. She lives in the UK with her two daughters and runs her own business.
Tell us how you came to be in the role you are today…
At the age of 21, as a single mother of a three year old, and someone that had always battled with loving the skin I was in, I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps as a personal trainer and entered the fitness industry. I felt excited and a real sense of calling, as well as an urgency to conquer my own demons, having spent years wondering if I could beat my own fears of being a ‘nothing’. I was in poor health physically and mentally due to the stress of being a single mum with no money and no family nearby. I decided to move across the country in order to study at the renowned Centre of Excellence for Sports that was in Loughborough.
Very quickly I realised that the fitness industry was very one dimensional, and orthodox methods of medicine weren’t going to help my body and mind recover from the stress it had been put under, both by extreme exercise and misguided diet. I turned to naturopathy and slowly started to heal myself. I’ve never looked back. In the last 15 years, I have worked as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, nutritional therapist, health coach and GP referral specialist. It’s my passion to see people heal themselves from the inside out: mind, body and spirit. I don’t think it gets better than that. As a self employed entrepreneur, I’m blessed to earn a living doing what I love, as well as being a mum to my two beautiful daughters.
What would be your best advice to someone starting out on the same career path as you?
To be very honest with themselves – a big ego is not conducive to actually helping people and the ‘body beautifying’ industry is full of ego and very little substance. More and more people are getting a qualification or a degree, so I would advise finding inspiring, authentic mentors to draw and learn from. This will help build your confidence and ultimately set you apart.
How do you relax when you’re not busy answering questions at I Quit Sugar?
Spending time with my kids. I love travelling and holidays, reading and researching.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
The realisation that so many people don’t know how to respect and love themselves. Self-condemnation, self-loathing and self-sabotage is difficult to watch. As a therapist you are often privy to peoples darkest places. No matter how much you coach someone, until the penny drops that they have to love themselves first, not a lot changes. This can be really hard… sometimes I wish I had a magic wand! But the journey is so important, and if I can help someone along it, it does actually feel like magic.
In five words, tell us the most important qualities for someone in your particular role…
Empathy, connection, authenticity, humility (you don’t have all the answers) and confidence (loving and respecting yourself without arrogance).
What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
I enjoy people! They are fascinating.
What’s next on your horizon?
I love to write, so possibly a book. I also love the area of neuroscience – it fascinates me and I would love to educate myself more in this field.
If you weren’t a Personal Trainer and Health Coach you would have been a…
Journalist in the area of health and life coaching.
Why are you such a firm believer in the I Quit Sugar philosophy?
I know from my own journey that good nutrition is powerful. I love that I Quit Sugar plays a role in encouraging people to embrace food and focuses on a sustainable nutrition ethos!
The IQS Team are coming for dinner. What are you cooking for us?
If you guys were coming for supper it would probably be wild salmon with homemade pesto on a bed of an outrageously diverse and colourful salad, served with a homemade dressing… only because that’s my favourite. Simplicity is key for me.
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