Inspiring Interviews- Carly Zimbone
Today’s inspiring interview is with Carly, a sophomore in college who has found her health and path to happiness after dealing with family turmoil, overeating and sugar addiction. She has developed amazing ways to stay focused on her health and goals every single day! Read what she has to say below.
Nikki: What is your name and what do you currently do?
Carly: My name is Carly Zimbone, I am a sophomore at the University of Tampa – majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Presently, I am a passionate lifestyle blogger and a certified Nutrition Specialist, living in Tampa where I am igniting an onward movement filled with perspective, existence, and forward purpose. I created this movement for myself by aligning the intentions of mind, body and soul. Now, I am ready to spread this ideology to other’s in order to positively impact others. I began my blog TheEmpowerist, about one year ago in July 2015 for fun because it is something I am truly passionate about. On campus, I work in the Wellness Center as the Coordinator of the FOODs (Focusing On Optimal Dietetics For Students) Initiative. We are on a mission to educate students about healthy habits in order to create a productive lifestyle. We host biweekly meetings, give back to our community and unite through creating positive lifestyle changes.
N: Walk me through the low points and challenges you have faced in your life.
C: Growing up, my mom worked hard, a single mother who is so passionate in her role at Children’s Hospital Boston. She is such a hard worker and sacrifices so much for me in order to encourage me to follow my dreams. All my life when I felt caught up, stressed, and uncertain – my go-to stress reliever is exercise. In the past, I was able to escape anything thrown my way by exerting this energy into the natural world. My family life was often unstable, but exercise always relieved any stressors running through my body. In high school, running cross country taught me the lesson of limitless potential. I began running sophomore year and I remember how nervous I was because I was unsure I would be able to run long distance. My amazing friends encouraged me to “just do it,” so I did! And over the course of the season, I saw my race times decrease week by week and I continuously challenged myself. I fell in love with running in the trails and proving to myself that I will finish the unthinkable. Senior year, I slowly began working on health and wellness while beginning the college application process. I have learned that individuals undergo experiences that shape them each and everyday. Sometimes, we as humans feel that these experiences are negative. However, the beautiful aspect is that we have the POWER to dig deep and find that lesson. This flips that negative experience into a positive light that grows us like a blooming flower. This is a lesson I learned that I would like to share with you. Originally, I was not accepted to UT. Although I was not accepted, I did not give up I believed I had something to offer this school so I appealed the decision with a vision statement about living a balanced lifestyle. I sat down on a cold February morning and wrote my email to the Director of Enrollment at UT. For me living balanced means harmonizing academics, exercise, work and a social life. Three days later, I received a phone call from my admissions office with the news that they director decided to reverse the decision. Ever since arriving to UT, I have continued to challenge myself each and every day to be the best version of myself. I have created healthy habits since arriving to this state, I have met amazing people, and I have continued to learn the lesson of this limitless potential we are all gifted with – it is up to you, the individual to choose whether or not you would like to discover your limitless potential! Why not try and see where it brings you?
N: How was your health impacted, both mentally and emotionally?
C: Growing up, emotionally I sometimes felt alone because my mom was working so hard. When I was younger, my relationship with my older brother was distant because we lived in separate households. Presently, we have a beautiful and healthy relationship. I was always aware that I was passionate about exercising my body and understood that exercise released any negative emotions. I was lucky to have this as an outlet that often saved me as a shoulder to lean on. As I grew up, I was very in touch with fitness but not very in touch with nourishing my body. I often would choose food as comfort after a long day of school, sports and homework. I was someone who had a love for dessert, ultimately looking back an addiction to the sugar. I did not realize this until I began nourishing my body with foods that compliment my energy and allow me to feel limitless. When I chose to eat until I was, “overly full,” I was often feeling sick, de-energized, and I wondered why I did not feel fit because exercise was such a natural habit for me. I did not appreciate food and the power it has to nourish our mind, body and soul. At times, I felt insecure and going into college I was ready for a positive change and for me that meant aligning my mind and my body.
N: Describe the moment (or moments) when you realized that it was time to take a new path and pursue health.
C: In beginning my new endeavors at UT, I was ready to begin a balanced lifestyle of moderation and gratitude for the foods I choose to nourish my body with. I focused on the goal of living a balanced lifestyle, one day at a time. And I understood, this goal was a positive lifestyle change that will take time. I chose this goal for me because in going off to a new state that is 1,300 miles from home, I feared I would lose sight of my priorities. Each morning I challenged myself to run beautiful Bayshore Boulevard at sunrise before my Microeconomics class that began at 8:30 a.m. I began listening to how my body feels after nourishing it. I lived by the 80/20 rule and my energy felt amazing. My freshman year at UT was so smooth, it was a year of self transformation, a year of becoming in touch with me, and a year of gratitude at a school that I worked so hard to get into. I felt so amazing and I was ready to spread this positive lesson to other individuals that are prepared to begin a new journey of their own, which is the reason I created an instagram featuring the foods I nourish my body with, recipes, and motivational messages.
N: What is one lesson you would like to share with other people who may be dealing with binge eating?
C: One lesson I would like to share to those who binge eat is challenge yourself to find an outlet that makes you feel alive! And choose to touch upon those passions when you are feeling stressed or down. Your mind will be freed if you choose to align your intentions of generating positivity in your life. Create priorities and remind yourself why choosing a healthy lifestyle creates happiness in your life. Discover these outlets, for me I love water color painting, helping other, exercising, reading, writing, immersing myself in nature and cooking bright beautiful meals.
N: What daily challenges do you face and how do you stay oriented toward your goals?
C: As humans it is part of our journey to endure challenges. Without challenges, our journey would not be nearly as eventful. I have learned that challenges are testing the individual to see how committed they are in doing what they love. And when we are hit, it is important to remain authentic, remind yourself why you are where you are, and react in the best way possible. I have learned that we all undergo different challenges at different times in our lives and what is so beautiful to me, is that we undergo these lessons so that we can help others with what we have learned and therefore positively impact each other. Sometimes, I receive doubts from others about my intentions and when I experience this challenge I remind myself that this lifestyle is what makes me feel so alive. It is who I am as a person and I believe we should all follow our passions in order to live the best life possible her on Earth. I also, undergo the challenge of uncertainty. Uncertainty has always played a large role in my life and what I have learned is that if you continue on with gratitude and accept what is, everything will flow into place from these positive actions.
N: How do you work on staying aligned with your goals everyday?
C: In order to stay oriented towards my goals, each morning when I wake up I write down Today’s Gratitude and Today’s Intentions. These simple actions allow me to continuously live a purposeful lifestyle. I also challenge myself to be the best version of myself that day. This often consists of being engaged, being present, and being grateful for a new day.
N: Who or what inspires you?
C: Growing up, my mom worked hard, a single mother with a red lipped smile that is truly contagious. Today, she continues to help children at Children’s Hospital in Boston. She loves her job, her commute, her colleagues and the children. Now, it is my time to be independent and ignite my passions each and every day. When I was five years old I wanted to be an astronaut because this idea of reaching for the stars inspired me. Just ten years later, my career desires shifted in 2013 – I knew I wanted to own my own business, under one circumstance and goal, this business must leave a positive impact on society. This idea of limitless potential forever inspires me. I love keeping options in life open, remaining optimistic taking risks and seeing what these experiences lead to. This past summer, I completed an internship with State Street Bank in Boston, Massachusetts. In one month I will begin my second summer at this internship and each day I am inspired to learn new knowledge and I practice aligning mind, body and soul over the course of a challenging schedule. Each day I make sure to touch upon my passions in order to continue this journey of balanced living. I am inspired to be the best version of myself every day. A downfall is not a defining moment, what defines you is how you choose to react: let it inspire you and choose to grow rather than allowing it to interrupt your journey. The mission I aim to spread is Stay Empowered!
N: Is there anything else you would like to share that I haven’t already asked about?
C: There are 3 books that really inspired me.
- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- The Power of Small by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval