Autumn Dickens is a blogger / YouTuber whose mission is to inspire women to live healthier and more active lives all while loving their bodies. She uses her platforms to provide healthy tips and motivational keys to successfully creating a lifestyle change. “I want women to approach health and fitness holistically because essentially you can’t really be successful without both your health and fitness working together. My aim is for women to stop restricting and punishing their body to fit a certain ideal and to just make their own rules and take care of their bodies the right way,” Autumn says.
Everyone’s journey to fitness is different. Autumn’s story starts with a period of feeling insecure about her body and seeking guidance on how to better her. It wasn’t until recently that she had a huge revelation. “Last year, I read The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells and something just clicked. It was my ‘aha’ moment. After years of struggling with my body image and weight I had gotten so caught up with needing to look and be a certain way to the point, where I didn’t know who I really was. I was doing crazy diets, had horrible eating habits and a really bad body image. After reading the book, which I highly recommend, I realized how horrible I was treating my body by restricting it just because I wanted to “look” a certain way. After some thinking, I decided that I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted balance. I wanted to feed my body properly and take care of it. Not restrict it or punish. That’s what I’ve been striving to do ever since,” Autumn explains.
With every journey come obstacles. Autumn faced a few of her own. Autumn struggled with body image early on. It got so bad that even when she tried to make a change, her body image held her back a bit. “I had struggled so much with my body image that it made me make so many horrible choices. I’ve fallen for so many crazy diet gimmicks and societal pressures, so I thought I could help other women avoid all of that by telling my story. Not only that, I could also tell them how to avoid it and make better decisions,” Autumn says.
Once Autumn was able to get on the right track with her diet, staying disciplined became the next obstacle. It can be hard to stick to something especially early on because it involves a great deal of self-motivation. This is what troubled Autumn early on. “The most challenging part is starting and being disciplined about it. It’s one thing to be motivated to go workout but a whole other thing to actually be disciplined. Motivation is fleeting and can be dependent on how you feel at the moment. When you’re disciplined, you know you have no choice but to do it. It becomes part of your daily routine and essentially something you automatically just get up and do. And it’s tough to get to that point. But you have to continually work to make it a habit. On top of that, you gotta make fun and that’s also tough to do,” Autumn states.
Mastering how to stay discipline, the next challenge Autumn faced was trying to decide how to spread the word. She wanted to share her story with others and inspire them. “After being so lost about what I wanted to do with my life and my blog, I finally decided to just get to the roots of it all. I realized that I needed to start telling my story and helping people through my past struggles. So I made it a point to really sit down and just think about how I could help people,” Autumn says.
Autumn chose to share her story using video blogs. Vlogging was a great platform for what she had in mind. Not only is it something she loves to do, but it also allows for a more intimate experience for her audience. “I have been loving creating videos! I’ve always been a fan of vloggers on YouTube and really loved seeing their daily lives and really getting to know them. So I thought it would just be something fun to do on the side, just another creative outlet. And I fell in love. Not only with sharing my daily life and workouts but I love editing and getting creative with putting it all together. Now, it’s become more than a hobby and has been one of my main focuses for this year. I love being able to really share my personality and doing it through video is so much fun,” Autumn says.
“I just want women to know that fitness doesn’t come in one size. You don’t need a buff body, chiseled abs or be a patron saint of the Whole 30 or other popular diets in order to live a healthy life. The key is balance and making sure that your health and fitness fits into your life and is sustainable.
You have to look at your personal goals and your lifestyle and decide what’s best for you. And don’t get caught up with looks so much. Our bodies react to exercise differently so of course we’re all going to look different. I have hips I’ll probably never get rid of, and that’s okay, because that doesn’t determine my level of fitness and my ability to smash it out in the gym. So just do you, and give it your all.”
What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?
The three pieces of equipment that everyone should own are a foam roller, resistance bands and a good pair of training shoes. These three have definitely become my essentials to a successful fitness routine.
What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?
My go-to snacks are my favorite fruits, green apples, bananas and blueberries, I love making quick smoothies mixed with fruits and veggies and this little salami and cheese pack thing I like to get from Trader Joe’s. So yummy and convenient, which I am 100% about.
What’s your beliefs on performance diet like? Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet (example: Paleo, Gluten free, etc…)?
When it comes to dieting, I’m all about balance. I’ve tried so many diets in the past and to be honest they made me miserable. So after a ton of experimenting and dabbling, I’ve come to the conclusion that my body thrives from balance. I don’t like to restrict myself of anything but I also don’t go overboard either. My body craves healthy food so that’s what I give it 90% of the time. And when it’s wanting something sweet, my weakness are donuts, I either get it or I make a healthier alternative, which is much more fun.
Can you share a workout session that you routinely do in the gym?
I love a good plyometric glute workout. Plyos are my favorite because they’re simple and can be done anywhere with or without equipment. Here’s my go-to glute workout:
20 Jump Squats
12-15 Glute bridges
12-15 Glute Kickbacks
12-15 360 Squat Jumps
20 Pile Pulses
And I repeat that entire workout three times. It’s a killer!