Boss Babe: MaryKate Schmidt
Introducing a new series to this bloggity: Boss Babes! One thing I love about the blogging community is meeting incredible, strong, beautiful, courageous and wildly talented, smart, innovative, entrepreneurial boss babes, chief chicas, inspiring women. Every month, I'm going to spotlight one of these incredible role models and share a little bit about what makes them amazing.
This month’s babe is a true inspiration and definition of fitness motivation! MaryKate Schmidt, known on Instagram as Froyo to Fitness, has a page full of wellness tips, workouts and self love. She shows that anyone can make small tweaks to live healthier and happier. Read on to hear more about this Boss Babe!
1) You are the creator of Froyo to Fitness, a wellness blog and program empowering women to live a healthy realistic life. Tell us more about what you do and your FTF The Movement Guide.
Yes, 100%!! I created FTF to empower women to feel like their best self! After struggling with yoyo dieting, weight gain, anxiety, etc I found that the combo of a healthy diet and exercise was a way for me to live my best life and I wanted to motivate other women to do the same. For me, the biggest desire was to be apart of something bigger and knew I wasn't alone in my journey so community became my center focus. I wanted to create a community where everyone felt their voice was heard and they knew they had someone by their side so I created the FTF Movement in May 2018. The 12 week guide focuses on 5 days of lifting in addition to cardio and HIIT sessions that progress over the course of the 12 weeks. Along with the program is a moves guide, videos on my website, and access to the facebook group so they can chat with all other FTF gals. I found such success with the movement that I decided to launch my Falling in Love with You Challenge in November and have had amazing feedback. Lastly, I've hosted several events in Chicago where my following and all my FTF Babes could meet and sweat together --- at the end of the day community is everything to me and I'm so thankful to have found so many amazing women around the world!
2) How did you get into fitness?
My whole life I've been an athlete even making it to the Division 1 collegiate level in volleyball, so I've always been in a gym. For me, the biggest struggle was eating. I was always on/off, restarting, and feeling guilty about my eating habits. In April 2015 I quit my job and had two weeks off before another job would relocate me from Chicago to Scottsdale, Arizona so I took that time to start Kayla Itsines BBG program. I started to see amazing results, created my fitness instagram, was lucky to be featured by Kayla, Cosmopolitan and several other magazines that I saw it as a sign from God that this was my calling. For awhile, I tried to fight it and thought no you have to keep working and be a real person, but then one day I said enough! I was on a plane ride for work when I decided I was going to launch my own fitness program. I put out a message on my Instagram story asking if any girls were interested in working with me for free --- I honestly thought I'd get 10 messages. Before I knew it I had 200 DMS that I had to read through (I was shocked)! I started to read them one by one and soon realized every girl has a story --- I was in awe how all these women were from such different backgrounds but wanted the same thing - to feel happy, confident, strong, fit, you name it! I found 5 girls that really resonated with me and put them on my 12 week program. When they saw amazing results I knew I had enough credibility to go live so in May 2018 I launched the FTF Movement and since have had 1,000s of girls globally sign up! I truly am changing lives every day and I couldn't be more thankful for each and every single women I've motivated.
3) Tell us more about your day-to-day, is Froyo to Fitness your full-time job?
I work full time in medical devices. I was a spine rep for 3 years where I spent 8-14 hours in the operating room -- yes, it was exhausting .. and I've since moved into a different a more patient focused role. In regards to FTF, I manage a lot of my activity at night and on the weekends because my time is limited during the day. I usually stay in on Friday nights to get things done or I'll wake up super early so I can manage every thing. When I am working on FTF a lot of my day focuses on responding to my following, compiling posts, working with brands to schedule events/collabs, shooting content with my photographer, or making videos for my website.
4) What advice would you give to other women looking to get into fitness?
Not to be cliche but just do it. The timing doesn't have to be perfect, you don't have to know everything, you just need to jump in. I didn't have a plan, I didn't have the most amazing body, all I did was speak my truth and go after what I want. If you believe in you everyone will believe in you!
5) What is the hardest thing/most challenging thing about managing Froyo to Fitness?
Mmmm I'd say time management and being present. I'm someone that has pretty good time management skills, but with this you always want to be on; aka responding to people, planning your posts, thinking of new topics to talk about, shooting content, staying creative, being innovative, etc. so there is a lot that goes into it! Also, being present is HUGE! I'll find myself responding to emails in the bathroom at dinners with friends, and always wanting to be on my phone when you really need to focus on what is right in front of you!
6) What is your favorite thing about being a wellness blogger?
I love the COMMUNITY! As you get older you realize how important time is. It's precious - between working, errands, socializing, taking care of yourself, etc there really isn't that much time in a day and you really start to appreciate how you spend it. You always begin to see what you really have in common with people and what actually really interest you. I obviously love my friends that I created years ago but since entering the wellness space my interest have obviously changed so being able to surround myself with a community that feels the same way makes me at ease that I'm not the only one that loves eating well and working out!
7) Go back to college graduation: what would you tell yourself?
Honest answer: I'd tell myself in darkness there is always light and if you keep fighting you will prevail. At that time I was in a very low place and this is something I constantly had to remind myself -- you are in control of how you think, feel, and react!
8) How do you find inspiration?
I've always been very self-motivated so getting to the gym for me is no problem. When it comes to running a business, and a brand I look on instagram to see what other girls are doing so I can learn from them. This is all new to me so I try to connect with as many female entrepreneurs as I can to learn from them. Specifically, I even started my own EMPOWER Hour with my friend Morgan Raphael (Bunundone) where we created a safe space for female entrepreneurs in health, wellness, fashion, small businesses etc to connect in Chicago --- it's been amazing to hear everyones stories and learn from them without feeling judged!
9) Who is your role model?
Hmm this is a hard question, but I honestly always look up to my oldest sister Jill. She's a mom of three, a wife, and works full time in a male dominated industry holding a leadership position. She is always putting other people first but somehow manages to make it to everything and make life look so simple. She's the leader of her house and I envy her selflessness and dedication.
Favorite TV Show: I'm weird and don't watch TV but I have binged hard on Gossip Girl back in the day
Favorite healthy snack: fage greek yogurt with almond butter and dark chocolate
Favorite workout: heavy lifting for sure
Favorite phone app: instagram woops
Favorite Boss Babe on Instagram: Kelsey Wells (DUH)
Favorite activewear brand: Lulu Lemon or Athleta
Best way to spend a Saturday: wake up no alarm, coffee in bed, long workout, followed up by a misto, brunch, trader joes, a walk outside, a little shopping, and a nice dinner with my boyfriend or friends