Connect with Mae
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Mae Alexis made it her life mission in 2017 to begin moving, eating and thinking like she loved herself. In 2020, she made it her mission to help women and men all over the world start doing the same. Mae recently published a self-love workbook titled 28 Days of Sunshine and had launched various fitness, nutrition and personal growth programs, guides and courses. You can learn more at Nanalacove.com or follow Mae on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, to name a few.
Can you tell us what happened five years ago that made you radically transform the way you move, eat, and think? What was your “aha” moment?
I really just had low self-esteem. I started working and that was around the time I started working in person, because I was doing stuff online at that point. I had an online baby boutique, but then I feel like it wasn’t successful because I didn’t have the self-confidence and self-awareness. And so I just got, well, I got a job at a gym, which was me returning to the gym, but I had worked at a gym previously. Like that’s basically all my in-person jobs have been at gyms. But I got back into fitness, like really into it this time and then nutrition and I learned how to eat like I love myself. I wasn’t eating the right thing at all. I had no idea what I was doing back then. I learned that moving, like I felt really strong and empowered, like strength training, doing yoga as well.
I just wanted to feel better about myself. And I also have battled with depression and anxiety my whole life to the point that I was actually put into a rehab and put on antidepressants, mood stabilizers when I was 16 years old. And I wanted to be able to overcome that once and for all. I feel like the exercise and the nutrition like those were the first steps, but then I wanted to grow my mind. And so then I got really deep into personal development. And then as I was starting to train clients, like personal training clients, we would just start talking and I would learn a lot from them. They would learn a lot from me and it’s just been a growth process. It was actually Rob Dial Jr that I first like got into listening. He’s known as The Mindset Mentor. And that was like radically life changing for me once I started listening to that and I guess I’m like trying to kind of follow in his footsteps in a way, but with my own flare.
You describe your approach to coaching and services as holistic. So can you tell us about this approach and how it might differ from traditional coaching?
In terms of it being holistic it’s because I want to help people think in ways that are serving them. Not just like whenever people, it started from being a personal trainer and I saw all these people coming to me and they wanted to get in shape and they wanted to be fit. But what they really wanted was to feel good about themselves and to feel self confident and they didn’t have the motivation. They didn’t have the self discipline to stick with it and see it through. And they didn’t really, I feel like they didn’t really truly believe in their ability to even obtain it much less maintain and keep it and continue to grow from there. So I don’t know. I’ve had so many personal training clients and the ones that are the most successful are the ones that approach it from a holistic mindset. Like they want to be stronger in body and mind and they’re doing it because they love themselves or they want to fall in love with themselves.
One part of your approach that stood out to me, because I’m really interested in it, is nutrition. Can you describe your approach to nutrition in terms of how it fits into your holistic approach? Because you talk about avoiding fad diets, unhealthy eating habits and I’m really interested in that.
That’s something I’ve seen, not only with clients, but with family members, they’ll want a lose weight, quick fix. And oftentimes they achieve it, but then it’s like, it messes them up mentally. It messes with their hormones. It messes with their ability to like, it messes with their metabolism. So they would be better off if they had never even done the fad diet in the first place, really because it creates this unhealthy relationship with food. It creates this idea that they can only look the way they want to, if they are restricting themselves.
If they’re like, basically it’s like punishing yourself and that’s not eating in a way that is like loving yourself. That’s not acting in a way that’s loving yourself. It’s like a form of self-hatred and self-harm to me.
I’m interested also in your 28 Days of Sunshine. Can you tell us about the guided journal you created?
It was around the time of quarantine and this is when I think it was after I left my job at the gym and started my own business. And well, I used to be, I don’t know if I should bring religion into this, but okay. So I used to be like a hardcore Christian. I’m actually now a spiritual agnostic, but when I was a hardcore Christian, I read the Bible back to back two times and I loved daily devotionals, like Fireproof, Love Dare. Oh, oh it was Love Dare. That was the one that stood out the most. But I would have daily devotionals and my Nana loved daily devotionals. And my business was like a tribute to her. And it was me doing what, like one of her final dying wishes were to me to start my business back up, which is different than the business she was talking about.
It’s a business that feels like it’s the one that I’m meant to be doing. So the 28 Days of Sunshine is like a daily devotional to yourself, but without the confines of like Christianity or Buddhism or religion in general. So it’s just about getting closer to yourself, understanding why you do the things you do, also developing self care habits. So there’s a checklist. I’ve always thrived on having checklists. I’ve always thrived on having a challenge that has a certain and time limit. So you’re not like saying I’m going to do this for the next two years, which is kind of goes against the fad diet thing I was talking about before. But whenever it comes to mental, mental growth, I feel like it’s good to have it like, “I’m going to start doing this.”
And then you are able [to say], “I’m going to start doing this for, say 28 days” and then you’re able to decide what you want to keep doing like continuously. And you’re able to learn what works for you and what doesn’t work for you by doing challenges like that. And then this 28 Days of Sunshine also encourages people to just get moving on a daily basis for 28 days. And it gets them eating. Just, I tell them to follow a diet that they want to follow, but I encourage them not to do like a fad diet with that. And then also it encourages meditation, which has been life changing for me once I started doing meditation daily. So just to get them doing that for 28 days, see how they feel. And the goal is that they’re going to get through those 28 days and then going to continue doing the things that they noticed were like making a significant improvement in their mental and physical health.
I’m with you on meditation. The hardest part for me is just doing it. But it’s one of those things you always are thankful that you did it. So why is it so hard to start?
Yeah. I love guided meditation.
Absolutely. I need them. I need guidance in that or else my mind [goes racing]. So in a recent article I was reading on your site, you talk about the moment you realized, or were first called an influencer. Can you tell us about that moment?
That moment, well, it was after, well, I love Amazon. I don’t know who doesn’t really love Amazon and I was already a part of their Amazon Associates Program, but then I realized I had over 10,000 followers on Facebook now. So actually I was eligible to apply for the influencer, like storefront on there. And I didn’t even think about what it really meant, but they accepted me obviously. And then I don’t think I like, I didn’t post publicly about it really, but I told my dad, I was excited. I got accepted into this program from Amazon. I don’t think I even called it like an influencer program because I was still in the mindset that I’m not an influencer. I could never be one of those people. And then he posted it, he reposted it on Facebook and he was like, look, she’s an influencer now or she’s officially an influencer. And then I was like, oh, I guess I am.
And then I looked at my other social media and those were all growing like a lot. And then other people started calling me. They’re like, oh, you’re basically an influencer now. And then I realized that I could probably impact more people by being an influencer rather than putting myself in the box of like, I’m just a health and fitness or like holistic health coach, is what I was calling myself before.
Can you think of a favorite brand collaboration or two to date that you’ve had?
Well, I love the blog posts like, writing. It actually motivates me to write a blog post because I love writing, but it was so like for a year I was doing it every week. I was doing all the SEO research and then I would just go, I would write really long articles, but it seems like most of the blog posts that I’ve seen for collabs, they’re pretty short. And then it’s like, it just comes so naturally to me. So I love doing that and helping build other companies too and bringing awareness to other companies and other I guess, influencers or brands, et cetera.
What are some of your goals for the remainder of the year?
So I was a personal trainer and I was still training clients in person, but I always wanted to move to like remote training, but I felt like I wasn’t able, it wasn’t the same. But then someone approached me and they said, can you just write me a program? I’ll pay you this much and I’ll do it. If you tell me to do it, I’ll do it. And I told them like, if they do it, most of the clients that have been doing that, they’re losing like two pounds a week. And then they’re also building strength, building muscle. So that’s something new that I’m offering and I’m offering like a one month program. So I will still like meet with them, but then they’re going to be kind of on their own doing it. So that’s the thing that I really like to expand on. And then also I just love making content. So just keep doing that.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the co-host of the Influencer Spotlight series.