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Life is a marathon: Why fitness influencer Sandy Lin wants us to keep it pushin’

At the top of each new year, a lot of us create resolutions to become healthier and more fit than the year before.

Yet, that initial motivation often fizzles out as February creeps up. Sometimes you need a life coach’s journey to help inspire that motivation.

So, I hit up Sandy Lin, personal trainer, model, and overall lifestyle influencer to help us stay focused.

Former athlete turned trainer


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During our interview, I asked Sandy what made her decide to get into fitness. Sandy’s passion for fitness began during her time in high school being on the cross country and soccer teams.

“I always enjoyed how my coaches would motivate me to do better and want to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday.”

Sandy continued,

“So I feel like in that sense I always got this social aspect of wanting to help other people or help them recognize that they can eventually do it on their own.”


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Sandy is well aware of the misconceptions people have about wellness and fitness. She lists several phenomena that her clients and the population at large often experience. She mentions fad diets but also cleanses as unreliable and unsustainable wellness practices.

“People see this as “oh I need to go on this juice cleanse or a gluten-free cleanse and then two weeks later they’re eating everything they have in the fridge.”

Instead Sandy recommends moderation when it comes to healthy eating,

“Don’t cut anything out unless you have an allergy.”

Lin also explained how viewing wellness as a singular challenge or goal to overcome once can be hurtful and lead people to “these one-and-done cleanse fixes” and strict month-long diets.

Instead Sandy recommends viewing fitness and wellness “more like a marathon, not a short term diet.”

Life coach over fitness influencer


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The former athlete knows that it can be difficult to stay on track and even more difficult if you haven’t worked out for several years.

“The energy and mental capacity that comes with that. It’s not easy to start for people who haven’t worked out in 8-10 years and then. Now they’re making a complete life switch.”

Her approach is to establish herself as a life coach rather than just a better fitness influencer. Sandy shared some of the conversations she starts off with when meeting clients.

“Like okay you have these habits, but we can work on them.”

Sandy explained that as a life coach she also places a big emphasis on self-image and provides practical plans to achieve both better health and wellness habits as well as positively affecting self-image.

“I have some clients who think very negatively about their bodies and I’m starting to help them realize and transition into having a positive body image of themselves and really envision down the line what full self-love feels like…”

Sandy continued,

“Working incrementally, like this month we’re going to help you build two pounds of muscle. And they look back on their pictures from last month and they’re like ‘oh wow, there’s a difference.'”

Mental health, fitness, and the stresses of work

Sandy is well aware that exercise and eating well are not behaviors that exist within a vacuum. Mental health is a crucial piece of our day to day decision making and motivations.

The fitness trainer recognizes that people often place work as their primary focus and unfortunately become so stressed that finding the time and motivation to work out and actively eat well can be difficult.

“I have some clients that have dedicated 10-20 yrs to their work and now they have health issues because they didn’t sort it out when it was a small problem.”

She herself as experienced this stress as a professional trainer. In her previous job, Sandy was a trainer at a big fitness corporation. She felt the environment was too competitive to fit her purpose.

She was working from 5 am to 9 or 10 pm on most days. This went on for over six months and Sandy was getting burnt out.

“I think it’s all about kind of finding your own niche or purpose. Like who are you trying to help and why are you trying to help them? What’s your purpose in your occupation.”


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After realizing she was in a negative space, she decided to take time off to refresh and quit that job.

Getting out of a toxic work environment

“And now the place I work, it’s my own pace, my own schedule.”

After re-evaluating what was most important to Sandy in her career, she found a job that aligned with that. She shared some advice to trainers or really anyone who feels stuck in a job that they don’t feel is for them.

“I would recommend for people to realize why they’re doing what they’re doing. What purpose do they serve? What value do they think they can bring to their occupation that they’re in?”

Sandy also emphasized the power of saying “no.” As up-and-coming professionals, we feel we need to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way.

But Sandy points out that you cannot give your energy and focus on too many opportunities at once.

“If I have 10 opportunities I can’t say yes to all of them because I’m gonna burn myself out. I have to figure out which one is the most time-efficient, cost-efficient and I can show up and be present for my clients.”


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Some of these opportunities extend beyond being a fitness and wellness influencer. Sandy is also a model. I asked her how she ended up juggling so many roles.

“I always knew that I was going to do different things and have different roles. I know that I enjoy this and how can I do all of it and try to do it well?”

Sandy’s favorite part about having multiple jobs is its flexibility, something her previous job seriously lacked. Her least favorite part is the uncertainty.

The life coach’s fitness routine

Finding a good work-life balance is important, but within that, you must find a good exercise balance. Burn out can happen with working out too.

The general rule is don’t do too much. Sandy considered doing powerlifting or intense bodybuilding for her workouts.

Still, she decided against it because although those are good workouts, your body will reach capacity and its not sustainable as a long term practice into late adulthood.

“I wanted something sustainable for my everyday life and so now I work out 3-4x a week and I also take classes and do yoga when I get the chance.”

Sandy continued,

“I think it took me a while to come to that point where I was like, ‘oh I don’t need to work out six times a week, I can work out three or four times a week and still feel like it was a productive week.”

Getting that basic workout in can dramatically change your mood, mental clarity, and new energy blooms. Sandy has seen this with both herself and clients.

“My clients tell me wow I have so much energy now. My mental capacity is altered, it’s widened because of all the energy I have.”

Run yo laps! Life is a marathon

Sandy’s advice for those looking to make the lifestyle switch into a healthy and fit routine is separated into three easy to digest questions.

1. What are your healthy and unhealthy habits and come to terms with these habits?

2. Can you exchange one bad habit for another good habit you practice?

3. What’s an action plan you can create for this habit?

When it comes to taking action on changing these habits Sandy says, “you don’t need to do 10 of them at once, you don’t even need to do three of them at once. Just do one.”

One thing to keep in mind — be kind to yourself. Sandy says, “even if you mess up, just don’t beat yourself up and then just keep living and working out.”

The overall message is to start small and keep it pushing despite any obstacles. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.