Episode 22: Neghar Fonooni on Empowering Women to Thrive Both Physically and Emotionally

     Neghar Fonooni is a fitness coach, motivational speaker, veteran, and a writer. She wants to teach women how to ‘love their bodies and empower their lives.’ She has put together a 12-week program dedicated to helping women love the lives they are living. Her background as an Arabic Linguist in the US Air Force, years of personal training, and love for nutrition provide her with a unique background to help women reach their goals.

Neghar’s Background…3:05
- Neghar has been in fitness industry since 2000 and her methods have evolved over the years. She started with a very one-dimension mindset and it has slowly transformed into different ways of training and nutrition.
- She started personal training in a gym and now works primarily online and offers programs exclusively for women (occasionally men). Her focus is on empowering women.
- Neghar’s history of disordered eating allowed her to reach people and has led her to the platform she is on today. She thinks food and fitness should add value, not control your life and take you away from the present. Consistency and adaptability are key to making a nutritious and a healthy lifestyle work.
- It is important to keep in mind that transitioning from a restrictive diet/mindset does not happen over night. It takes time and patience to release the control that food has over you.

Journey in the Air Force…11:00
- Both of Neg’s parents are immigrants. She was raised with the idea that being in the US was a privilege. Throughout her life, these values led her to be very patriotic. 
- In college, Neghar knew she wanted to be a writer but when 9/11 happened, she joined the Air Force with the intentions of becoming a linguist. She served for four years and chose to not reenlist to raise her son. Her time in the service is something she is very proud of and wouldn’t trade it!

Transitioning from being inside the gym to online programs…16:55
- Neghar worked at a gym and would teach classes and do an occasional online consultation. However, at the gym there was not much creativity for her to have. As an outlet, she maintained a blog. Over the years and while obtaining different certifications, other trainers started sharing her blog. Her website started to grow and then she announced online coaching programs.

Online Programs…22:10
- This is a 12 week, digital program that is limited to 20-30 women. What makes it unique is the fact that there is a lot of interaction between each other. This is done via private social media groups which allows a safe and supportive space
- There are different topics each week; self-love, healthy boundaries, respond vs. react, self-care. It is a mindset program with a fitness foundation because exercise is a prerequisite to dealing with emotional barriers. Neghar says that staying active is the most important form of self-care.

What results have you seen?…25:15
- A whole week is spent on energy management; how to make sure you are properly fueled in the sense of how you are connecting to yourself and others. 
- One thing that many women are taking away from the program is the practice of a morning ritual. Women are natural nurturers and they put aside their own needs to care for others. When they have alone time or that ritual to look forward to, they have that time for themselves which in turn makes them better for those around them.

One piece of advice for a busy person…27:55
- Wake up fifteen minutes earlier. Take that time for yourself and you alone. Don’t let others interrupt that time!


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