Fabiana Pereira Pessoa Dorea

Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I’m the youngest of 2 and had a wonderful, active life whilst growing up in Brazil. Sports, fitness and nutrition were always a part of my life. I’m very outgoing and competitive and that lead to my interest in practicing group sports such as volleyball, basketball and soccer, but my real passion was modern dance.

Prior to pursuing my LLM degree in London in 2010, I graduated and worked as a lawyer in Brazil.My first impression when I arrived in London was how unhealthy people seemed to be in general, but specifically in the corporate environment. Not only were people living under pressure and stress, but literally digging their graves with their knives and forks. The thing is, in 2010 the awareness around wellbeing and having a healthy lifestyle was almost non-existent.

I started by slowly introducing changes around the office and showing my colleagues new ideas of easy and quick recipes (since lack of time is one of the biggest excuses for corporate people). For example, Fridays was treat day, so instead of bringing doughnuts, cakes, chocolate, which would be the norm, I would bring a flourless cinnamon banana cake. Slowly they bought the idea and further down the line I was giving them diet and exercise plans. One of my colleagues lost 15 kg!

With time I decided to create an Instagram account with my exercise and diet tips to serve as a source of motivation for those interested in taking on this lifestyle. I wanted to show that lack of time is not an excuse and if I could find time so could anyone else! After all, I am a full-time lawyer in a career transition, living by myself and undergoing a diploma as a Transformational life coach, having 10 coaches under my belt and still finding time to hit the gym and feed my social media! PHEW!

Having found purpose and meaning in helping people achieve their personal best in any area of their lives, I’m now at the turning point of putting aside my 10 years of corporate experience to dedicate myself exclusively and entirely to Life Coaching.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

As Cliché as it may sound, fitness for me is a lifestyle. It’s such a natural part of my being that I don’t really think about it. It’s more than a habit. For me it’s a moment of joy, it’s that one hour that I present myself daily to take care of my physical body, to take care of my soul (through yoga and meditation), to treat my body with love and respect by feeding it right, to feel energetically, emotionally and physically healthy and balanced. Everyday I make this conscious choice: I wake up, I meditate, I crack on with my day, I feed my body correctly and I listen to it and then I present myself with one hour of exercise, meditation, yoga and even a massage if that’s what I need!

How long have you been into fitness and how did you get into fitness?

Fitness has always been a part of my life. I started sports at an early age (swimming when I was 4). I was severely injured at the age of 18 which really took its toll on me. I was unable to pursue my true passion of modern dancing. I had to give my body time to heal which was hard due to my active lifestyle and this led me to a new passion which is hitting the gym.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

Since I was involved in competitive sports and activities, I always took it seriously but at the same time in a very fun and joyful way. However, when I was 16, I went to Australia as an exchange student for 1 year. During this year I completely neglected my body by not exercising and comfort eating. As a result I gained weight, felt emotionally drained, my self image and confidence were destroyed and I felt trapped on a vicious cycle: the more I felt bad about myself, the more I resorted to comfort food and binge eating.

When I returned to Brazil, I decided to put my life back on track and promised myself I wouldn’t revisit that dark space ever again.

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness and sports in general had and has a huge impact in my life. Being part of a team taught me the importance of never underestimating the adversary, the importance of discipline and respect to yourself and others.

Being a ballerina taught me about commitment and self-discipline. It taught me to listen to my body and go beyond my self-imposed ‘limitations’. It taught me that I could achieve anything I set myself for and that when body and mind works together, the sky is not the limit anymore!

Today fitness for me is a self-love practice. It’s a way I find to be kind to myself, to nurture, thank my body, my mind and my soul.

I say it to myself mentally: Thank you for being healthy and full of energy, for baring those 10 hours looking at a computer screen, now I will reward you, what is it that you feel like doing today’? As crazy as it may seem, it works, well at least for me!

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Every journey starts with a single step. Don’t wait until you have a better understanding about fitness, don’t wait for advices and don’t wait for tomorrow, just start. Put your trainers on and go for a walk, join the gym or start by taking some classes or just turn the music up and start moving your body! Whatever your fitness level is, there’s always something for you!

Don’t compare yourself to others. We all have our own path and story. Be the author of your life. What’s YOUR story?

Associate fitness with something fun and joyful, not an obligation or chore. Start by implementing small changes in your routine. For example, instead of taking the bus to the supermarket, try walking. Something is better than nothing and I guarantee that once you start seeing the benefits of doing something truly for yourself, you will realise that nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

Instagram: @fabi_dorea

(W)holistic coach and Corporate lawyer

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