Fitness guru and dancing queen Massy Arias proves to us that fit is the new sexy. Sharing uplifting words, she’s a woman with a heart of gold and on a mission to not only motivate people physically, but to build them up to be mentally and emotionally strong. Here, she tells us how she found happiness in being fit and in love, while building an empire of her own.
Cliché: Everyone does something that they consider to be an escape, so why is focusing on your fitness that outlet for you?
Massy Arias: Since exercise releases endorphins in your body that make you feel good, it is the tool I use to keep myself grounded, focused, and live an exciting life. I am always finding new ways of staying active and that means meeting new people, visiting new places I never thought I’d go to, and keeping my mind occupied while doing something positive. I usually end up doing things I’ve never done before and getting a kick out of them. There is never a day where I don’t meet someone I find really cool and have a great time. My day is full of positive energy and that’s why fitness is my escape to a happy place.
What was life like for you coming to the U.S. in comparison to being in the Dominican Republic?
Being that the majority of my family is back in the Dominican Republic, I think life was very hard. I had to adapt to a culture I wasn’t familiar with, and as a teenager, it was tough to overcome the insecurities that brings.
How would you describe your fitness journey?
My fitness journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been the most rewarding experience so far. I have had so many downs, but in those downs I have found that I am very strong-minded. My journey has been exciting, but it has definitely brought its challenges. It has given me purpose and continues to bring out the best in me.
You regularly post motivating words to your followers. What is the most important message you’re trying to send to them?
On a fitness level, I want them to always strive for progress and not perfection. When trying to reach any goals in fitness, many of us don’t take into consideration all the variables that influence overall physical progress. We want to believe in the idea of instant gratification and set unrealistic goals that are unsustainable.
I will give you a really good analogy that can be applied for different scenarios: If someone loses 1 pound a week, that is about 50 pounds in the year. Slow progress is still progress and obsessing over slow progress will only hinder your motivation to continue working towards your goals.
If you are really out of shape, you can start walking because walking will soon turn into jogging, then running, and finally you will be sprinting. Your body is a machine that adapts to the stress you put it through. Don’t get discouraged because you are not at the level you want to be yet. If you strive for progress, you will always stay positive because every day you are trying to become a better version than you were yesterday. Don’t quit because you’re not getting there as fast as you thought.
You’re constantly put into the category of “#bodygoals.” What exactly is your goal with your physique?
To be quite honest, I don’t think I have any aesthetic goals as of right now. Many of us do not realize that our bodies are actually a machine that adapts to whatever stress we put it through. So instead of focusing on an aesthetic goal that might hinder my motivation based on the time it might take me to get there, I am putting all my focus on my performance. By always improving on my performance, I know that my body will change accordingly. My goal is to stay healthy and, above all, happy.
A little birdy told me that you’re engaged! Congrats! Want to give us a little inside recap of your love story?
Yes, to Stefan. Ironically, we met on social media, but before the craziness of today. [Laughs] An online friend connected all of us in a group chat, trying to assemble a group of fit influencers. One day, Stefan decided to call me out of the blue and I decided to call him back. He was in Los Angeles, and I was in New York. We began texting, then speaking every day, and after a year, we knew we needed to meet. I took a flight to go meet a man I had never met before. As cliché as it sounds, it was love at first sight. We dated long-distance, coast to coast, for a year before we decided that we should be on the same coast. We then lived in New Jersey for a year, then returned to LA thereafter, where we still live today. We want to have a simple beach wedding this summer and make it official.
You’re more than just a fitness guru, but also a businesswoman. Can you touch a little on what you’ve been doing?
When I first started my own personal training business, I was focused solely on training clients in person. As my client listing and popularity grew, I realized how many people I wasn’t able to connect with. I started with an online system and ran it through my own website. In addition to working with clients online, I created The MA30Day system—my personal 4-week nutrition and workout program. Since it’s gone live, our clients have lost over 70,000 lbs collectively.
As my personal brand and social media presence continued to grow, I wanted to capitalize in a conscious way by helping guide others and teaching them my concepts. I saw many people promoting products and selling items that they didn’t believe in, and I knew it wasn’t for me. I’ve been patient and have built long-lasting professional relationships and partnerships that I feel strongly about. I’m currently a spokesperson for a plant-based supplement company, and have recently come out with my own series of products, which I am extremely excited about. I won’t ever work with a brand or represent a product that I don’t personally use or believe in. I have a few projects on the board for 2016, but I’m not sure I’m ready to share those just yet. [Winks]
You’ve been through a lot of trials and tribulations in life. What advice would you give those who feel like they’ve hit rock bottom?
My advice to those who are hitting rock bottom is to embrace whatever they are going through instead of sinking deeper into it. Once you embrace your situation, you can start seeking the help of those who love you unconditionally. Your friends and you family can be of tremendous help, but only if they are aware of what you are going through. Know that in every situation in life, there is room to grow and to learn. That is extremely important. If we can look at our past mistakes as lessons, we will realize that failure is another form of learning how to get better at whatever is that is holding us back.
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Massy Arias Proves She is a Beauty and a Beast: Photographed by Paul Smith