Tania Atkin has spent a lifetime learning to put the important things first, and now she’s helping others to find their balance.
Combining her Passions
I’ve been in the fitness industry for 27 years. I’m an integrative fitness and health coach—my passion strayed from clinical practice and led me to integrate my fitness career and my professional experience to provide complete coaching for women.
My work with coaching and fitness is very much focused on women who are ready and want to make a change in their health, mood, and physique. We work on switching mindset and perspective, identifying obstacles and choosing the right path through knowledge, nutrition, and life balance; I give direction, and I make my clients accountable for their progress and success.
I prioritize flexibility in my work, depending on my family’s needs and my own personal fitness. I book my clients according to my family life. Managing work, family, and competitions can be tricky! What I’ve learned over the years is that burning your flame at both ends, being overworked, over-trained, and feeling resentful toward your schedule does no one any good; in fact, it has terrible physiological and emotional effects. Therefore, I prioritize balance in my life.
If I’m not helping others in need or working out, I’m with my two amazing sons and my beautiful husband. Literally, relaxing for me is doing nothing but being present. Sitting in a Muskoka chair with a probiotic drink, watching my youngest son play outside and my oldest work on his car.
An Early Start
I was always highly competitive, and I started tumbling at a very young age. Regretfully, after achieving much success in gymnastics, I decided to quit at 15 years old due to a priority shift in my life. I was a teenager, after all! I suppose that because I quit competitive gymnastics very regretfully, I always had the continued urge to compete. At 19 years old, I began training for the Ms. Fitness Canada Series, and I’ve been competing ever since then.
My fitness and diet routines were extremely different then. When I first started in fitness, in the 1990s, it was the peak of the Gold’s Gym era and bodybuilding, so everything was done in excess and to extremes. That meant excessive unhealthy dieting, as well as excessive training and supplementation. There was very little regard for health and longevity in the sport.
Now, I follow a macro-based eating program, and my macronutrients change according to whether I’m prepping, trying to gain muscle, or leaning out for a photoshoot. Every Saturday, I do a “free-from-tracking day,” and I do not input my macros into my app. This doesn’t mean I binge or cheat all day—it means that I free my mind from having to track food and I trust myself to eat the right amounts.
The only time my lifestyle wavered was when I became very ill and was told that I would never be able to compete or train again…but that is a whole other story! At that point, I made some very hard career and life decisions, changed my lifestyle, meditated, and defeated the medical model. I stepped back on stage after this period in my life, about four years ago.
This may sound odd, but when I’m going at my hardest, I turn inward to myself and my spirituality to keep me driven and strong. I am very intrinsically motivated. I do not really rely on anyone else, especially during peak moments. However, with that said, my husband is my only rock.
Rest and Reward
To me, success is defined by a person achieving balance among their inner life, their physical wellness, and their physique goals. Success is measured by change, small or big. Often, when I know the time frame of completing my goal, I reserve a spa getaway with my husband for a night or two. We hike, work out, get spa treatments, and eat a beautiful dinner. If a getaway is not possible, I always indulge in something else like a facial and body treatment, hot yoga, or an infrared light pod.
Consistency and tenacity through adversity are the keys in every aspect of your life, especially with regards to training and nutrition. Prioritize yourself first, so that you’re sure to have the opportunity to be the best partner, professional, parent, and athlete. Let go of all that guilt; it is a useless emotion that wreaks havoc on your body. And finally, become passionate about something in your life. Do things that scare the hell out of you, so you can grow. It’s okay to not be perfect..
Photos By PETER MICHAILIDIS Follow (@6IXMODELS)