"Sweat It Out" with I'sha Gaines
I have known I’sha for years! We are both members of the illustrious Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; we are both educators and entrepreneurs. But, I’sha definitely inspires y’all. Not only is she the creator and editor to HoneyBeNatural Mag , which is a lifestyle magazine dedicated to the empowerment of self love. The mission, “use media as a positive tool for growth for all readers as well as the communities around them.” Who can’t get down with that? She also has a clothing line, Human , that further endorses her cause and mission of understanding and all positive everything. I’sha also serves as the CreateHER Stock creative director, which is a platform that provides stock images with an authentic feel. Oh, and did I mention that she is an amazing photographer too? So good that she teaches photography at a local high school, hosts seminars to teach begineers how to enhace their craft, and will be taking her talents to SXSW to shoot the Create & Cultivate Pop Up!
It has been an honor to watch her transform into a woman that I genuinely look up to and for that reason I wanted to make sure to introduce her to you guys so that you can get a dose of I’sha in your life as well. Sweat It Out is more than just your gym junkies and yogis, we want to highlight people that are pursuing fitness on their terms, doing it their way.
What is your favorite way to sweat and what made you fall in love with it?
Pole Fitness! I fell in love with the challenge, mental and upper body strength needed in pole fitness about a year ago! A few years back, a friend a mine who graduated from my college used to post her pole videos on Facebook. Although I wasn't sold on the idea of pole fitness yet, I loved how excited she was about pole competitions and eventually becoming a teacher. I guess subconsciously I was motivated, impressed and interested, but didn't act on it until last year. I reached out to her and she got me started at Zensual Dance Fitness where I was taught the foundation of pole fitness and all of its gloriousness! I've recently transitioned to another studio that's closer to my house, Mind, Body and Pole in Arlington, TX and am still going strong!
How long have you been dedicated to living a #HEALTHYLIVINGLIFESTYLE and what exactly helped you decide to make that change?
I decided 3 years ago that I needed to get it together. I started eliminating foods and things not healthy for me like the amount of dairy I was consuming, the soda I was drinking, the processed foods I was eating and the ridiculous amount of chips I was eating! I started with baby steps and I still am! I'm not a believer in all or nothing, so I've been gradually moving towards more vegan and plant based things. Even the things I use on my body. I tell folks I have vegan tendencies, lol! It makes me proud that I can eat fish and chicken or even go without meat some days and still be "satisfied." It makes me happy that I've replaced Lays potato chips with grapes and tangerines. I never would've imagined that this would be my journey!
When it comes to fitness: I honestly tried the running thing, the gym thing, the dance class thing and I was honestly bored. I was playing recreational volleyball which I totally enjoyed, but there was just something about being able to hold my body weight (160 pounds) upside down with my legs extended! It's a feeling like NO OTHER! Like I have a real-life membership and haven't been this dedicated to anything fitness-related in a long while.
What is your absolute favorite workout gear brand and why?
(1) I love the Danskin Seamless Sports Bra it's the most comfortable sports bra I've ever felt in my life! Like I wear them on regular days especially in the summer with all of the cut out and flowy shirts and dresses.
What is your absolute favorite workout shoe and why?
Knee high socks and leg warmers! For pole, when doing floor-work the socks and/or leg warmers help tremendously. With pole, we do everything bare foot, unless you're doing a routine that requires pole shoes (strippers heels) for sex appeal, heel clacks or slide variations across the floor.
What motivates you to keep going on days that you don’t want to workout and or eat right?
I'm motivated by learning new moves and I know with pole if I take too many days off I'll lose my grip and lose some of my flexibility. Since I'm already limited in the flexibility area, it's good for me if I have some consistency.
What is the motto that you live by? This could be a saying or quote.
"Real change starts in the mind" "Take Baby Steps" and "Celebrate everything! A small victory is still a victory!"
If you could give advice to anyone who is struggling to transition to a healthy living, lifestyle, what would you say?
I would say take baby steps. Literally baby steps.... for 6 months I worked on not drinking soda and not eating red meat, for the next 6 months I worked on not eating chips, for the next 6 months I worked on reducing cheese on my salad and not drinking milk. This process helped me set small goals that I could really reach instead of doing it all at once.
My goal now is to naturally slim without having to live in the gym.....which feels like a slow death to me. Once I've mastered this, I will feel like I've succeeded! I'll feel proud that I did it my way and during a time frame that was realistic for me.
Also, you have to create a fitness routine that's true to you. Pole fitness satisfies both parts of my personality, the hippie free side of me and the ratchet parts of me who loves to dance, lol. You can't ask for a better combination!
How did you come up with your playlist name?
SHOW ME, SHOW YOU. I chose this name because self-confidence was something I've always struggled with. I've been on mission to come out of my shell and prove to myself that I can do life and pole fitness with fluidity, with grace and with a little sex appeal.
What songs are you rocking out to?
These songs that make me want to pole flow:
Alina Baraz & Galimatias: Show Me
Corinne Bailey Rae: Hey, I won't break your heart
Rihanna: Kiss It Better
Jessica Ware: Say You Love Me
And these songs that make me want to TWERK SOMETHIN' lol
Migos: Bad and Boujee
50 Cent and Chris Brown: I'm the Man
Dorrough: Bounce That
Kevin Gates: Really Really
Lil Ronny: CIRCLE Ft. Mykfresh & Yung Nation
What are your social media handles?
My private pole page can be found at @ishainspires on Instagram. It's open to girls only!