Transparency and inspiration are two defining characteristics of fitness guru Issia Grate. She’s been crushing it and sharing her wellness journey to motivate others and make healthy moves in their lives since Jan 2019.
Despite the uncertainty that the pandemic has propelled many people into these last few months, Grate has managed to thrive financially as an Herbalife Entrepreneur.
Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland but currently residing in Lorton, Virginia, Issia received her bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and Applied Mathematics from Coastal Carolina University and her Master’s Degree in System Engineering from Oakland University.
She prides herself on her tenacity and encourages those around her to become the best versions of themselves. She aims to give back to her community on a bigger scale through her nutrition club, The Grater (utilizing her last name as her message to encourage others to be their greatest self) Good Nutrition, by 2022. Her tireless work effort and positive mission to make holistic wellness and motivation the focus of her fitness instruction truly makes her a game-changer. Learn more about Issia and the road she took to get to where she is in this up close and personal interview.
Qualatrice: You’re really into your fitness business and great about getting results; where did It all start?
Issia: First off, I grew up as an athlete! Athletics was all my life. I grew up swimming competitively from the age of four. I played basketball, and I played softball all through high school. Throughout high school, I had hoop dreams. However, I dislocated my ankle and broke my leg simultaneously: I now have a plate and sevens pins going through my ankle even today, which kind of threw off everything. I went to college and graduated with a great GPA, and I even studied abroad. After graduation, I thought the job would come, but it never came, which led me to go through post-grad depression. I ended up gaining 40 pounds of fat, which came from me picking up bad eating habits. There were days when I didn’t eat, and when I did eat, it would be an entire pizza and a whole bottle of wine. When I applied to grad school, I was still looking at myself in the mirror, realizing I was still overweight, and there was still no confidence. So I decided to do something dealing with fitness, so I joined a fitness challenge at my local gym and lost 3 pounds in three months. That shot my confidence even more, and I was about to give up. But I am not the one to give up on myself.
After that, I started my fitness journey with Herbalife. I connected with my mentor’s story because she, too, went through post-grad depression. From there, things have been smooth sailing. I lost 44 pounds in my first five months, and during my next two months, I put on 14 pounds of lean muscle. I was thrilled with what learning about nutrition did for me, so I started teaching others as a wellness coach.
Qualatrice: How do You usually get people to join your team or even start their fitness journey?
Issia: My main focus is to try and be transparent and real without trying to seem like a sob story. I’ve had trainers who have always had a fitness physique, and I find it hard for people to connect. I want others to know that if I can change my lifestyle in the midst of dark times, they can too, but it starts with them wanting that change. I want others to see themselves in me. I want them to know if I can do it, they can do it. So, that’s where my posting consistently comes into play. I want to show my face and show everyone I am working towards becoming 1% better every day and not just doing crazy workouts every day for a show. Again just being transparent and sharing my story and everyday life: I honestly feel like everyone knows a lot more about my life than they should. I’m still trying to figure out that balance, but I found that transparency is the most important thing because it gives others hope.
Qualatrice: Do you keep track of the number of clients you have worked with since starting your fitness business and how you go about keeping up with everyone?
Issia: I have over 250 clients. I check in with my active clients a little more; I check in with them more often to make sure I’m providing fantastic service to help them reach their goals. The check-in can be a quick DM, a text, a comment on a photo, or a story response.
Qualatrice: People want to see if it’s real, So how do you usually convince clients to try your product?
Issia: Once again, I share my transformation story and share other clients’ transformations regularly, especially my updated results. It’s vital that I’m a product of my product. I can’t preach health if I’m overweight and eating whatever.
Qualatrice: Is there anyone in Herbalife you look up to?
Issia: Yes! His name is Sir Style, and I look up to him because he has it honest! He came up from a challenging lifestyle. He lost his mom, was raised by his aunt, and was homeless at one point. He took some sacrifices to get to where he is today, like, riding his bike to work every day and quitting his job so he can take off with his business. The most important thing that sticks out to me about him is that he loves to give back to his community. He’s a guy that grew up with nothing, and he is out here just giving back. He’s selfless and is always asking how he can help you. And I think the greatest gift you can give to God is giving unto him and giving unto others. I push to give back to others, but I plan to give back on a larger scale in the future, similar to the way Style does.
Qualatrice: Outside of Fitness, what are some things you have a passion for?
Issia: I think fitness has taken over a lot of my life. Not just physical fitness but mental, spiritual, and even financial fitness. Besides what you see, I have a personal development journey of just pouring into myself. In the morning, I have to pour into myself, or I would not show up correctly. Outside of what you see is TONS of personal growth. Growing through depression and anxiety while helping others work through their challenges calls for a lot of personal development.
Qualatrice: If you had to give one piece of advice to the young you, what would it be?
Issia: I would say to give yourself more credit than what you do. So, see yourself bigger than what you are. I was always the one playing it shy and sitting on the back burner. I would always rather clap it up for my team instead of being out there on the court as a star player. I also playback in my mind how I played things in the shadow instead of playing it as the bright star I know I am. It took me 24 years to start to walk in my abilities, blessings, and, what I believe, my callings.
Qualatrice: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone out there trying to accomplish their dreams?
Issia: I would say resilience gives you the most profit, not just money-wise, but everything will pay off if you are resilient. Like you said about I Journi, life is like a wave. It’s going to knock you over. It’s all about your response; are you going to get frustrated that the wave comes, or are you going to keep trying to push through it?
Keep up with Issia Grate on Instagram @_see_yah for all of your fitness inspiration and motivation! You wont regret it!