Ever wondered how you can achieve that covetable, balanced lifestyle that's all about health? It may feel like that can feel unattainable and simply even unhealthy at times, but Alay Bowker is here to make it a positive thing.
Model and content creator Alay Bowker spoke with us at The Teen Magazine about the wellness industry as well as her brand “Give Me Glo”. Alay Bowker’s online community is continuing to expand, especially in TikTok.
Advice, tips, and tricks have gotten Alay over a hundred thousand followers, along with her successful modeling work. From having a balanced diet to listening to your body, we have all the insight and questions that are answered from the core of the wellness industry.
All About The New Innovative Way
What is “Give Me Glo” all about?
“Give Me Glo is an all-inclusive lifestyle brand that supports and guides individuals to become the best possible version of themselves," Alay explains.
"Launched in the early months of 2021, Give Me Glo set out with the goal of emphasizing the importance of incorporating healthy habits into a sustainable lifestyle. Focusing on every aspect ranging from your morning skincare routine to your exercise habits, and prioritizing the health and wellness goals of each and every individual."
"Give Me Glo provides a framework to guide each and every individual to achieve their own personal goals, inspired by my own experience and glow-up journey.”
Alay's Personal Journey
How did your journey with wellness begin?
“My journey with wellness began at a young age- you could say when my mother introduced me to a whole-food-based lifestyle," says Alay. "Her diet focused on eating a balanced diet, primarily vegetarian focused."
"As I grew older, I became more and more aware of diet culture and the social influences of food and nutrition. I found myself too caught up in the diet culture in my teenage years, and was able to break out to it and find my way back to a balanced lifestyle approach.”
How Give Me Go Begin
How did “Give Me Glo” come about?
“As I previously mentioned, Give Me Glo grew out of my lows, when I was feeling horrible and unhappy about myself both mentally and physically. Once I found what worked for me and transformed me both mentally and physically, I knew I had to share it with others. I set out with the goal of helping others achieve the transformation I had, helping them become the best possible version of themselves.”
The Toxic Side of "Bettering Yourself"
Would you consider there to be a toxic side to the wellness community that promotes false and unsafe ways to look and feel better?
“In every community, there is always a 'toxic side'. In the wellness industry I believe this is the "short-cut solutions", such as the super restrictive calorie diets, the juice cleanses, the skinny teas, and any other diet that promotes an unhealthy lifestyle."
"By unhealthy, I mean something that is causing an individual to not listen to their body and what it needs. When you ignore your body's natural responses and signs you are depriving it of what it needs, which I would consider a false and unsafe way 'to look and feel better'.”
Some Of The Things That Aren't So True
What are some typical stereotypes and misconceptions that you frequently hear?
“A misconception is that 'the more you eat, the more you weigh'- this is completely not true. If you live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, nourish your microbiome, and eat what your body feels it needs, you are not going to gain unhealthy weight. I can honestly say that I was eating less and working out more before, and I wasn't able to achieve my goals. Now, I have way more freedom with food and have a healthy workout routine in which I listen to my body and when it needs rest. You shouldn't be afraid to change up your eating habits or workout routine if they aren't working for you, and figure out what does.”
The Importance of a Balanced Lifestyle
Why do you think having a balanced lifestyle is vitally important?
“I think having a balanced lifestyle is essential. Personally, I have never been happier than I am now. Living a balanced lifestyle lets you have freedom with how you spend your time, how you eat, and how you overall live your life. It's definitely easier said than done, but it has helped me not only feel better physically, but also mentally."
"Part of living a balanced lifestyle includes developing healthy habits, these are the things that keep you on track and leave you feeling good. Overall, it gives you control of your life.”
Mental Health & Physical Health
Is it more, less or equally important to look after yourself mentally as well as keeping physically well?
“Mental and physical well-being go hand in hand, if you are physically unwell it will affect your mental wellbeing and if you are mentally unwell it will affect your physical wellbeing.”
The Give Me Glo Community
What is the best thing about having an online audience to share your story With?
“The best thing about having an online audience to share my story with is definitely the community it creates. The Give Me Glo community is so supportive of each other and help each other overcome any obstacles that they may be facing."
"I love that my story resonates with others and by sharing how I dealt with my own personal issues, it helps guide others to deal with theirs.”
The Not So Good Part
What is the worst thing about having an online audience to share your story with?
“I wouldn't say there is a necessary 'worst thing' about having an online audience, but something I struggle with time to time is ensuring that I am consistently helping others. I want to answer each and every message I receive, however, it is difficult, and I worry I am unable to provide the amount of one on one attention I wish I could.”
What Even Is A Good Balanced Diet?
What does a good balanced diet look like to you?
“A good balanced diet means not avoiding any foods, unless you have any allergies or other related dietary restrictions, not labeling any foods as good or bad, and focusing on portions and listening to your body rather than counting calories. Diet culture and labeled certain foods as good or bad, and I truly believe that nothing is bad in moderation."
"For instance, years ago 'fat' was seen as something to avoid at all costs, all foods were labeled as 'fat-free' and it was avoided at all costs. And in today's culture we can't get enough fat with the keto diet trend that is going around! It's also crucial to listen to your body and when it feels it needs rest, when it needs more nutrients, and more. This is so much better than counting calories and restricting yourself and ignoring your body's natural signs.
Don't Give Up
How do you stay persistent in eating right and working out?
“I have found the key to staying persistent in eating right and working out is doing it for yourself. By this, I mean not dieting and following and intense workout routine to prove something to someone else, but eating right and working out because of how amazing it leaves you feeling. It was only when I realized this that I was truly able to embrace and incorporate healthy habits into my lifestyle. It was also only then that I experienced the most growth and was able to achieve my personal goals.So do it for yourself.”
Advice From Alay On Physcial Health
What are the best tips you could give our readers in being healthy physically?
“The best tips and key advice for being healthy physically would definitely be following the 80/20 rule, moving your body in ways you actually find enjoyable and listening to your body. The 80/20 rule emphasizes being healthy 80% of the time and allowing yourself to indulge 20% of the time.
"When I say moving your body in ways that you actually enjoy, I mean doing a workout that you actually enjoy and find fun. If you love Pilates, incorporate Pilates into your routine. If you love running, incorporate running into your routine. If you love just going for a walk after a meal, do that too! It's all about what works for you and what you actually enjoy spending your time doing. If you hate a workout, it is going to make it that much more difficult to follow through with it. The last tip is listening to your body, listening to your body means nourishing it when it is hungry, letting it rest when it needs to recover, allowing yourself to indulge in a craving when your body is craving, and more. So the three simple top tips are following the 80/20 rule, moving your body in ways it enjoys, and listening to your body."
Advice From Alay On Mental Health
What are the best tips you could give our readers in being healthy mentally?
“Mentally, the best advice and tips are honestly super similar to the physically healthy ones. Following the 80/20 rule as a general rule you follow overall, allows you to live a balanced lifestyle. Living a balanced lifestyle allows your mind and body to rest and recover, work, enjoy and everything else. When your life is unbalanced, you tend to experience stress, exhaustion and other side effects. By following the 80/20 rule you are allowing yourself to both get things done to keep you on track but also enjoy the little things in life. And by listening to your body, you are never depriving it of nourishment, rest, or recovery.”
Pet Peeves In Wellness + Modeling
The biggest pet peeve in the wellness and modeling industry?
“My biggest pet peeve would be the toxic relationship between looking a certain way that is promoted in the wellness and modeling industry, and the extreme diets and workouts that are done to achieve it. I am not saying this about the entirety of both industries because there are definitely amazing brands and individuals in both who promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle. However, there are aspects that lead people to feel pressured to look a certain way by doing extreme things. I hope to bring more awareness to how a balanced lifestyle can still help you achieve certain goals and maintain them, so there is no need to link looking a certain way with extreme diets or workouts.”
Alay's Workout Recommendation
What is the best type of workout you could recommend?
Honestly, there isn't one kind of workout that I would recommend over another. It's all about what YOU actually like and enjoy, no one is ever motivated to do a workout that they hate. Personally, I enjoy walking and listening to a podcast, running once in a while, boxing, and doing mostly Pilates inspired, low impact workouts. These are the workouts that have worked for me personally and that I enjoy and don't need to feel like I'm forcing myself to do it
Alay's Thoughts on Diets
Do you believe in diets or are they commonly misused?
“I hate the word “diet”, I much prefer the word “lifestyle”. The term diet has so many negative connotations around it these days, commonly being used for short term periods to achieve personal goals. Lifestyle, on the other hand, expresses a long term and sustainable method to achieve goals and maintain them.”
The Healthy Way To Lose Weight
In your opinion, what is the healthiest way for someone to lose weight?
“The healthiest way for someone to lose weight is through a balanced lifestyle. I cannot stress enough how crucial a balanced lifestyle is, it is the only way to not only reach your goals but also sustain them. A balanced lifestyle is so much more than just eating clean, going to the gym, and waking up early. A balanced lifestyle is about following the 80/20 rule, being healthy 80% of the time and allowing yourself to indulge 20% of the time. This rule can be applied to all aspects of your life, and I really emphasize it as a strategy of approaching eating and nutrition. Eating clean and healthy 80% of the time, enforces that you are being healthy for the majority. And allowing yourself to indulge 20% of the time, lets you enjoy your favorite foods without feeling guilty. So yes, it's true, you can eat cake and lose weight.”
Know This About Wellness
What do you wish people knew about wellness?
“I wish people knew that there isn't one simple solution to all problems. There isn't an easy way to achieve your goals. It's hard work. Sure, you can skip a meal in hopes of losing weight quickly, but you're just going to build up that hunger and cravings and end up binging later on. If you took the time to reflect on your eating habits and what's not working for you, and invest time trying to fix those, then you're setting yourself up for success.”
What You Can Do To Make Positive Changes
What changes can our readers make to improve themselves?
“I think the biggest step to improving yourself and becoming the best possible version of yourself, is to take a moment and see what's working and what's not working. You need to remove any toxic or negative parts of your life, whether that be a relationship, a mindset, environment, or habit. I understand this is definitely easier said than done, but it is a crucial step in the process.
Next you need to focus on yourself and your internal goals. You're not trying to become someone else, you are not trying to reach some standard set by society, you are being the best possible version of YOURSELF. You are embracing your own uniqueness whatever that means.You are improving and building yourself and not trying to become something else entirely. This is the only way you can find both happiness and achieve your goals in a sustainable way.”
Additoinally, follow Give Me Glo on Instagram @givemeglo.