I like to describe myself as five feet of fitness and fun! My name is Alyse Scaffidi and I am the creator of Bite Sized Fitness. I am a five-foot tall Rutgers University Doctorate of Pharmacy student that wanted to combine my passion for fitness with my desire to help others. For me, maintaining a healthy body is a fundamental aspect of a happy and satisfying life. By sharing my success story, I hope to inspire other hard-working individuals, like yourselves, to achieve the body you deserve!
What kind of shape were you in prior to starting BiteSizedFitness?
I was an athlete all throughout high school, but stopped playing sports when I went to college. By the beginning of sophomore year I had gained 12lbs, which was a significant amount of weight for someone my size. More importantly, I wasn’t happy with my physical health and wanted to make a change.
Who inspired you to start working out?
To this day, my mom is still my inspiration and motivation for staying in shape. She has maintained her physical health even after having three kids, being diagnosed with melanoma twice, and restarting a full time job!
How did you initially make your life healthier?
I hired a trainer for a couple sessions in order to learn different exercises and the basics behind weight training. I also started keeping a journal of everything I ate in order to start controlling my impulsive eating habits.
What were some of the challenges you had to overcome at first?
It’s extremely difficult to be healthy as a college student. As if a buffet style dinning hall isn’t tempting enough, there are also tons of social pressures testing your willpower. Unfortunately, some people will judge you for your healthy lifestyle. As long as you are doing what makes you happy, those that actually care about you will support your decisions.
What piece of advice would you give someone just starting at the gym?
It’s all about confidence! I can’t tell you how many times a 250lb guy has told me I’m intimidating at the gym. ME?! Most of these people would step on me if I weren’t wearing neon gym clothing. Remember, If you are taking the time to the gym, then you belong there.
Do you think cardio or weight lifting is more important?
That’s like saying would you rather have food or water today? It doesn’t make any sense to only do one without the other! Try combining both aspects into your workout for the best results.
What does a typical week of training look like for you?
I work out an average of 5 days per week. I usually train one muscle group at time, for example, Monday: Back, Tuesday: Biceps/Triceps, Thursday: Chest, Friday: Shoulders, Saturday: Legs. I also complete about 30-45 minutes of cardio 5 times a week.
What is your favorite body part to workout?
LEGS! LEGS! AND MORE LEGS! When I squat, I am literally carrying over 100lbs of weight on my shoulders. If I can do that over and over again, then there is no way I can’t handle everything else life throws at me.
What’s your preferred form of cardio?
I really enjoy running, but only if it’s outside and it’s at least 70 degrees! I don’t run for time or distance and I hate the idea of racing. When I go for a run, I use it to clear my head and re-prioritize the week ahead of me.
When and where do you usually work out?
I love working out at the gym. It’s a great way to learn new exercises and can serve as a source of inspiration to keep trying. I’m currently on my clinical rotations, so I’m at the hospital from sunrise till dinnertime. Although it can be challenging for some people to workout after a long day, I use it to de-stress after a long day.
How do you recover when you get off track with your training?
Life never goes as planned, so be prepared to have a couple days of lousy eating and missed workouts every once in a while. If I have a bad day, make sure you don’t continue to dwell on it the next morning. What’s done is done. Forget about it and move on!
Do you like training alone or with a friend?
I think that having a fitness partner is one of easiest ways to turn the gym into an enjoyable experience. My younger sister and I have been training together for the past five years and I love knowing that she is always there to motivate me and challenge me to set new goals.
What’s your best fitness tip?
There is NO “quick fix” and that real, sustainable results take time and effort. It’s important to listen to your body and make sure you provide it with the proper nutrition and rest when starting a new program.
How do you balance a school, work, friends, family and fitness?
For me fitness isn’t just working out at a gym, it’s an opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family. I like to combine exercise with fun activities, such as walking on the beach, playing volleyball with friends, or dancing at a club. When doing cardio at the gym, I also use the time to read an article for work, review my notes for class, or just enjoy a TV show on my iPad.
What does a typical week’s diet look like?
I try to eat the same meals for breakfast and lunch most days of the week in order to maintain some form of consistency. I love starting off the day with egg whites and oatmeal and re-fuel with a grilled chicken salad at lunch. Other popular food choices for dinner or snacks include veggies, non-fat Greek yogurt, sweet potatoes, and protein shakes.
What is your favorite healthy meal?
I don’t mean to brag, but Rachel Ray has nothing on my salad making skills. If anyone ever told you a salad is boring, they clearly have been doing it all wrong.
What is your favorite cheat food? How often do you indulge?
I could be around pizza, fries or burgers all day and not even care. However, swap that out for a fresh piece of double chocolate cake and it’s only a matter of time before it disappears! I like to set aside one day a week where I can indulge in a truly delicious and satisfying dessert. By giving my body exactly what it craves, I find it’s much easier to turn down a stale cookie fermenting in the lunch room.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ? Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
What are some of your athletic accomplishments?
I have won the Rutgers University Bench Press Competition three years in a row, as well as their version of the World’s Strongest Man Atlas Competition. Additionally, I have completed 4 Tough Mudder races, countless half-marathons and competed in a figure bodybuilding contest in college.
What motivates you to keep training and eating healthy?
YOU DO! I have successfully managed to stay in shape, work full-time, and enjoy all the fun things life offers! I want to keep improving and trying new things, so I can share my success with others.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to graduate in May with my Doctorate of Pharmacy Degree. I have found true joy and gratification by creating Bite Sized Fitness. I plan to make sure that every normal, hard-working, busy individual knows that fitness can fit his or her lifestyle!
Please Let Me Know: What’s stopping you from being healthy? Is there any way I can help?
– ALYSE SCAFFIDI
Alyse Scaffidi is the founder of Bite Sized Fitness. She is a Doctorate of Pharmacy student and knows how hard it is to make time for your health. Check out the sites below for more motivational tips, delicious recipes, and ideas for healthy eating.