In honor of International Women’s Day, we sat down with two powerful women who inspire us to set goals, work hard, be kind, and get in a good sweat in between. Our lineup today includes Hannah Bronfman, the fierce founder of HBFIT and Bec Donlan, the holistic health coach who moved to NYC from Australia and started “Sweat With Bec.”
We asked these women what womanhood means to them, what makes them feel empowered, what advice they’d give to those starting out, and some of their current obsessions. Here’s what they told us:
What does being a woman mean to you? If you could choose one person who helped define what being a woman meant who would it be?
HB: Being a women means tapping into my intellect in a different way. I believe women are more intuitive and have heightened senses. We have a certain gut feeling when it comes to right and wrong. I also think being a woman in today’s society means I have barriers and stereotypes to dismantle, so I have a responsibility to lead by example.
BEC: To me, being a woman is a powerful thing. It’s being badass, resilient AF, confident, a total boss bitch, happy within your own skin, and yet still feeling super feminine, indulging in beautiful things, and feeling beautiful. My mum really helped shape my views on what it means to be a woman. I was brought up with an attitude of “fuck what everyone else thinks as long as you are happy and healthy and not harming anyone then just do you.” So, in a way, it was that attitude that made me realize that by being a woman, you are unstoppable.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a young woman who is either struggling to find her own personal identity or still trying to figure out which professional direction is right for her?
HB: I would tell her to think about focusing on her skills first and her passions second. What you’re good at and what makes you happy could be two completely different things, but how you learn to combine the two could lead you to a journey you may enjoy.
BEC: It took years and a couple of short lived “careers” for me to find what I was passionate about, before that I didn’t even quite understand what being passionate about something even meant. All I can say is, don’t listen to other people, don’t be pressured into doing something you feel like you “should” be doing be being someone that people think you “should” be. Try new things, be open to things outside the box and most importantly make sure what you do makes you happy.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?
HB: The first thing I do in the morning is pee! The last thing I do at night is check that my wifi is on so i can track my sleep on my phone.
BEC: In the morning, I take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar and then feed my insanely cute Pomeranian, Cashew. The last thing I do before bed is brush my teeth.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give the younger you?
HB: Don’t get distracted by what other people are doing. Just do you.
BEC: Pencil in your brows! I look back on photos and slightly cringe.
The silver lining to the political madness happening currently is that more and more women are uniting, speaking up, and getting involved. How do you feel about the current climate and how are you getting involved? How do you recommend getting involved?
HB: The current political climate is painful in every sense. It pains me to know how divided we are right now. One thing I am trying to do is continuing to spread the gospel of self-care and appreciation. You’ll find that once you take care of yourself, you’ll become a better partner, mother, co-worker and friend.
BEC: I’m not going to lie- I was a little terrified at first and there are days where I still am, but I think being proactive and spreading awareness is key. Donating to Planned Parenthood is a great and easy way to start but it’s just so important to be a voice, have an opinion, and stand up for your beliefs, whether it’s on trend or not. Now more than ever is the time to realize that our opinion counts, not only as women but as individuals living in this country.
We celebrate female empowerment everyday but are especially mindful of it today on International Women’s Day. What’s one thing that makes you feel empowered in your own life?
HB: When I make time for myself, I feel empowered. I am constantly on the go, so I find my moments of empowerment when I can take thirty minutes to myself, whether that means drawing a bath of making tea before bed. That personal time is special and empowering.
BEC: Having my own business and being able to do a pull up!
As a woman it’s especially important to take care of your mind and body. How do you do this? What is most important to you when it comes to your physical and mental well-being?
HB: It’s all about the mind-body connection. I love to sweat because it gives me mental clarity, and having a clear hear leads to more productivity. Most people think that working out is all about getting the body you want or seeing physical changes, but the mental changes that come along with it are even more important. Mental well-being starts with how you treat your physical body, so taking care of yourself internally starts externally.
BEC: For me, working out is key. It’s way more than physical. My thinking is more clear and I’m a million times happier after a killer workout. Some people find that yoga a stress reliever, but for me, putting my body under stress is the best way for me to de-stress. I use resistance bands, jump rope & weights daily and then mix it up with either a boxing class or a HIIT session twice a week. I also have a digital free 20 minute Epsom salt bath everyday and try and do a Float once every two weeks. The float is magic. It’s gives me instant mental clarity. The most important things for me are being aware and being present in my current state. In terms of both mind and body, it’s super important to acknowledge what’s going on and feel certain feelings as they happen. It’s important to remember that self love is the best kinda love.
We’re always looking for ways to get stronger, improve ourselves, and accomplish more. What’s one goal you’re working on this year to make you an even more kick-ass woman?
HB: One thing that I am working on is getting more sleep. You can be so much more productive after a good night’s rest. It’s something that I know is important but I tend to slack on. I don’t have time to feel depleted!
BEC: I’m making this the year for all the goal achieving! Two in particular would be to spread the Sweat with Bec Booty band love as much as possible, and to do a handstand (this is almost a mission impossible for me!)
What are some books or websites you’re loving right now?
BEC: “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss, “Women’s Wellness Wisdom” by Dr. Libby, and “You are a Badass” by Jen Sencero.
What are your three favorite brands right now?
HB: Gucci, Brother Vellies, and Dr. Strum
BEC: For Love of Lemons, Koral Active, and Gucci, always.