Empowering Wellness: Monica Winn’s Journey to Women’s Fitness Success

  • Photos by:
    Paul Buceta
  • Published on:
    March 25, 2024
  • Reading time by:
    6 minutes

Interviewing Monica Winn offers a glimpse into the journey of a women’s fitness coach who dared to carve her own path in Canada’s fitness industry. Transitioning from her days as a fitness competitor, Monica was driven by a passion to create a welcoming space for women in pursuit of wellness. Witnessing the nervousness of women in traditional gym settings, she took the bold step of founding her exclusive women’s training facility, driven by a mission to instill confidence in her clients.

What sets Monica apart is her empathetic and sustainable approach to fitness. With a mantra of “progress, not perfection,” she advocates for celebrating every milestone on the journey. Her clients find solace in her supportive guidance, knowing that setbacks are met with compassion, not judgment.

Monica’s impact extends beyond the gym, evident in her speaking engagements at prestigious events like Canfitpro’s Women Who Influence. Her dedication to uplifting others is further demonstrated through charitable endeavors, such as her upcoming keynote address alongside her daughter Logan at a gala for victims of sexual assault. Together, they aim to inspire courage and empower others to speak their truths.

1. Can you tell us more about your journey as a women’s fitness coach and what inspired you to start your own training facility in Canada? 

When my fitness competition days were coming to an end in my late thirties, I knew I had so much more to give to the industry. I had so much passion for the world of fitness and wellness. 

I began observing women starting personal training sessions at my former public gym. The majority of these women looked nervous and uncomfortable. 

One day it just hit me. I was going to take the risk by making a big investment and open an exclusive women’s training facility. It was my mission to ensure that women felt comfortable and confident while they worked on their fitness goals. 

Monica Winn

2. You’ve mentioned helping hundreds of women change their lives through your support and programming. What do you believe sets your approach apart from others in the industry? 

After years of prepping for fitness competitions with a very strict training and nutrition regimen, I created a more sustainable approach toward achieving my personal fitness goals. As a woman in my late 40’s with 2 children and a busy lifestyle, I can relate to my clients varying challenges and setbacks. I have used the life mantra “progress not perfection” for years now. It sets the foundation for showing gratitude towards our smaller achievements while we work on our larger-scale goals. 

My clients really appreciate that my expectations are that they give my program their best effort and we work with the slips and setbacks along the way! No harshness, no judgement – pure guidance, support and the occasional reality check along the way. 

3. Speaking at events like Canfitpro’s Women Who Influence is a significant achievement. Could you share some key takeaways from your experience and how it has influenced your work? 

Thank you! It was truly an honourable experience. I really had to step outside of my comfort zone to speak in front of 200 delegates about “courage in overcoming fear”. Within minutes, a sense of confidence came over me as I made eye-contact with the audience. I realized that we are all in the same room to support each other. It really set the standard for how I approach taking risks and beginning new projects. Not everyone will want to see you win, but not everyone wants to see you fail either! 

4. Could you highlight some of the most remarkable client transformations you’ve witnessed and the impact it has had on their lives? 

I have a quite a few incredible client success stories. My most recent client Magali has not only lost 60 lbs, but she also is celebrating a plethora of non-scale victories! Since the beginning of her program with me, there has been a huge shift in her confidence and mental health. She went from being overweight and unhappy to strong, fit and confident! She is taking her fitness ‘wins’ and paying it forward by inspiring others to get started with personal fitness journeys. Really, I just could not be more proud of her story. 

I also have so many clients who have made positive changes and improved habits on their own since they have worked with me. I love getting random messages from clients who are excited to share their NSV. 

“I can pick up my child without struggling” 

“I can climb up a flight of stairs without getting winded” 

“I went to the gym on my own and didn’t feel nervous” 

“I’m less bloated and foggy since I’ve cleaned up my nutrition” 

“I don’t pull my shirt anymore down to hide by tummy or buttocks” 

“I look forward to going out now that I feel confident with my body” 

These are just drops in the bucket. I get messages like these all the time and I have to say, it’s undoubtedly the best part of my job. 

5. Tell us about the upcoming charity event in December that you and your daughter are speaking at. What’s the cause, and what message do you hope to convey to the attendees? 

Logan and I have been asked to be key-note speakers at a charity gala for victims of sexual assault. Logan will be sharing her courageous story and the painful childhood experience with cyber bullying 

and going though the court process. We hope it raise awareness and encourages other children and women to find the courage to overcome fear and speak their truth. 

6. Beyond your professional success, what do you enjoy doing in your free time and how do you maintain a work-life balance? 

Family is everything to me. I do my best to turn “work-mode” off on the weekends and focus on time with family and friends. We love to cook and watch our kids play sports. We also love our social time with close friends which usually includes a nice bottle of wine and charcuterie. 

7. How did the opportunity to speak alongside your daughter Logan at Canfitpro’s Women Who Influence event strengthen your family bonds, and what did it mean to both of you? 

To be able to have this mother-daughter partnership opportunity, so early in life, was truly a remarkable experience. We received a standing ovation and so many delegates praised Logan after her speech. I looked at her and said “I told you you would shine”. I felt her confidence grow right before my eyes. Her ability as teenager, to speak publicly with passion and confidence, inspires me to step outside of my comfort zone. It was a very impactful memory for us both. 

8. In the world of fitness and health, what are your personal wellness routines and practices that keep you motivated and energized? 

I have a few routine practices that keep me on top of my game. I eat clean all week and enjoy some indulgences on the weekend. Drinking 3-4 litres of water a day, is a must for me – with electrolytes first thing in the morning. 

My weekly exercise routine consists of: 

4-5 strength training days
Aim for 3-4 long walks with my hubby. This is usually our catch-up time During the colder weather, my Peloton keeps my heart pumping
I’m making effort to add 1-2 mobility exercises in my weekly routine 

9. You’ve mentioned a charity event in December. How important is giving back to the community, and what values do you hope to instill in your daughter through such events? 

I remind both of my kids that if you can ‘give back’ you should. We must express our gratitude for our good fortune and give back to the community. 

With the help of our incredible friends, family and clients, our family delivers fully-loaded Christmas baskets to families within our community. Last year we were able to donate supplies for a full turkey dinner (and loads of extras) to 15 families in need. This year my goal is to reach out to 20 families. 

The praise and gratitude that we get and the warmth that we feel during this time is indescribable. My wish is that my children continue this tradition on their own in the future 

10. How do you handle personal challenges and setbacks in your life and career, and what advice can you offer to women who may face similar obstacles? 

I have definately gone through my fair share of personal and professional setbacks and challenges, throughout my life. When I am faced with adversity, I do my best to spend extra time focusing on the positive things in my life, the people who bring me joy, and the things I have control over. 

Female entrepreneurship comes with many ups and downs. We really need to work on our keeping our mindset strong on setting boundaries – it’s not always easy. My biggest piece of advice is to keep grounded, try not to get in your own head and never lose sight of the incredible things you have already achieved in life! 

Sometimes setbacks or denials are the universes way of creating something greater for you. 

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