Bubbly, genuine, strong and beautiful! This is just the beginning of an endless list of wonderful attributes that Greek American Personal Trainer, Business Owner and self-proclaimed ‘Baklava Taste Tester’ Fotoula possesses.
Whether you need some motivation to get that workout done or need another reason to start planning a post-COVID trip to the motherland; Fotoula’s Instagram page is the place to be!
It’s not hard to see why many are inspired by Gabriella Fotini, AKA Fotoula. From humble beginnings and overcoming great loss, to completely transforming her life through fitness and hard work, Fotoula represents everything that is inspirational and Greek.
Her social media and YouTube pages are filled with mouth watering photos of delicious Greek food, Fitness and lifestyle vlogs, nutritious recipes for the health-conscious, beautiful photos of Greece, travel inspiration and endless pictures of incredible abs and muscles, giving us all the fitness motivation we need.
The Greek American Fitness Queen lights up social media with her infectious smile, boundless energy, enviable muscles and a zest for life. We’ve come to know and follow Fotoula for everything that is Greek!
GCT’s lifestyle writer Despina Karp chatted to Fotoula about everything fitness and Bougatsa related.
Thank you for taking the time to chat today, whereabouts in Greece are you from?
My Pappou’s family is from Tripoli and my Yiayias side of the family is from Mytilene & Samos.
Tell us about your Greek background.
Being Greek American, the culture preservation is intertwined in one’s upbringing; especially with a Yiayia like mine continuously beaming with pride. I grew up in the Atlanta Greek-American community and attended the church where I participated in Greek dance.
I love the community with friends I made participating in various festivals, camps, and more.
My Greek is not the best, which is something I always get nervous about, but it’s definitely something I am continuously working on. Keeping so many pieces of our roots living on is so important for generations to come living outside of Greece.
What are your hobbies and what do you like to do in your free time?
I love cooking! I think it’s almost therapeutic. An afternoon of meal preps or trying a new recipe is my favourite. It’s even better when I can share these meals with family.
If I’m not cooking or growing my business, I’m probably enjoying a group city class or lifting.
What is your favourite Greek food that you could not live without?
How do I even answer this?! So many amazing dishes. Any bean dish is my ultimate go-to. I love Fakes and Gigantes.
Feta, of course! It pairs so well with everything! A fresh horiatiki, bouyiordi, bread—— what’s not to love!
Although, I can always go for an amazing pork gyro or souvlaki anytime.
Can you talk about your brand HealthyAssets?
A year ago, I only dreamed about what is now my reality. A Greek/American business owner of my own company was the aspiration that I jotted down into my goals notebook 4.5 years ago.
I wanted to create a brand that embraced all types of people at any stage in their fitness journey since I had dealt with my own struggles. To embrace wherever they are, feel incredible, and keep digging for those goals.
Summer in Greece launched 9/26 at 10 AM EST and was so exciting. I love the entire process and watching my dream grow with each stepping stone.
When did you start getting into Fitness and what attracted you to the idea of making a career out of fitness and health?
In February 2013, my Dad became paralyzed due to a medical misdiagnosis and passed away 8 months later. I had always enjoyed exercising, but during that time I quit completely. I gained over 50 lbs and really struggled with my self-image.
I was inspired by two women, in particular, Nicole Mejia and Ashley Horner. They built these amazing online communities on being total girl bosses, fitness as a lifestyle, and being mentally strong. Their communities really resonated with me in a time I was struggling.
I invested in Ashley’s training programs and started to learn how to lift and my body transformed in a matter of months. I was hooked and knew I wanted to help others never feel the way I did, but to also teach them that you’re not stuck.
How has Covid-19 has impacted your career as a PT and what you think will happen going forward?
Training in person has become non-existent since COVID for many clients. People have been afraid to get in the gym or work one on one. Going forward, I see online training continuing to grow which I offer currently on my interactive app.
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