Meet Joanne Encarnacion - Fitness/Lifestyle Blogger at gofitjo.com & Digital Creative
If you've been following BEHIND the BRAND you know I'm a bit of an internet stalker. I like to call it research because it doesn't sound so creepy but at this point, I'm halfway through my PhD and well on my way to becoming Dr. Jones soon :)
I'm more like your neighborhood busy body who always seems to know everyone's business but no one knows anything about her. Well that's me and I'm not ashamed to admit it!
I've been "researching" San Francisco based Joanne Encarnacion from gofitjo.com for awhile and can't help but to admire her willingness to be vulnerable and share deeply personal struggles and triumphs is admirable. I absolutely love learning about others stories, but sharing my own is a huge struggle. I'm a really private person by nature so to see someone so open and honest is inspiring. I'm not quite ready to share my whole story, but I'm getting there.
Joanne Encarnacion is sharing her BEHIND the BRAND story of how a hashtag and a new passion for fitness turned into being named "One of the Game Changing Fitness Instagrammers" by Teen Vogue.
Name & Title
Fitness/Lifestyle Blogger and Digital Creative
What is gofitjo.com and what inspired you to start blogging?
gofitjo.com is my creative outlet, it’s my blog, a personal journal of how I used fitness and healthy eating to create a life well lived. I’ve always been a writer. When I was in high school I took a creative writing class and I remember finding myself through that stage in life. Back then it was the outlet I needed to help me find my way back from adolescent depression. Writing helped me to sort out of my feelings when no one else could help me understand them. When I started the share my fitness journey it was on my personal Instagram account and I used the hashtag #gofitjo. Over half a year of finding my new passion for fitness I decided to open up a separate account @gofitjo to share all the meal prepping, non scale victories, and progress pictures I wanted to hide from my photographer/creative friends. Then I took my microblogging on Instagram to blogging on a new website.
Along with being a popular fitness blogger, you’re a mom, wife and have a full time job, so what's a day in the life like for you?
My day is pretty much routine from M-Fri. I wake up between 5:30AM - 6AM, grab all my bags that were packed from the night before, commute to Oakland, get to the gym by 7AM, workout, get to work before 9:30AM. Work. Then head home around 4:30pm to beat as much commuter traffic as I can. Then its dinner with the fams, bed time routines, and back in bed by about 10:00pm to repeat the next day. Throughout the day I slot out time to check IG, post on IG, read any blog comments, personal emails, and then get back to my boss life. It sounds worst when its written down or read to people, all in all its crazy, but it works for me.
You're very candid about your story - good and bad. Do you ever regret being so candid and how do you think your openness affects your success?
No. Being honest and sincere about my journey has always been really important to me. I don’t think in life we can celebrate the sweet fruit of success without understanding what it feels like to dig through the soil and plant it first. I’m quoting Brene Brown here, but she said something in one of her podcast interviews that resonated with me so deeply and that was “We have a vulnerability deficit.” I’m a firm believer that we could solve a lot of the issues we face in the world if we all find a little more courage to be open with our lives.
What's been your biggest success thus far?
My biggest success as it relates to life is raising my kids. I know that sounds really cheesy but they are a reflection of my husband and myself. When I see how thoughtful and kind they are to other people I know that we’re doing the best that we can. And as long as we can continue to be strong examples of honest and kind humans then that to me is success.
Conversely, biggest failure?
My biggest failure…that’s a tough one I think I have tons of mini failures through my life. The one I think about the most though is letting my health go in my 20s. I put my hustle before my health and it brought me to depression right before my 30s. I wish I knew how important an active and healthy lifestyle was in my 20s so that I could’ve started sooner, but at the same time I don’t think I would’ve had the drive I do now to sustain it.
Top three things you wish you knew when you first started
I can’t really think of 3 things because I came into this journey with an open heart and mind, but in some ways I wish I knew how much of this fitness journey would evolve my life, but its been an incredible surprise at every corner.
Top three tools/apps/technology you can't live without
1. VSCO - photo editing app
2. NTC - Nike Training Club app, it’s so helpful when I need a quick workout routine to destress.
3. Evernote - I use this thing all the time when it come to organizing my thoughts, meal plans, and workouts.
Since beginning your wellness journey, what's been the biggest surprise or something you didn't expect?
I never expected that my wellness journey would impact so many others from my CEO to young women graduating high school. It has truly been a blessing to hear from so many people that the level of openness and honesty to talk about things from self image issues to depression have really helped them find a sense of connection and comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone in their own struggle. It’s a beautiful surprise for sure.
TWEET IT! - I don’t think in life we can celebrate the sweet fruit of success without understanding what it feels like to dig through the soil & plant it first.
What advice would you give to aspiring fitness bloggers or anyone looking to share their story?
Tell the truth and don’t be afraid to share. I think so many people want to hide behind the curtains still and show the perfection of everything because its what society says we need to be or show. But in the end we’re all trying to figure it out and the more we can learn from one another’s journeys and talk about the tough issues the more we can come to a place of healing.
Who's your professional crush & why?
I’m obsessed with Sophia Amoruso. I love what she embodies and what she has done to grow her empire has been truly inspiring and empowering.
You've partnered with brands such as Lucy Activewear, Alala & Plantronics, so what can we expect for the rest of 2016?
To be honest, I’m not sure. I never anticipated to become an influencer or a brand ambassador of any sorts. I’m just trying to be an athlete in my own life and when I get the opportunity to collaborate with brands who embody that same mission its a beautiful alignment and relationship.
Extra credit: Who or what inspires you?
This is totally cheesy, but my husband inspires me so so so much. He’s the kindest, funniest, and most giving person I’ve ever met. His humble heart and his ability to give to others before himself is an attitude that I strive towards every day. His creativity and his vision to capture people and memories He’s the perfect balance to the hard woman hustler that I am.
You can find Joanne at on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat at @GOFITJO
Also, be sure to check out her site at www.gofitjo.com!
What's not to love about Joanne's story?!!! She's changing the face of fitness and I love it!
Share your thoughts below?