Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Castillo.
Maria, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started my professional career at the University of South Carolina in the Darla Moore School of Business double majoring in both marketing and management and minoring in French. My junior year was especially exciting because I applied to study abroad in Paris for six months and was accepted to attend the American Business School of Paris where I fell even more in love with the French language and culture.
However right before leaving the U.S. I spent the summer in Los Angeles doing an internship for the marketing company that I later found out would give me the courage and the opportunity to make LA my permanent home. I fostered this relationship throughout the remainder of my collegiate career, and upon graduation, was offered a full time position doing brand management and digital marketing for the same company. I left everything and everyone I knew back in Fort Mill, South Carolina and moved across the country…alone. My parents raised me to always explore the unknown so I was more excited than anything.
Even though I seemed to have my budding career and life in order, there were various challenges I faced along the way that catapulted me into finding my passion for fitness and health/wellness. Around the age of 18, I discovered that I was battling heart health issues that I later learned were hereditary and irreversible. A lot of people see this exterior I’ve created/developed (for lack of a better word) and would never guess that the sole reason I changed my entire lifestyle around was to save my own life.
Long story short, after moving to LA at 22 and dealing with this heart disease for about 4 years, I realized that my calling was rooted in sharing the love, discipline, and peace of mind with others that fitness had brought to my life. That’s when Flawed&Fit was born. The entire concept behind F&F is to “embrace your flaws while finding your fit.” I always always always make it a point to explain that this fitness thing is an every-day-for-the-rest-of-your-life type of journey. It’s not a fad–it’s a lifestyle change. And there are going to be days where you completely hate yourself. Some days you’re going to hate the way you look and feel–you’re going to wake up bloated after freaking working your butt off for 5 days straight– you’re going to eat 6 slices of pizza after a shitty day when you know good and well you should’ve stopped at your second. But that’s all…OK, We’re human. We’re flawed. That’s what makes us unique. We should all embrace that and use it as fuel and motivation to do better the next day. F&F is about ACCEPTING body positivity (because as women we’re often told we can be confident…just not too confident), promoting self-care (in whatever healthy, productive ways YOU see fit), and loving what you have while working for what you want.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Has it been a smooth road? Most definitely not. I think for me the biggest thing that’s held me back in life has been my fear of failure. I do this thing that right when an amazing opportunity or situation presents itself whether it be professional, personal, etc. I immediately start to think of all of the ways it could go wrong. Thoughts like, “nothing good lasts forever,” and “you’re going to “F” it up somehow Maria” start to creep in. I think this happens mainly because I just want to make myself and the people I love so proud of me, and I’ve come to realize that I’m setting myself up for failure with a mentality like that. So the advice I’ll give was the advice that was given to me by my dear friend and successful, accredit (woop woop!!!) actor and writer Mitchell Edwards: “Check this out, ‘failures’ are inevitable, we know this. The best thing you can do as a successful person, strong-willed, and ambitious, is go for things with your best effort and embrace the possibility of failing. If you go hard and you ‘fail’ you can assess the quality of the failure and learn from it. (Ask yourself) ‘Did I fail at my best? Because if so, my best isn’t good enough for what I want and I have to get better. OR Did I fail cus I was fuckin’ around?’ Ironically, that’s the harder fail–it;s more humiliating because you’re disappointed in both the outcome and tour effort, BUT 9/10 it’s just a missed opportunity that you learn not to squander again…not the end of the world. So, point is, give a good effort, because you get what you earned. So whatever news you got, you earned it, sounds like you might be doubting that you can earn more, and you can…you got it, because you’ve been working for it. Whatever it is, congrats!! And remember, you’re not in control of the outcome, you’re in control of your effort.”
Please tell us about Flawed&Fit.
I’ve stayed true to my marketing roots and am the director of partnerships for an amazing all-natural skin care company while making sure to keep fitness at the forefront. I am certified through the International Science and Sports Association. I do one on one in-person training for a rotation of 3-4 clients , teach private group training classes at 3 different luxury living buildings in Downtown Los Angeles, and also have a residency with Nike at the Jumpman LA store downtown where I teach an exclusive bootcamp once a week to nearby residents of all ages. I would say I’m most known for not having my clients touch a single cardio machine in the gym! My methods are based on high intensity interval circuit training and weight training. That’s how I’ve found the best way to maximize my time in the gym. What sets me apart from other trainers is that I DON’T want my clients to need me forever. The goal is to always teach them HOW to work out rather than going through the motions of working out so that one day they will feel confident and knowledgeable enough to get out there on their own. I am also with a modeling agency and have worked with amazing artists like Ariana Grande, Ty Dolla Sign, and Travis Scott and brands like Adidas, Apple, and Good American.
Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
I was raised to value kindness and empathy in myself and in others the most and that has played an outsized role in setting me up for success. I feel as though empathy trickles into every aspect of business. Empathy is literally the ability to take yourself out of your shoes and understand and share the feelings of someone else so it’s important to take yourself out of situations sometimes and understand how the people you come into contact with on a daily basis think and operate. In turn, if you’re not kind, those very people won’t have faith in your abilities…or at least won’t want to 😉
- I have a Glute Guide designed for individuals of all fitness levels who are interested in building their lower body but don’t know where to start: $22 https://payhip.com/b/pJgE
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @flawedandfit
Photographers: Paige Wilson, Ryan Astamendi