Tamika ‘Body by Tamika’ Harden is a personal trainer with a passion of transforming bodies and lives, from the inside-out through fitness and wellness. She runs a viable gymnasium in Long Island, New York, where she trains roughly 200 women a month. Harden’s mission is to empower men and women to thrive and to transform their lives and bodies from the inside-out. Educate and share tools for proper and practical health and wellness. Establish healthy body awareness and build positive self-esteem.
Interview by Nickeyia McCain
Where were you born and raised?
South Jamaica, Queens, New York.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in the urban sector of South Jamaica, Queens. I’m no stranger to the hardships of poverty and drug addiction. The love and strength of my mother kept me safe, it allowed to me dream of creating a brighter future for myself.
Are you settled down with a family? If yes, how do you juggle family life and your career? If no, any plans for starting a family soon?
Seven years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to adopt two boys from foster care. My children are now 10 and 16 years old. It’s very difficult juggling both my family life and professional life. What makes it work is being transparent with my children. I allow my children to see me work, both in and out of the job as often as possible. Allowing my children to see what I do, to build for the family teaches them work ethics and dedication from a young age. I explain to my children why I make the sacrifices that I make, while also showing them what is required for success.
In an earlier interview with The Hedonist Magazine, you stated you dealt with childhood obesity. How did you come to the theory that you were obese at the age of 16?
Medical reports and doctor visits was always dreadful. As a young child I was constantly made aware of how overweight I was and I hated it.
How did you push through to change your lifestyle at an early age?
I hated the way being overweight felt emotionally. People said hurtful things to me, some which I have never forgotten. The moment I was able to change this part of my life, I did and it became one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Personal trainer, was this the first choice when it came to choosing a career? At what point did you decide to become a personal trainer?
At first personal training wasn’t my first choice. I have a deep love and passion for fitness. However, I was afraid I couldn’t survive off of a personal training salary, so I tried to find happiness in other professions. However, no matter what I tried, I couldn’t quit the burning desire inside of me to pursue fitness. After completing my undergraduate degree, my intuition and feeling was to just do what I love. That’s when BodyByTamika was born.
How long have you been a personal trainer?
I have been a fitness professional for 15 years, my business is three years old.
What advice would you give for those who have never worked out but wants to start on that journey to a healthy life style?
Set both a short-term goal and long-term goal. Begin to gather the tools and resources to help accomplish your goals. I always recommend seeking help from a professional. Whether it’s a personal trainer or a group fitness training program. Seeking professional help will not only keep you safe, but it will lessen the chances of failure. A professional can better advise a client on how to achieve the goal at hand.
Do you train any clients who have health issues? What are some of the most extreme health issues you dealt with in a client?
I get a lot of clients with knee and lower back pain. Most chronic pain that people live with, is due to poor lifestyle choices and lack of movement. To help clients living with chronic pain, I address the issue first. My goal is to help build strength in muscles that work, synergistically with the weak or injured muscles. This method always works for clients, resulting to less pain and a better quality of life.
Could you see yourself doing any other profession?
No, I truly love what I do and I feel blessed for the opportunity.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
On The View, Ellen, Dr. Oz and collaborating with the best in my industry.
How can everyone keep in contact with you on social media?
Instagram @bodybytamika .