Johanna "GrowWithJo" Devries in Workout Gear Says "This Is Your Sign To Try"
Johanna Devries is encouraging her fans and followers not to be afraid to get silly when they're working out alone. Devries, known as "GrowWithJo" online, shared a video of herself working out in her living room, wearing pink leggings and a tan sports bra. "Getting over the 'I feel stupid' hump is something we all go through, no matter what type of exercise you are doing (it's called being a beginner). But the sooner you get through it, the sooner you'll realize how capable you are and how fun/challenging your workouts can be… If you've been on the fence or watching from the sidelines, this is your sign to just try," she captioned the post. Want to get more seasoned advice from Devries? Here are her top fitness, diet, and wellness tips.
Devries was inspired to help others with their fitness journey—especially beginners—after having a baby. "I had gained 50 pounds throughout my pregnancy, despite my efforts to stay active, and after a traumatic birthing experience, I felt lost on my journey and extremely discouraged," she told Forbes. "A thought emerged that I am not the only one who has or will go through this and I can help others find their way out of debilitating emotions. Many women; mothers or not, experience lapses in their journeys that make them feel isolated, shameful, and lost."
Enjoying the Process
Devries started her Facebook group and YouTube channel, sharing workouts and offering advice and reassurance to the soon to be millions of fans. "Women all over the world were sharing my workouts with their moms, sisters, and besties because of how good they felt moving their bodies and letting loose in their living rooms," she told Forbes. "The one thing that I hear the most from my community is: 'I no longer dread working out, in fact, I look forward to my workouts as an opportunity to enjoy moving my body and feeling good in my own skin. I see amazing results but that is secondary to the feeling of accomplishment and confidence that spreads throughout my life beyond my workout/wellness routine.'"
Small Weights Aren't a Waste
Devries says people shouldn't be afraid to use smaller weights—for example, 3-pound dumbbells. "Using lighter weights than you can handle helps you develop: 1. A better connection with the muscles that are being worked, which creates a more effective movement. 2. Better form, which helps prevent injury. 3. Better breathing habits so you can increase your endurance and connect with your breath. 4. Better confidence with weights so that when you do venture to new and heavier weights, you know with full confidence how you like to grip and handle the weight," she captioned an Instagram video.
Devries is a big fan of high-protein snacks, especially for postpartum women. One particular favorite is her salty and sweet feta cheese, pistachio, pumpkin seed, and honey balls. "Do you usually crave sweet or salty? This snack hits both those cravings AND is high protein. The pistachios and pumpkin seeds also provide large doses of minerals and good fats to help produce milk (for my fellow mamas)," she captioned a video of herself making the delicious snacks.
Self-Love and Compassion
Devries encourages women to be gentle and compassionate towards themselves on their fitness journeys. "Each time you follow through on your word for yourself—completing a workout you said you would do, meditating at the time you said you would, or preparing a healthy meal when that was in your plans—you build confidence because you start to trust your own word," she told Forbes. "This is why I say build healthy habits one at a time… When you feel guilty or mad at yourself for falling behind or getting out of routine, it's just creating an even greater barrier to you taking care of yourself in maybe a new way. Treat your personal journey that way by eliminating comparison and finding what works best for you."