5 minutes with Tally Rye
Personal trainer, podcaster and now author: Tally Rye is on a mission to change the way women see (and talk to) themselves in the mirror. Her straight-talking book, Train Happy, offers a refreshing and honest look at the role of exercise, diet and self-confidence in our modern world.
Her story is one we can all connect with, and we know you’re going to love the book. Drawing on personal experience of the relentless hamster wheel women are on (with ever-changing goal posts), Tally calls out society’s unattainable beauty standards, and questions the phoney pursuit of happiness we are all set on to discover ‘our best selves’ through punishing fitness regimes.
We loved how Tally showed that exercise needn’t be a struggle: if we take care of our mental, emotional and physical health, we can stay fit, while enjoying each and every day of our life’s journey. We got the chance to chat with her to find out a little bit more.
What inspired you to get this project off the ground and write your own book? How does it feel to be a published author?
I have been evolving and growing in my approach to exercise, and so when I got asked if I would like to write a book, a lightbulb went off! I wanted to discuss disentangling fitness from diet culture and helping people to cultivate a positive relationship with movement and have fun again.
What’s the most interesting (or surprising?) feedback you’ve had since the book has been published?
It’s really exciting to hear how people are shifting their mindset from exercise as self punishment to movement for self care. Also the messages from fellow personal trainers who have been encouraged to work this way with their clients is so humbling.
What has writing the book taught you?
That when you’re passionate about something, despite what the little voice of imposter syndrome tells you, you can absolutely achieve it. I never thought I would write a book, but given the opportunity and a true passion for my subject, it almost poured out of me.
You used to measure success by the comments and likes on social media. How do you now find validation for what you’re doing?
Living in the age of social media, with many of us being users, means that we will still find validation in that feedback from likes and comments. But, for me, the greatest validation comes from hearing other people’s stories and how my work may have positively impacted them. It’s a real privilege to be able to have that connection with people all over the world.
Do you ever slip? What do you do when you ever hear your old inner voice telling you you’re not good enough or hitting the right standards?
Oh absolutely! There are certainly moments of imposter syndrome and I can feel overwhelmed by the responsibility to have a platform and to always try and get it right. But when I inevitably mess up in some way, or doubt myself, I try to be kind and compassionate to myself and definitely bring it up in therapy! I used to feel so committed to posting daily [on social media] and sharing so much of my life, but over the past few years I’ve put boundaries in place so that I only share what I feel comfortable with and put no pressure on myself to document certain things.
I also started following an array of diverse people from different jobs to different backgrounds to different body types…it has been so refreshing to see life outside of the fitness bubble.
Have you noticed a change in your friendships and peer group along your journey to authentic happiness?
Yes, I definitely have gone for quality over quantity and now make time to invest in the people who I am able to be totally authentic around.
What ongoing investment do you make to yourself from an emotional-wellbeing perspective?
I go to therapy weekly, which has been a game changer for me. It’s become a non-negotiable and it’s been so great to have that special time just for me. I also try to make sure I fit in a workout just for me in my busy weeks. Swimming for me is a great way to move my body and to totally switch off.
Do you think things are getting better out there for women? Is society getting kinder or more cruel?
I think women are recognising their value and raising their standards which has the patriarchy feeling threatened. It’s still tough, but I think we are gaining strength to fight for a more fair and equal society.
What does true confidence mean to you?
Confidence is about trusting yourself and your instincts to do what feels best for you.
Who are your female role models?
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Michelle Obama and Brene Brown.
What do you think it means to be an empowered woman? And how can we best empower others?
It’s about having the knowledge, confidence, means and/or ability to take action and make the best decisions for yourself. To empower others we need to share knowledge, build confidence and fight for equality so that every woman has the means and ability to stand up for themselves.
Changing behaviour is ultimately one of the hardest things to do. What would you say to help someone get started on their own journey?
Be kind to yourself. This stuff is hard. But growing, evolving and changing for the better is so worth it. We all have so much potential that deserves to be fulfilled. Don’t hold yourself back from that.
What does 2020 have in store for you?
I will keep sharing the message of my book, Train Happy, and hope to reach more people and introduce new audiences to ditching diet culture and finding the fun in fitness again.