Every Friday I am going to feature a woman that I adore. They exude all the qualities of an Alpha Female and I want to dig into their lives to get some nuggets of knowledge to help us all live happier, healthier lives balancing life & work.
Definition of an Alpha Female
An Alpha Female is a powerful and assertive woman. Her confidence is due to being an intelligent and intellectual problem-solver. Being an Alpha Female is a State of Mind based on choosing ambition and being proud of it. She strives for a happy and healthy work/life harmony.
Type A Alpha Females often come across as strong willed and selfish. When we stay true to our authentic selves and stay true to our mission we shine. A true Alpha Female puts the needs of herself first without sacrificing her principles or dignity. She fills up her cup or gas tank first so that she has enough energy for her friends, family, and coworkers. She strives for synergy with the world around her. She wants a perfect work/life balance but knows that it requires being true to your priorities and what makes you happy. She is never complacent about striving for better and nurtures relationships with the people in her life.
Meet Ariane Machin!
Dr. Ariane Machin is a Clinical and Sport Psychologist, Professor of Psychology, and a Member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport Psychology Registry. In her clinical work, she works extensively with the athlete population, including college athletes, elite club level teams, college coaches, and athletic departments. Dr. Machin also works with individuals with body image and disordered eating patterns, and offers online mentoring, in-person counselling, and virtual programs to those that need support. Her signature program is called Weighting for Perfect and is aimed toward women that are looking to stop the shame and guilt spirals around food and exercise and become more mindful and at peace with their current habits and bodies. In her personal life, she is a wife and mom grizzly to her three littles (twins plus one!), a fitness activist, promoter of body image and self-esteem empowerment, and life enthusiast! And, she has been a featured expert in national media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Family Circle Magazine, Men’s Health Magazine, PopSugar Fitness, Metro Parent Magazine, and Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine. She resides in Raleigh, NC.
How are you an Alpha Female?
I would consider myself an ‘almost’ Alpha female (though I definitely was a ‘full fledged’ alpha female in my past)…I am equally confident though I sometimes doubt myself. I am very ambitious, perfectionistic, high-achieving, and care about how I am perceived and what others think of me. In the same token, I am able to know my limitations. I am able to acknowledge my current Seasons and know how I need to modify my goals and expectations for each day. I always attempt to be a source of encouragement and support for those around me (physically and virtually), and when I am doing this, I feel like I am contributing to positive in the world (which equals success to me). I definitely strive to be happy and healthy, but know that this definition will change depending on what is going on around me and within my family. Overall, I am forward-focused but know when I need to just ‘be’ and adjust accordingly to life circumstances. Soo…alpha-female tendencies with a lot of grace! Haha!
Does work/life balance exist?
Yes…but this will change as we change and our circumstances change. I think ‘balance’ is a loaded word full of expectation. This will mean different things to different people. I think we are all hoping to feel satisfied in our lives and satisfied in what we are doing each day. We want to be a positive influence, we want to be able to take care of ourselves (emotionally, physically, financially), and we want to keep working hard in whatever we are focused on. At the same time, we MUST need to consider ourselves and be able to nurture and give ourselves space when we need it. Overall, FLEXIBILITY and the ability to ADAPT is going to be imperative if we want to be successful and have any type of ‘balance’ in our lives.
What are you most passionate about?
Encouragement comes to mind first…primarily because this is what underlies how I feel like I want to impact others. This comes in the form of whatever I am doing…from e-courses, programs, mentoring, counseling, teaching, or simply connecting with friends. This can also be turned inward because sometimes I am need of a pep talk too! Haha! [Symbol]
What are you daily health habits that keep your immune system boosted?
Physical activity is a MUST. I am not sure if this is the ‘inner athlete’ in me, but I have to do a little physical activity most days just to feel my blood pumping and get my heart rate up. I try to be mindful about what type of ‘movement’ I am doing…and go with whatever I feel like I need that day. But, this is pretty much a non-negotiable for me and I need to get moving to get on with my day!
I also try to fuel myself with ‘good stuff’ and listen to your body. This is something I try to teach my clients as well…when we finally GIVE OURSELVES PERMISSION to eat and listen to our cravings and hunger, we will experience freedom. And within this freedom, our bodies will naturally start to want the things that will make it feel best. This doesn’t mean that I won’t have Oreos or a bowl of sugary cereal, but for the most part, my body is being fueled by food with nutrients.
What is your weekly fitness routine like?
I ‘move’ pretty much every day…I will sometimes do the elliptical for one hour, run outside for 30 minutes, or go to a C9 class (total body workout) at our Fitness Center on Saturday mornings with my husband. I am also always moving with my kids…so being active is super important and something that just kind of comes naturally!
How do you challenge yourself fitness wise?
I have had to adjust my fitness routines…I used to be a super competitive runner (and experienced a ton of injuries as a result)…and know that my self-worth was highly connected to my outcomes (time, mileage, etc.). I literally had to completely translate my relationship with exercise and now just do what feels right and feels fun. So, I wouldn’t even say I challenge myself so much, especially since my kids were born (and I was on bed rest for almost 2 years between both pregnancies!!!), but literally for me, success is just moving each day. Possibly in the future I will challenge myself more, but this feels like what I need right now.
What are your daily habits for winding down at night and reducing stress?
This is going to sound funny, but listening to lullabies while my kids are going to sleep is actually pretty relaxing. Hanging out with my husband after the kids went to bed is fun and one of the times where we catch up from whatever is going on during the day. I feel like I should be listing more ‘habits’, but I would say those two things are the main ways I spend my evenings and wind down!
What are you daily/weekly nutrition habits that keep you well nourished?
I definitely come from a mindful approach for any of my health habits…from food, fitness, and self-care. I eat intuitively and fuel myself with good stuff, nutritionally and mindset wise. We do not have ‘rules’ or rigidity in my home…so we eat when we are hungry and we eat what we feel like eating. Literally, you will find me and my kids eating leftover dinners for breakfast (if we feel like it) and eating at the times when we feel like we need to. I feel like we keep ourselves nourished by the way we approach food and eating so we are not locked into any diet plans or rigid thinking that hinder us listening to our bodies.
What are paint points of being an Alpha Female that you have to problem solve for?
I hesitate to say I am a ‘full’ alpha female (I think the ‘me’ from 10 years ago would have said I am a full alpha female…but I have definitely changed over the past 10 years!)…mostly because I feel like I am a little more flexible when I need to be. Some of this shift came from over-exercising patterns (and critical self thoughts from the past), and some came from having 3 kids in 13 months (twins plus one)…having multiple children all at once COMPLETELY changes how you operate…and you have to adjust or else you will become overwhelmed and anxious when you can’t do the things you have done in the past or the way you want to! So…I would say FLEXIBILITY and being KIND to yourself is so important!
What is your definition of happiness?
It is sometimes hard for me to officially ‘lock down’ a definition of something (even happiness) because I literally feel like things change ALL the time and this changes the way you perceive and experience things. Literally, I can say 100% that my definition of happiness is when I have a healthy family…we often take for granted the simple things, including our health, and for everyone to be healthy is a very amazing thing. This makes me so grateful and happy! Of course, I have other things I am always working towards and it give me happiness to see my kids happy, to experience success in business, to make others happy, etc…but truthfully, having good health is everything.