Introducing the always sassy, always excited, and always full of life: Parastoo Badie!
Parastoo! Who are you, what do you do, and what are you known for?!
My name Parastoo means swallow (bird) in Farsi. It’s significant to me because my whole life I’ve thought of myself as a bird, capable of flying and doing anything I put my mind to. I also go by P2.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Minor in Business. I’m a Certified Personal Training Specialist and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. My ultimate goal was to work in health communications and international development. I’m respectful and patient, but I really don’t like being told what to do. I dance to the beat of my own drum –I actually bust out into dance and I don’t care who’s watching! It’s important for me to be myself in all aspects of my life, both personal and professional. So despite amazing blessings and great people, I chose to walk away from my corporate life to follow my passion as a Personal Wellness Coach.
I’m a hippie, wanderlust, fitness model, lifter, rugger, belly dancer, speaker, writer, and advocate for strength and empowerment. I know I will continue to evolve and figure out who I am with new experiences, but I’ve really come into my own recently and started to embrace all my sides. It’s liberating!
Fun fact: my facebook was in pirate english for 3 years. Also, if there is a tree, I will climb it.
What’s your athletic background like?
I grew up swimming, running, and downhill skiing in Iran. When I moved to Canada in elementary school, my parents always encouraged me to do stuff – so I did! I tried many sports but only one really stuck, perhaps because I was absolutely horrendous at the others (haha)!
RUGBY is a big part of me. My love affair started in high school and it really helped shape me as a person. I played varsity for the University of Ottawa and have continued to play for my competitive club the Ottawa Beavers Banshees RFC.
My athleticism evolved right after I graduated university when I started training seriously with my then coach, now business partner, Aimee. The purpose of training was to rehabilitate my injuries. I had broken both my shoulders and had many other imbalances and strains. Despite thinking I was “healthy” my whole life, it was this experience that made me realize the individuality and the impact of nutrition and fitness. I improved my health, overcame many chronic infections, improved my immune system, got stronger and faster, and gained a sense of self that was buried deep within me.
With my newfound confidence, I competed in my first fitness competition and have since competed 3 more times. I love training, and I’m always working to get stronger, get faster, gain more muscle, and improve in all aspects. It’s a way of life for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love challenges and usually one up myself with another goal to works towards. Why the hell not!
Your friends and family know you for being sassy and fearless. Was this always a part of you? If not, how did you come to embrace that side of you?
Well, it was and wasn’t always a part of me. I have always been hyper, energetic, curious and random, but the sassy and fearless side has only really evolved over the last couple of years. Going through heartaches, hard times and experiences can really shapes you. I guess you can say I grew up, which is funny because I am also a big kid! I’m an old soul and a big kid combined.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what flipped this switch. It’s a combination of being in unhealthy relationships, allowing myself to be treated poorly, losing loved ones, overcoming my insecurities, and doing things that scared me. Realizing my purpose and pursuing my passion had a big impact on my evolution. I’m very aware of the energies and types of people I have around me now. Although I have always been a social butterfly, I’m fortunate to have amazing friends that have been there for me from the beginning.
The more confident I become, the more I step into my power. I’m bold, sassy, but always classy. Although, I am not always fearless! In fact, I have many fears. Quite honestly, I’m scared shitless more than half of the time but I do things anyway. There’s a lot of self imposed pressure, fear of things going wrong, fear of rejection, and fear of it blowing up in my face, both in the professional and personal sense…but I’ve learned that it’s not always as dramatic as I make it out to be in my head.
I have been through a lot and I’m still here. Every time I thought I wouldn’t make it through or my world was about to end, here I am! I don’t believe in having regrets. So I jump in with both feet and trust that I have gained the sense, the skills, the faith, and the intuition to make it out alive. It’s worked out for me this far!
Can you talk a little bit about your passion projects and what you’re most excited about?
That’s a hard question to answer because I’m excited all of the time! I basically have an on/off button; I’m either going hard or I’m asleep, there is no in between, haha!
Seriously though I have a few passion projects in the works. The first is my partnership with Love to Train, a wellness consulting company with a facility in Ottawa. I now have a vehicle to disseminate a whole lot of fierce throughout the city! Our tagline ‘Discover your strong’ is significant as it encompasses my former alias and company, P2STRONG. I’m working to be able to reach more people with this vehicle, as I believe strength is within each of us.
Although the definitions may differ, the base of it is, I associate to confidence and knowing oneself. The stronger we are as individuals, the healthier and more empowered we become and therefore, the better we do for ourselves and those around us.
Another passion project is a community movement that I founded called the My Fabulous Self Campaign. This community encourages authenticity and self-love, through optimal wellness, and mental health. The campaign has three pillars: 1) to provide a collaborative platform for health and wellness practitioners and enthusiasts to promote, teach, and celebrate health and wellness as an attainable way of life; 2) to celebrate individuals within the community by sharing #MyFabulousSelf Stories; and 3) to raise awareness and reduce stigma for mental health disorders.
Love to Train and My Fabulous Self Campaign are two vehicles that I utilize under my professional coaching in order to extend my purpose and message to as many people as possible. It’s also the foundation of my coaching style as I apply all of my experiences and lessons to my private and small group nutrition and personal training clients. I am extremely thankful that I have the privilege to live my passion every day, and I am genuinely excited to continue learning from my peers in the industry. I am super pumped for future certification trips and events. Bring it on, all of it!
What are some of the riskiest things you’ve ever done, and why?
I don’t necessarily think that risk is always something crazy like skydiving, which I haven’t done yet but it’s on my list! Sometimes just being really honest and sharing your truth can be a risk. If it pushes you to grow, it’s a risk in my opinion. With that being said, my biggest risk was leaving my corporate life behind, going back to school in a different city, while dealing with personal and financial stresses, and choosing to work for myself despite all odds.
If I were to think of my eulogy, I would want it to say that I lived and loved my life and made a positive impact on my family, friends, and community. I believe that risk is an inevitable part of this; if I don’t put myself out there, I can’t achieve any of my goals. So I believe in taking a little risk or doing something that scares me on a daily basis. Always growing, growing all ways!
What do you envision for your future? What’s on the near-term horizon for you?
I am really proud that one of my character strengths is my ability to dream, imagine, and picture my vision. It is so fantastic that everything I am going through right now, I had already envisioned.
The near-term horizon for me includes smashing my ever-evolving fitness goals, supporting my clients, growing my business and my campaign. The long term vision is travelling the world while sharing my passion and purpose. Ah, bring me that horizon! Isn’t it so exciting?!
What does success mean to you?
Success to me means to be healthy and happy, with the freedom to make choices. Personally, I don’t care about too many material possessions nor am I really impressed by the brand name luxuries. I appreciate the minimalist life because I rather have a little less ‘stuff’ so I can do more ‘things.’
Success to me is travelling and enjoying a variety of experiences with people I love, on my own time and dollar. Also, to have the opportunity to give back to my community and to contribute to solutions for ongoing inequalities and injustices. As I mentioned earlier, my goal has always been to work in health communications and international development. I am doing this, in my own way. So I would define success as making a notable, positive impact.
What advice would you give to women diving into their fitness journey?
Use fitness as a celebration. It’s magnificent to see what our bodies are capable of. Nothing tops that feeling of accomplishing a goal that seemed impossible. Understand that many parts of our modern world thrive off insecurities. So…rebel!
Embrace your insecurities, love your body, and treat fitness as a vehicle to push yourself mentally and physically. You’ll discover so many things about yourself. And you’ll find many activities that work for you, whether it’s an individual sport, team sport, powerlifting, bodybuilding, dancing, swimming, yoga, etc. Eat well, move your body, nourish your mind, and have fun! If you embrace the process and learn to trust yourself, fitness can be so damn empowering and thrilling.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Be yourself. Be your quirky, weird, passionate, loud, quiet, shy, hilarious, ridiculous self. Never shut off your light to please anybody. If you have to shut up your truth to fit a mold, get yourself out of the situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a relationship, job, or something else. The only thing we control at the end of the day is ourselves. So do you, be around people that celebrate you, and forget the rest. Life is too short for anything else. And always, climb that tree