Today we’re talking to Daniela Dietl, health and fitness coach, with a wealth of experience across various disciplines in the wellness arena, spanning a career of more than 20 years. Daniela, or Dan as she is known to her clients, doesn’t follow the ‘quick fix’ approach but works closely with people, helping them to achieve life-long lasting physical changes and to learn simple ways to best nourish body and mind.

Female First: Good morning, Dan, and thank you for taking time out to speak with us today. You’ve been living well and teaching others to do so, too, for over 20 years now. Can you tell us what motivates you to keep pursuing your chosen career path? How do you keep on keeping on?

Dan Dietl: Well, that’s easy – I simply love what I do! I am passionate about health in all its aspects. Health is about overall well-being, feeling energetic and vitalized, liking/loving yourself, feeling beautiful, being strong and active, having a good digestive system, eating delicious foods and meals, having fun and enjoying life.

Dan Dietl - I simply love what I do!
Dan Dietl - I simply love what I do!

Female First: That sounds great, but in reality, it’s not always that easy to put into practice, and many of us are intimidated by the thought of making big lifestyle changes to achieve these goals. You seem to have a well-balanced approach that makes for a healthy mind in a healthy body. Before we get to the steps that are needed to make physical changes, we should probably start with our mental approach. 

Can you tell us a bit about how you THINK about your body and share some thoughts on the perception of the “Ideal Body”?

Dan Dietl: I think that we need to reevaluate the concept of the “ideal body” in more general terms, as it is fair to say that no matter what age or gender we are, nowadays we all spend a lot of time thinking about our bodies and what we look like. Especially in this age of smart phones and social media, we’re taking and sharing more photos and seeing more images of ourselves than ever before. So, it can be difficult to blend out negative thoughts when you see pictures of yourself and compare them to others, or when you think of what your perception was of how you looked when the photo was taken, compared to how you appear to look online. However, it’s really critical to remember that photos are only a momentary snapshot and generally do not reflect what the real 3D moving, laughing, live version of you is.

Female First: That’s an important point, because its commonly acknowledge that thoughts give rise to feelings, and self-deprecation can easily become self-hate, if we don’t keep those negative thoughts at bay. 

Dan Dietl: Yes, absolutely. It is important to feel good about how you look when you look in the mirror. Your body may not be exactly what you wish it looked like in the “ideal” version you have in your mind’s eye, but it is important to value it and nurture it nonetheless. Do this by living a life that creates the healthiest, fittest and best version of you. When you eat well, exercise regularly and drink enough water you will start to feel better - physically as well as mentally. This positive energy generates positive thoughts, and you will experience more positive feelings about yourself, even if the mirror does not reflect that “ideal” image you may have (had) in mind. 

It just takes that first step, so start, and day by day you will and can create good lifetime habits that will change how you feel about and perceive yourself. 

Female First: I guess there’s a key lesson in what you’ve just said, and that relates to self-perception. How we feel about ourselves is strongly influenced not only by how we see ourselves but how we think others see us, too. How can we maintain self-love and build self-confidence?

Dan Dietl: Keep focused on your own individuality, on what makes you uniquely YOU. Do not compare your body shape, size or weight to others. I have been working in the fitness industry for over twenty years and in my role as personal trainer I have yet to find two females with the same weight, who actually have the same shape. This is what’s so great about us: everyone is unique. And yet almost every one of us spends too much time worrying about our body and looks, often in comparison to our peers. Or, even more detrimentally, in comparison to people who are younger or fitter or who have different metabolisms than we do.  What a waste of time and energy, when in fact, by releasing ourselves from the self-flagellation of the “I should be’s” and embracing the mantra of “this is me and I am going to nurture and love what I have”, we experience a sense of release that  is hugely freeing and self-confidence building.

Female First: Wow, that is really inspirational, and, like all the best things in life, such good advice is actually free for the taking. Looking at you, it seems that you certainly practice what you preach. How do you apply this in your personal approach to attaining the “ideal”?

Dan Dietl: I enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle and I can honestly say that I do not find it a pressure or suffer in any way. The all-or-nothing approach isn’t realistic, because then we develop a sense of deprivation or punishment associated with healthy living. I enjoy allowing myself times when I eat badly and consume too much junk, because I know I have developed the strength to go back to cutting it out and reverting to eating better. I focus on being kind to myself but am also very aware that I feel better when I live well. Nothing beats the feeling of putting on your jeans and feeling good! As to the “Ideal” body… it’s mine, it’s yours, it’s ours!

Female First: Amen to that, Dan! Thank you very much for your insights today. At Female First we can look forward to hearing more from Daniela Dietl, as she’ll be sharing health and fitness tips and wellness advice on a regular basis in her column called “Dan’s Day”. If anyone would like more information or to contact Dan directly for one-on-one coaching, please visit or follow her on Instagram @dd_health_fitness

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