What’s better than finding your passion? Having a bff to share it with! And what’s even better than that? Finding a way to motivate and inspire others and get them excited about what you are doing. University of Michigan sophomores, Sydney Lieberman and Sarah Guss have done just that with their brand new social media platform, @oursynergy.
1. What is Our Synergy? What inspired you to start it?
Our Synergy is a social media platform designed to inform, inspire, and support our personal, familial, and friend network regarding fitness and health inquires and aspirations. We have grown close throughout our time at Michigan thanks to our common hobbies, interests, and values. Over the summer of 2016, we were inspired to begin Our Synergy to collaborate on fitness and healthy eating activities and share with our friends while living different lives at home. We are proud of our love for building stamina, muscle, healthy diets, and a healthy lifestyle for our peers to learn about through our fitness Instagram account.
2. How did you come up with the name?
We are synergetic together. We are best friends who support, better, and love one another. We never argue, always smile, and love to workout and cook together. Thanks to our combined spirit and energy, we decided to create a social media platform to show the world our synergy, Sarah and Syd’s synergy, @oursynergy!
3. Why do you think healthy habits matter?
Healthy habits are important to maintaining a balance in life. Healthy habits do not just develop from healthy eating and exercising. They are fostered by associating with likeminded people who have similar outlook and point of view.
4. How do you draw the line between healthy living and unhealthy obsession?
In an era dominated by technology, we, especially as female college students, are inclined to follow healthy food accounts, fitness gurus, etc. Inevitably, these accounts will spark an obsessive urge to look like that person and achieve an intangible figure or frame. In most cases, these “healthy” social media platforms and advertisements do not employ healthy behavior. For me (Sydney), this obsession sparked at the end of my junior year. As someone that played sports my entire life and was surrounded by exercise and constant outdoor activity, I began to obsess over exercising and always wanting to “get better.” It got to the point where I was working out three times a day. Although my food intake was sufficient at first, I began to cut out more foods that I saw as “not healthy” and the combination of these restrictions and my exercise habits caused rapid weight loss. I had to seek help from medical professionals and my family and was checked into an outpatient family based therapy treatment. Although at the time, I hated those around me for making me modify all the habits I had become addicted to, without making those changes, getting to where I am now (healthy and balanced) would not have been possible otherwise. Having supportive family and friends is essential to beating these unhealthy habits and crossing back over the line from unhealthy obsession to health living!
5. What’s your current fitness favorite? What do you like about it?
It honestly all depends whether we are home in New Jersey or here at school in Ann Arbor. Either way, Orangetheory Fitness is always integrated into our weekly workout plans. At school, we both alternate between OTF, hot yoga, long runs, and weight lifting sessions. We work together to create our own weight lifting sessions by using past workouts with our trainers at home and online research. When we are home in New Jersey, alongside OTF, we both train with our own personal trainers, a hobby we share with our moms, and Syd attends Flywheel classes frequently in Millburn.
6. Tips for healthy eating on campus?
On campus, healthy eating is all about keeping a balance. It’s nearly impossible to eat 100% healthy, nor does any busy, stressed out collegiate student want to eat chicken, broccoli, and drink tea, day in and day out. During a time of their lives when college students are more physically and mentally active than ever, they need to listen to their bodies, minds, and hunger cues. Satisfying hunger cues by eating carbs earlier in the day and protein at the end of the day works well at school and at home, even though it is probably easier at home. We honestly just take eating day by day depending on our class and work schedule, but enjoy checking in with one another on our meal plans and ideas by sending texts and photos to one another.
7. Can you share a recipe with us? We heard something about some famous black bean brownies?
Sarah’s recipe: Paleo Banana Bread http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-banana-nut-bread-paleo-gluten-free-and-grain-free/
Syd’s recipe: Black Bean Brownies
Haha! Syd’s mom started making these black bean brownies months ago and we all fell in love with them! Find the recipe above!
8. Sarah – 3 words to describe Syd. Syd – 3 words to describe Sarah?
Sarah describing Syd: courageous, compassionate, daring
Syd describing Sarah: dedicated, hardworking, beautiful
9. What’s your goal with Our Synergy? Where do you see it going?
Our goal is to empower college students around the country to be their best selves. We find the best ways to do so is through exercise, clean eating, friendships/relationships with friends and family, and overall, hard work. From past experiences, we’ve found restricting in all aspects of life will never lead to happiness and therefore we’re building this network in order to find the best way to stay healthy and happy. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other, especially in college!
10. If someone has a great idea for a workout or anything else they think you should feature, how should they contact you?
You can direct message us on Instagram at @oursynergy!
11. Any last words of inspiration?
Just to keep an open mind and work as hard as you can and you’ll truly be your happiest self!