Flavia Sgoifo is a model, fitness coach, actress, and health advocate. She is originally from Greece but currently resides in New York City, where she learned the Transcendental Meditation technique at the beginning of the year. We caught up with her while she was isolating in Ireland for a few weeks before heading back to Greece.
What describes your approach to life?
Just keep going. Everything you’ve ever wanted to achieve is waiting for you.
What are your three favourite tools for a happy and healthy life?
I like to do physical exercise of any kind for a happy and healthy body; anything from intense gym workouts to sports, to hiking. I like mind work, meditation, and reading, for a healthy and happy mind. I like socializing with friends, travelling, and dining out, for a happy and healthy soul. So it’s three, but really one: balance.
What does a typical day in your week look like?
I usually wake up super early in the morning to make sure I have some ‘me time’ before doing anything else. ‘Me time’ consists of 2 hours at the gym, running, or an at-home workout of any kind, followed by my morning TM, and a big breakfast while catching up on emails and social media. Then the rest (of the day) can vary a lot depending on my job commitments. I usually teach CrossFit, HIIT, Pilates, and Yoga classes at the gym, or train private clients. I might have an audition, a callback, or a business meeting with a fitness brand or online fitness client. If I’m rehearsing for a play, I have 3-4 hour rehearsals daily. In the afternoon I try to take some time to stretch or practice Yoga and then do my TM practice right before I cook dinner or go out with friends.
You wear lots of hats from coaching to acting to modelling. Do you see yourself as someone who took a leap of faith, or did it just kind of happen?
Well, I wouldn’t say that anything in my life ‘just happened’ as I’ve worked really hard for everything I’ve wanted. However, I think that there’s been a flow leading me from one thing to another.
I was a young tennis athlete but had to stop to focus on school, as the exam system for high school in Greece is really hard. I was really upset in the beginning, but then I realized I had a hidden desire to be an actress. So when I graduated with excellent grades from high school, my parents agreed to let me attend a drama school, only if at the same time I would pursue a BA in something different. So I got my BA in media and journalism while studying acting. My career as a journalist opened many doors for my acting, too. I got to meet people, I learned how to market myself, and attended some really interesting cultural events.
I moved to the US to continue my studies in acting. My journalism skills paid my rent for at least 3 years as I was hosting a radio show and writing articles at various Greek-American media stations and papers. As I was getting really serious with my gym training to make sure my body looked good and made me feel confident for my acting career, I decided to get certified as a fitness coach to help others reach the best versions of themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. So here I am today: an actress with a regular fitness job on the side that I am also really passionate about.
Talk about your biggest success and biggest failure. What did you learn from them?
I won’t get into details about those events as we all perceive success and failure in a different way, but also because I’ve started focusing on positivity as a way of life. So I don’t think of things that didn’t happen exactly the way I wanted them to happen as ‘failures,’ but rather as lessons learned on my way to achieving my successes.
I’ve not always been like that. I’ve been through serious depression, anorexia, and nervous breakdowns for many years of my life. I’m mentioning this only to say that I’ve been through a lot of dark moments to eventually choose to have a positive mindset in life. What I’ve learned through both the ups and downs is that being prepared, having clear goals, working hard, and having a good solid plan is necessary. Also not getting too attached to any of those because sometimes you also need to be flexible, listen to your body and gut, and go with the flow.
Have you found the TM technique helpful during this pandemic?
TM has been really helpful in my life in general. I’ve dealt better with work madness, stress, unfortunate experiences, happy moments, fears, uncertainty, and yes, with this pandemic. I meditate every single day no matter what.
Since you began practicing the TM technique, have you found yourself more creative and/or motivated?
I would say that since I’ve begun practising TM, I have better clarity of thought, focus, and inner balance that help me not get too sad in sad moments, or too overwhelmed in happy moments. I’m more grounded and connected to my real self, rather than my emotions. TM has taught me to be happy, patient, and consistent.
If you could give someone one piece of advice when thinking about pursuing a life/career like yours, what would you tell them?
See? It’s a circle. I’m ending this interview by getting back to my first answer: Do it. Actually, do it. Do it without talking about it or thinking you have to prove anything to anybody. Put in the hard work, be consistent, trust the process, and keep going. Don’t get too attached to emotions, find the flow in what you do, and if you follow this recipe, you will lead a happy and healthy life. If you are really passionate about your goals, you will enjoy the process of achieving them just as much.
Interested to learn more about the Transcendental Meditation technique? Find your local TM teacher here ►