The Ancient Greek physician Herophilus once said that “when health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot become manifest, strength cannot be exerted, wealth is useless, and reason is powerless.” It is clear that this quote can be applied to Joshua McFadden, 23 who is an artist, international award-winning photographer and emerging health & fitness trainer. While many may not see a direct correlation between art and fitness, Joshua has successfully combined two of his biggest passions in ways that are mutually beneficial to himself and the following that he has acquired. Joshua (who currently has pieces of his photography touring throughout Europe) has begun the GET YOUR LIFE movement in an effort to help others jump start their journey into healthy living. While it initially began at Elizabeth City State University, (where he obtained a B.A. in Education back in May of 2012) it has received both national and international attention. There is no denying that Joshua’s creativity and dedication will take him far in life.
1. What initially sparked your interest in art and photography
I was heavily involved in the arts for the majority of my childhood and adolescent years. I began practicing art first with my mother, then throughout grade school. From an early age I have always had a strong interest in art. As I grew older I developed a love for photography. Capturing a moment that will last forever really fascinates me. I also like the fact of creating an image that sparks very strong feelings in the viewer.
2. Over the past year, you have made remarkable personal progress in the areas of health & fitness, what inspired you to place a greater focus on those two components that have become central in your life?
There were multiple things that inspired my choice to make this a major component of my life.
I adapted many bad habits during my undergrad years that had a major impact on my health. The worst year being my senior year.
In my senior year of college my eating habits were terrible. I was going all day and night without eating, because I had “no time.” I would then go to either McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Cookout at about 3 AM and get tons of food. I would demolish the food, and go to sleep. Wake up at 6AM and do it all again. I made excuses that I had no time or money to eat healthy. My schedule was BANANAS; everyday was completely full until about 3 AM. I was a student full time, had 3 jobs, and was president of my non-profit organization. I maintained a 4.0 and everything was successful, but my health took the back seat. Those habits had me feeling drained, sluggish, slow, headaches, back hurting, tense, all of the above. This also led to me having high Blood pressure. Then to top everything off, the week of my college graduation my grandfather passed because of a combination of the same habits. So that was my final wake up call. On the very day of graduation, I decided that I was going to make a change and do a total 180.
Those two things made me want to change for the better. I also wanted to be an example for my family and peers. So I made my transformation public and I shared my story with EVERYONE! I also did this because I saw a trend in the African American community as far as deaths due to heart disease.
3. What does it mean to be a “health coach”?
To be a health coach it means to promote healthy and active life style changes for the client. Together the client and I set a goal and I am with them throughout the journey to wellness. There is a ton of motivation and push; I strive to get my clients to be the best version of themselves. I help the client see the vision of great health. In the end the clients learn how to live a healthy active lifestyle through nutrition and fitness. I use herbalife as a tool to help my clients reach their goals nutrition wise.
4. Have you thought of a way that you could potentially tie your passion for photography in with your passion for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Well so far, photography has been a major part of the movement. The first thing we do is take a before and after pictures for the client. This will help them track their progress besides a scale. I find that visual proof of progress is the best. A picture says a thousand words and is the best motivator. Also the after picture shows the client’s victory. They have gotten their life! I also love coming up with new visual aids for my clients. One of my main photography projects was about natural beauty. That directly connects with health because what you eat , what you drink, directly affect how you look and feel. Also, with me being healthy I can now really enjoy my photo-shoots without feeling tired, slow and out of shape. I can really do more!
5. You have acquired a following of people (with the GET YOUR LIFE movement) who now seek your advice and guidance in bettering their lives, what do you intend to do with the impact that you have made and what does it mean to you?
The GET YOUR LIFE movement has really taken off! So many people have responded positively. Hundreds of people even from different countries have responded. My main goal was to inspire and it makes me happy that I have achieved that. I am overwhelmed with joy. This is really saving lives. I want GET YOUR LIFE, the healthy movement to become a trend in the near future.