Gina Story is a source of encouragement for anyone who may be facing depression or battling any issue in life that seems will never come to an end. She is a Qualified Personal Trainer who became inspired by health and fitness as a result of a turbulent time in her life. Fitness was the best form of stress relief for her and cheapest form of therapy. Gina chose to build herself up through health and fitness and used this to create a better life for herself. Through this journey, she birthed Just Geen and is now changing many more lives.
Name: Gina Obeng
Location: East London
Current title | Company: Just Geen
Education: Undergrad in Criminology and Social Policy, Post Grad in Law
What was your first job you landed and how did you get it?
My first job coming out of uni was a paralegal internship which I did for a year. I managed to get it through my dad, he was good friends with one of the partners of the firm.
How did you go from law career to a career in fitness, what made you so passionate?
I was fighting depression and found fitness to be my stress reliever. I just started running one day and became obsessed with it! I then found that I was very passionate about it and wanted to know more so decided to qualify as a PT. After qualifying, I decided to take the leap and started my own fitness brand.
You recently just left your corporate 9-5 job to focus on Just Geen, what was it like making this decision and how has it been so far?
It was such a tough decision, I battled with for about a year just like most entrepreneurs do in the early stages. One thing I made sure I did, was place myself in a financially good place, this gave me the confidence to take the plunge.
How did your friends and family react towards this decision?
Luckily for me, they were very supportive as they knew it was something that I really wanted to do.
What makes Just Geen so different from the other Fitness Brands?
Just Geen is all about the journey and how personal it is to YOU. Everyone’s fitness journey is different and its all about celebrating that. In as much as we promote getting healthy & fit it is always key to remember the competition is with yourself and no one else.
What challenges have you faced since starting?
Confidence has been a big barrier and caring too much about what people have to say about me and my brand. Being too harsh on myself and not giving myself enough credit for even the smallest victories, we need to celebrate these more.
Did you start with any funding?
No, I used my savings!
If you could go back and make any changes, what would they be?
None, I believe everything happens for a reason and I’m where I need to be.
Do you feel under pressure to constantly look good?
Yes of course! As a trainer people buy into your appearance so the pressure is there.
What does body love mean to you and why should we embrace it?
We need to start loving our bodies regardless of what social media or society tells us. It’s so easy to feel inadequate because of an image seen online but that filtered/photoshopped image isn’t reality. Even when you do come across a great body that has not been edited, remember you can work on your own. Focus on YOU.
As they say, “it’s a lifestyle, not a diet” what are 3 practical steps on getting that dream healthy lifestyle?
1. Make small realistic challenges to your diet that you can commit to long-term
2. Have fun with it
3. Find out what works for you by trying out different things
The gym is more or less your workplace. Have you ever felt intimidated at your place of work by men, if so how have you handled it?
Never lol I’m a bit of an alpha female so I like to think I can handle men
Can you share a recent success story that makes you proud?
Quitting my job to pursue my brand full time is definitely something I’m proud of. It has taken me a while to get here, but it’s something I couldn’t have rushed.
3 top tips on becoming a personal trainer/fitness coach?
1. Get a PT qualification
2. Get a Unique selling point (USP) as the fitness industry has become very saturated
3. Patience is key. clients will cancel last minute, there may be periods where your work rate is slow, but if you’re in it for the right reasons, you’ll stay motivated through these periods.
What’s the most important advice you have received that you would like to share with other ladies?
It’s not advice I’ve received but its something I came to realise along my journey. Not everyone is going to understand/support your vision or dream and it’s ok if they don’t, as they’re not meant to. It’s YOUR vision, so as long as you are confident in whatever it is that you want to do, that is all that matters.
What would you tell your 20-year- old self?
To trust the process and that I’m where I need to be.
What is the future for Just Geen?
I one day would like to open up a healthy Afro-Caribbean restaurant and I strive to be a leading fitness brand in my industry.