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Meet Mandy

Hi Feminists! We’re excited to announce the newest addition to the Fitness for Feminists team, Mandy Zerillo! Once a month, Coach Mandy will be answering all of your fitness and nutrition questions through the medium of — wait for it — a comic strip! Look for the first installment of her Funnies for Fitness next Wednesday!

Below, read a brief interview with Coach Mandy to get to know her a little better.

Q. Tell us who you are and what you do.

A. I am a 30-something fitness trainer. I am a Pisces, an INTP, and a Hufflepuff. I enjoy writing, drawing, exercise science, and too much coffee. I really like helping folks with the mental hurdles of their fitness goals.

Q. Your house is on fire! What do you save?

A. Well, since my only pet right now is a cactus named Spike, I’d say most things are replaceable. I have a few writing notebooks near and dear to my heart. I would grab the last four of those.

Q. Sorry about your house being on fire. If you were a non-human animal, what kind of animal would you be and why?

A. This one is always a tough one for me because if I don’t have to be a human, I’d rather be a tree. I guess I would go with Octopus. They have amazing sensory perception we could only dream of, and they even have taste buds on their arms. Can you imagine? You could just pick something up and if it was gross you wouldn’t have to eat half and put it back in the box of chocolate like nothing happened.

Q. What are your favorite songs to workout to? To dance to?

A. I run to moderately-paced indie music. I lift to quicker paced alt-rock. I really like dancing to Latin-influenced music because I feel like I know what to do with my hips with that beat.

Q. What did 10-year-old Mandy want to be when she grew up?

A. I wanted to be a stand-up comedian.

Q. When did you start drawing comics (or in general)?

A. I’ve doodled my favorite cartoons as long as I can remember. I moved from crayon to pencil around middle school, but I only started drawing with pen and watercolor pencil in the last year. My biggest project was a picture book for my now wife as part of my proposal.

Q. Why do you want to give people advice?

A. I like giving advice because my perspective surprises people. I hope it’s helpful, but I also feel like it’s a good expression of who I am, what I’m about, and how I think the world works. Besides, I don’t want to fill my bumper with too many stickers.

Q. What are your basic philosophies around fitness?

A. I believe fitness is a hobby that has the potential to reduce pain, build strength, fulfill a purpose, and countless other tall orders. That being said, fitness as a hobby is most powerful when paired with specific goals and priorities, and is not and should not be a cure-all for all people and all problems.

Q. Around nutrition?

A. Nutrition is a complicated beast that is influenced by social norms and expectations, access to quality food, time, self-care opportunities, mental health, and bandwidth to make any changes to any of these areas. That sounds super intimidated, but I find it motivating. If nutrition touches all of these facets of our lives, then working on our nutrition can positively affect any of these.

Q. Around life in general?

A. Life is too short to take happiness for granted; life is too long to tolerate a way of living that doesn’t make you happy.

Q. If you had $100,000,000 and could do anything you wanted, what would you do?

A. Obviously, I would get a pet octopus and a proper environment for it. Everyone in my nuclear family would be free of debt and college-bound, and with the substantial leftover funds I would invest in some entrepreneurial ventures with positive environmental influence. That way I could selfishly get even richer but also continue to have a planet to enjoy my riches.

Got a fitness or nutrition question for Mandy? Email her at

There’s still time to sign up for the January 14 fitness and nutrition coaching cohort! Click here for more information or email with any questions.

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