By: Alexis Harborth Photos by: Maude Côté Davis
It all started after Sunny West moved to South Texas. She decided to try personal training after the birth of her second child. Exercise soon became a passion, and ultimately, her calling.
“I got a trainer, worked out for a year, and met the goals I’d set,” she says. “My next trainer was more of a body builder, and that introduced me to strength training and lifting weights. Within a few months, I fell in love with it.”
She went on to get certified and started training clients in her garage. Soon after, an opportunity came up to purchase a gym on Padre Island. She became the owner of Island Fitness, which is “small but mighty.”
The gym – which is open 365 days a year – has a full weight room with dumbbells, benches, machines, a separate cardio room, and a room for classes, and also offers personal training.
Her other business venture is as a partner of a beloved local spot: Lorelei Brewing Company. For West, she’s investing in more than a high-quality establishment. She’s investing in the community she’s come to adore.
Although West only came to Corpus Christi 10 years ago, she’s fallen in love and is proud to call it home. “I absolutely love this community. I love the people, the school. I feel so blessed to be able to raise my kids here.”
She is bringing up her son Tripp, who is 11 years old, and her daughter Senja, who is nine, to learn healthy values and virtues – of how to take care of yourself physically, but also mentally and emotionally.
That’s because West knows health and wellness is a head-to-toe lifestyle and that we must take care of ourselves inside and out. “I’ve very big into self-care,” she says. “From nourishing our bodies to working out to being outdoors, it’s very important to take care of our bodies and ourselves.”
She aims for 8-9 hours of sleep each night, stays active with sports and activities, and encourages people to do what makes them feel good, whether that’s getting facials or getting out in the garden.
For her diet, West personally prefers macronutrient counting. “When I look at a plate, I don’t see good food or bad food. I want to see what nutrients are on it.”
She encourages people to find a sustainable diet for them, which can include enjoying an occasional indulgence. As West explained, it’s more about keeping everything balanced with the right nutrients in the right amounts for your body.
And most importantly, “I preach consistency.” As she explains, being able to practice consistency in a diet or exercise routine is the key to creating results.
For West, what makes her happiest is helping create a healthy, happy, sustainable lifestyle. “Any time I can look around and see that I’ve helped someone, it makes my heart very full.”
It all started with a gym, and it’s something that’s transformed her life and she’s proud to pass on. “My journey in the gym has led me to so much,” says West. “I really found myself there.”