Episode Summary

Today’s guest, Sandra Troutman, is the owner of Be You 4 Life Apparel, and the creator of the podcast BEING YOU 365.

In this episode, MiMi sits with Sandra. They discuss her journey to self-acceptance and physical fitness. And she talks about starting her apparel line using the growth and lessons learned from this journey.

Top Takeaways

  • “Be what you need to be, and tell those who need to know where you at.”
    – [Sandra Troutman]
  • “It has to be within, like, you have to embrace you from within.”
    – [Sandra Troutman]
  • “You don’t need to live up to someone else’s standard. Be who God created you to be, and be that best version of yourself.”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “I follow my faith; I don’t follow people.”
    – [Sandra Troutman]
  • “Every feedback is an opportunity to improve.”
    – [Sandra Troutman]
  • “Before I put any product on the market, I test it out on myself.”
    – [Sandra Troutman]
  • “If you want to know what people care about, follow the money.”
    – [Sandra Troutman]

Episode Highlights

  • [01:04] Intro
  • [02:00] Meet today’s guest, Sandra Troutman.
  • [06:36] About Sandra’s background
  • [16:40] Sandra’s 3 F-factors in life.
  • [25:24] Creating Be You 4 Life Apparel.
  • [36:52] How Sandra started bodybuilding.
  • [54:54] Connect with Sandra.

Episode Notes

MiMi Melvin

Mimi’s Why – Why host The Omega Sports An Active Point of View podcast?

To mark 15 years of being smoke-free, MiMi decided to run a half marathon. This brought her to Omega Sports. She was properly fitted for running shoes and met people who helped her reach her running goals. Now, she wants to inspire others through her podcast. She wants to reach out to share her story and give others a platform to share theirs.

Sandra Troutman

Sandra Troutman

Sandra is a female fitness competitor, a certified group fitness instructor, a certified spin instructor, a marathon runner, and a duathlete. Well-versed in 3 languages, Sandra also has a Master’s Degree from Harvard. She takes on several roles in her life including wife, mother, and business owner.

Sandra and her family immigrated to the USA when she was a child. They had moved to Boston where they already had family. Sandra attended a catholic school.

Adapting from speaking French to English was challenging which made connecting with peers tough. Sandra got picked on a lot because of her darker skin. Color became a sensitive topic for her. The isolation she felt from the African-American community spurred in her an intense drive to be accepted as good enough. This drive bled into other aspects of her life such as education, identity, and faith.

After mastering English, Sandra had to learn to embrace herself as a Haitian and a woman. She continued her educational studies at Harvard. As she started to embrace herself and the beauty of her story, she started talking to other people in her position.

Be You 4 Life Apparel

This journey to embracing herself become a huge part of the inspiration for her clothing line, Be You 4 Life Apparel. Through it, Sandra helps others use fitness to be authentic. This is the driving force behind her podcast, BEING YOU 365. It is specifically about being your authentic self, 365 days a year.

Fitness, Faith, and Family are the 3 F-factors that drive Sandra’s clothing line and general perspective on life.

  • Fitness is the vehicle for improvement because it is a continuous process of growth.
  • Faith helps to navigate the obstacles in the fitness journey especially to find encouragement when she feels lost.
  • Family is the reason for everything Sandra does and she has had to adapt from her understanding of the nuclear family she was born into, to the demands of having her own family.

Starting her apparel line in 2017 was almost by accident. Sandra used to post her pictures every day after running and got a lot of positive comments about her appearance. She decided to take a chance to design her own line.

Sandra makes sure to test all apparel in workout sessions and to get feedback from her ambassadors before releasing them into the market. Quality is the topmost priority in her work, as a result, the production process involves numerous quality checks. For this purpose, correspondence from customers is something she handles directly and meticulously.

Growth was slow initially. Things changed when she expanded the clothing line to triathletes and fitness as a whole. Her line blossomed. She now has over 10 collections on her website. She’s expanded to creating logos or custom designs for teams.

To stand out, Sandra considers the market, seasons, and her competition. She has gained skills in photography, Photoshop and videography. Her family has had to get very actively involved in the business at times as well, making it a family affair!


Bodybuilder Sandra Troutman

Sandra met a trainer who beat all odds as a Sickle Cell patient to become a bodybuilder. He became a source of motivation for her. She had some friends who were bodybuilders and they supported her goals.

Although she was a runner, this transition saw huge adjustments in her diet. This was no easy feat but was critical for success. Mastery of her mental strength has also played a pivotal role in maintaining these changes and in bodybuilding generally.

In addition to all this, prioritizing sleep has become a huge part of her process. It is super important in muscle recovery and general health. Hence, without apology, she will say no to requests that impeded her sleep. She will not compromise on the quality of sleep she gets.

As Sandra began participating in bodybuilding competitions, she had to learn which category was the best fit for her. It needed to highlight her strongest points. Turns out, this category is the bikini category.

Taking care of you

It is necessary to value yourself and to give the appropriate time to relationships that matter to you. Occasionally, Sandra signs off social media to focus on her wellbeing, family, and fitness. There is an understanding that it is imperative to commit her resources to the areas of her life that matter the most.


Find | MiMi Melvin

Find |Sandra Troutman (Be You 4 Life)