Hello, Austin Mom readers! My name is Whitney Otstott and I’m so happy to meet you! My passion is health, fitness, nutrition, and all things related to women’s empowerment. My road to where I am today has led me on some wonderful and unexpected journeys.

I grew up in a small town in northeast Texas called Mt. Pleasant where I high-kicked on Friday nights with the high school drill team. Upon graduation, missing the choreography of dance classes, I enrolled in aerobics classes in college and fell in love, particularly with step aerobics! The instructor asked if I’d ever thought of teaching aerobics and thus my career in group fitness was launched. I taught fitness classes in College Station while obtaining my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University and then continued teaching throughout my public relations and marketing career. My husband, Aaron, and I moved to Austin in 2000, and we’ve watched the city transform and grow before our very eyes. My corporate career included communications positions at various technology companies and high-tech PR firms, and I’ve taught group fitness classes at several gyms around Austin.

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In 2015, I had my “a-ha” moment: fitness doesn’t have to be my hobby, it can be my career! And I don’t need to work for a gym, I can start my own fitness business and create exactly the type of nurturing and empowering environment for women that I dream of! Luckily, my house had a second-level media room that I could turn into my fitness studio and GirlPower Fitness was born. It is my deep-seated belief that women are critically important to the overall wellbeing of society. When women are okay, society is more likely to be okay. Women become more okay by taking care of themselves, practicing self-care and self-love, prioritizing their needs, and putting themselves higher on their priority lists. We always take care of others but we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. I don’t suggest that fitness is a magic key to unlocking happiness in life. But improving our health puts us in a better mindset and helps us make other healthy changes in our lives. It’s my goal through GirlPower Fitness to help women see that they’re valuable and worth taking care of.

Of course, my most important job in life is being a mom. Unlike many of you, my babies aren’t babies and I’m here to warn you that they grow up in the blink of an eye. My daughter Susannah is 17, born in 2004. She is an aspiring ballerina and has been accepted into many prestigious ballet programs with professional companies including American Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, Kaatsbaan, Colorado Ballet, and others. My daughter Caroline is nearly 15, born in 2007. She loves art, particularly anime, and is currently learning more about digital art techniques.  My husband, Aaron, works in video game development with BioWare/Electronic Arts.

The message I try to send every day to all the females in my life – from my daughters to my clients to myself – is you’re enough with what you’re doing right now, today. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to work with women to help them better their lives and feel empowered.

Whitney Otstott is the owner of GirlPower Fitness, a private fitness studio in southwest Austin that’s just for women. Whitney has been in the fitness industry for more than 25 years, teaching numerous group fitness formats and offering personal training in a way that helps women get stronger and healthier in a nurturing and empowering environment. She's passionate about helping women build confidence as much as strength. She lives in Austin with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two poodles, and loves doing paint-by-numbers while listening to true crime podcasts. Learn more about Whitney and GirlPower Fitness at www.GirlPowerAustin.com.

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