About the Brand
Stronger Together Fitness
Hello loves. Welcome to Stronger Together Fitness – the brand that IS my passion. I hope that through this page you get to know what it is that drives me each and every day, and hopefully, connects us to tackle ALL the goals you have for your life together.
This brand is a culmination of training and coaching others since 2009, and realizing that I have so much I want to share with the world – specifically, other women!
My mission is simple - I want to help people become stronger – mind, body and soul. My approach is anything but a standard cookie cutter program. I am engaged with you every step of your journey. We will lift, we will move, we will eat and learn to love our bodies and all they are capable of; and we will set goals – big and small – and we will achieve them together.
My name is Megan Van Vleet and I am from a small college town in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
I have been an active person since I was a little thing – horseback riding, ballet, gymnastics and softball. I was a dedicated athlete from a young age, no stranger to 5 to 6 days a week of structured practice, classes and a competitive mindset that grew with time.
By age 13 I was a year-round softball player, traveling out of town for pitching & batting lessons, practicing on my own after school and playing for a good majority of the year. I ended up tearing my rotator cuff when I was 15, but played over the pain (typical 15-yr old mentality) never letting it heal properly. Then at age 17, I began a battle with depression and disordered eating. My weight dropped drastically and quickly, and so did my strength. I started to withdraw from the things I loved to do, and by my senior season in the spring, I no longer could make it through a practice. So I quit…throwing away my dream of playing in college, my body just couldn’t keep up.
My battle shifted into college where I struggled with trying to get back to the athlete I knew I was, and with my disordered eating, which had turned from restriction to binging. I finally stopped dancing and playing softball all together by my sophomore year of college. I drank – a lot. And I ate – a lot, and poorly. I was a mess.
After I graduated, and moved back to my hometown, I realized I wanted more out of myself. I wanted to be an athlete again. And I wanted to learn to have a positive relationship with food, exercise and myself. So I started putting in the work – slowly but surely.
I started getting in the gym again - learning how to fuel my body properly (fun fact – I actually took quite a few nutrition courses in college and ALMOST switched my major) – and I started digging in deep to work on myself. But friends – this was not a straight path to adherence and consistency…oh no. This was the ziggiest, zaggiest path full of stumbles, mistakes, failures, successes and just a whole lot of learning. If there was a boot camp of learning about life and who you are – I sure put myself through the special ops version.
Finally in 2011 I made the decision to take an even bigger step and upped my own personal game by focusing on whole foods and making fitness goals. First up: a half-marathon in the spring of 2012 (which I am proud to say I ran in under 2 hours. For someone who is NOT a runner – I was so excited). I ended up running 2 half-marathons that year, and a 10K along with my now husband, and at the end of that year I had never felt better about myself. I remember being in Hawaii for our wedding/honeymoon and not picking myself apart in a swimsuit and feeling confident not only in my own skin, but with my decisions around food. It was powerful.
I felt STRONG, CONFIDENT, and like I could take on ALL my goals. So that’s what I started doing.
I watched my brother compete in a bodybuilding competition in June 2010. There was something about the amazing physiques, the discipline that it took to get there, the glam of show day that stuck with me. At the time – I was nowhere near a place of confidence to do something like that, but it didn’t stop me from daydreaming about it.
After my year of running as I so lovingly refer to 2012 as – I began researching and searching out bodybuilding resources. I also decided that I wanted to get my personal training certification so that I could continue learning more on my own.
I stepped on stage for the first time in May of 2013 as a bucket-list item, and haven’t looked back since. I fell in love with the whole sport – and the process of creating the body I want through lifting and nutrition. Additionally that May, I earned my Personal Training & Behavior Change Certifications through the National Academy of Sport Medicine. Throughout the years I have also, with my love for nutrition, received my Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification from the American Council of Exercise.
Now, my personal journey includes my efforts to earn my IFBB Pro Card and compete as a Professional Bikini athlete. I love competing down to the depths of my soul. It has provided me more education about myself than I could have ever dreamed. I found myself through the stage and through the weight room. I spend my year prepping and competing, then switching gears into offseason or improvement season, to make necessary changes to improve my placings on stage, and to give my body and mind a break from dieting (ya girl loves cookies still).
But stage or no stage, the gym runs through my blood now. And that is really where I aim to connect with others. I am a wife, a busy dog-mama of 3 beautiful pups (two malamutes – Shasta and Cove) and our newest addition – Maui, our prancing pony Great Dane. I am a working lady – having been at the same non-profit health care organization for almost 10 years. I am a daughter, friend and independent woman. And I KNOW how to fit this lifestyle into a busy day…and I know I can help others do the same, but in their own way.
Thank you for allowing me to join YOUR journey, as I know I am thankful for all who have and are a part of mine. It’s an honor – and there is nothing better than taking the leap to invest in yourself and start to win at your own life.
Megan Van Vleet