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Well Said

A journal for the modern woman.

Fitness Girl Megan Roup Talks The Power Of A Side Hustle, Learning To Trust Herself With Food, And Getting Into Fitness

Megan has it all figured out. She might beg to differ, but the fitness maven is making smart moves. From her career as a dancer for the NETS to becoming a mainstay in fitness, plus her latest role as founder of fitness app, Sculpt Society — a project she was determined to build to give access to her method to women around the world. Roup’s answer to an approachable, empowering, and welcoming boutique fitness method—is one of NYC’s most buzzed about classes, with celeb clients like supermodels Elsa Hosk and Shanina Shaik.

After working out together one morning, we grabbed a coffee. Mind you, sitting down with Megan, is like going on a high-energy adventure with your bestie. Always a good time. Always inspiring. We chatted about what brought her to NYC, what it felt like to launch Sculpt Society, lessons she’s learned about her body, and the one piece of advice she always tries to follow.

How did you get your start in fitness?
After college, I moved from Santa Barbara to NYC to dance professionally. Initially with a theatre company and then with the Brooklyn Nets (which was full-on hip-hop!) before focusing on fitness entirely.

That was a crazy time. I was juggling three jobs — all physically demanding — teaching fitness in the morning, fit modeling during the day, and dancing for the Brooklyn Nets at night. On game days, we would start rehearsal at 1 pm, dance until 11 pm, and then I would have to get up for my day job. It was a lot. That said, I was ecstatic to be in NYC and grateful to be teaching fitness, working in fashion, and dancing for the NETS. It was all a dream until I burnt out. After a while, I became so exhausted and couldn’t sustain the schedule. I had to pick a lane. When faced with that decision, my fitness practice gave me the most satisfaction. I loved the connection I had with my community, and watching these women commit to transformation was powerful. I saw the success of my work, and that felt good. While dancing was terrific, after several seasons, I felt ready to move on — plus, it wasn’t paying the bills! After leaving the NETS, I continued to side hustle with fit modeling until last year, while I built my fitness brand.

So, you just launched your app, Sculpt Society! What can we expect from the app?
Yes! We launched last month! It's a membership-based app with full plans and programs. The goal is to make it easy and accessible with new workouts every week.

The original idea behind Sculpt Society was to create a program for people that love dancing but aren’t dancers. It's an uncomplicated fitness class for any level that's fun and effective. In creating the app, I wanted to bring this same sentiment to people everyone, along with a calendar to follow and a library of online videos that range from 5 min to an hour with different focuses.

What did that feel like to go live?
It felt like I birthed a baby. After working my ass off and putting so much time and dedication into it, I was scared when it was finally time to put it out into the world. I literally had heart palpitations and broke out into hives as we pressed go! But, to see people receiving it and responding the way I had hoped for, better, in fact, has been positively overwhelming and continues to make me so happy. Also, to see how the app is impacting women’s lives and encouraging one another across the globe from Hong Kong to Ohio is incredible!

How did you decide to launch Sculpt Society?
For me, launching an app has been a way to connect to more women. Up until now, I have focused on creating a robust community in NYC, but ultimately that's limiting and can only reach a certain number of women. With my app, women in Kansas, Florida, and so on have access to my workouts. Plus, having an app is excellent because it allows for a different experience with structure and organization. My girls work out, post their feedback, have group conversations with accountability amongst each other. Leading up to launch, I already saw this happening on my Facebook group, with women posting sweaty selfies of themselves and encouraging one another to keep going and get results. I encourage them to post results, how they feel, and their achievements versus before and afters to discourage amplifying insecurities of women. They post their workouts with captions like, "I had a hard day, but I did it anyway!”

How did you know it was time to let go of the side hustle?
That was incredibly scary to give up. Fit modeling was an excellent gig financially, and it gave me the freedom of time to build Sculpt Society, but it wasn't fulfilling me emotionally. As Sculpt Society was taking off, I needed more time to contribute to its growth. It's wild, but the moment I finally let go and took a leap of faith, all of these other fitness-related jobs and brand partnership opportunities presented themselves. Perhaps, because there was space for it.

Morning routine?
I need to get up at least an hour before I have to leave the house to have a moment alone in the morning. I start my day with lemon water as digestion is super essential and keeps things flowing. They say that your digestion is like your second brain, so you want to keep it clear and free of any gunk. Then I’ll make a French press coffee followed by a guided meditation after my coffee — I’m a coffee first thing in the AM type girl. I know some people take their time, BUT that’s not me. My days typically entail teaching class plus privates throughout the week. When I’m not teaching, I am creating programming and video content for Sculpt Society, which is a ton of work!

Top of mind these days?
How to maintain my energy to support building my app and the content it requires, plus teach classes and privates. But to get there, Roup had to learn how to listen to her gut. “My biggest hard-earned lesson (something I’m still working on) and something I hope to help clients with through movement is to get out of your head,” Roup says. “So much noise is created from fear, doubt, and negative self-talk—the more we can get out of our own way and feel good, the better.”

These days I've been listening to Gabby Bernstein’s Super Attractor. For the most part, I'm into anything that Gabby Bernstein produces — she has a meditation series that I like, plus I listen to her mantras in the morning.

I have a couple of meditations on my app right now that I tap into as well. One, in particular, is from Kelsey Bitell on Feeling Gratitude, she lives in LA and does a 6-minute gratitude meditation, and after listening to it, you feel better, you just do.

Lastly, I’ve been favoring NPR, How I Built This. It’s a great reminder that everyone starts somewhere, and it’s never an overnight success.

Best book I have ever read is Woman, Food, And God. It really helped me in my early 20s. Don’t let the title throw you with the word “God.” It’s about your relationship with food, your body, and how you use food to avoid dealing with other issues.

Any Advice?
Two things I think about all the time...

If you’re in the room, you’re supposed to be in the room. Often we feel unworthy, but know that’s not the case.

Plus, if there's something that you want to do career-wise, I fully believe in a side hustle. Let the side hustle pay the bills while you build the business of your dreams and are able to do it full-time. I did this until recently and it gave me the financial security to be able to create my fitness brand.

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