Written by Dolly Girma
Grind Like a Doll
Dolly Girma is a dynamic Houston-based lifestyle and fitness influencer. She’s a new mom to a beautiful 9-month-old baby boy and an owner of a fitness apparel label. She splits her time between being a mom and managing her business which is set to re-launch it’s new line in July 2020.
Six years ago, a day after graduating from the University of San Francisco I packed all my belongings and moved to Houston, Texas. At the time my boyfriend, now husband, had a startup business of his own and had asked me to join him in operating it. It was there early on I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship.
Anyone that knows me personally or on social media knows that I have been very transparent about my weight loss journey these last few years. Growing up, my weight/relationship with food played a tremendous role in my life. I always remember starting and failing countless fad diets and unrealistic workout regimes and feeling defeated. However, it wasn’t until 2016 while bouncing business ideas with a friend that I realized weight loss is like a new business, I can’t expect to see change and success overnight.
There is a quote I read some time back and now live by. “success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than before. It adds up.”
It is basically a commitment you make to continually keep showing up and be consistent for the long haul. So instead of viewing my weight loss as a quick fix, I started viewing it as a lifestyle change with no end in sight.
I cut out all meat and dairy with the exception of seafood and committed to working out 5 days a week. In a little under 2 years I had lost over 50lbs and in the process discovering a passion/purpose for fitness and a potential for building a business around it.
My fitness journey was initially a personal one, but honestly sharing my experience online really resonated with others and prompted me to consider expanding my goals to help motivate others to reach their own fitness goals.
I started my business G.L.A.D (Grind Like A Doll) to invite women to join me in this journey as we work together to transform our lives through fitness and holistic wellness. The business had a mantra but now it needed a purpose; I wanted to equip women with the tools that would support them in their fitness journey. I started by publishing eBooks about my fitness journey, detailing the workouts and realistic dietary regimes I followed to reach my goals. G.L.A.D grew to provide fitness gear to women in the form of sweat belts, apparel, resistance bands and more. To my surprise my business picked up very quickly and in the midst of expanding/learning 6 months after launching, I found out I was pregnant.
I sat and asked myself how I could juggle wanting to be the best mother to my son while managing my growing business.
After thinking thoroughly, I made the decision to step aside from my business and prioritize my growing family. At the moment, I knew I couldn’t commit to my fast-paced business while dealing with pregnancy and everything that came with it. It was a huge gamble I took, but I have always done things on my own terms and stepping aside felt like the right thing to do. And looking back it was the best decision I could have made.
The Ethiopian community I was raised in, to my lingering frustration, wasn’t forthcoming about the many challenges women face during and after pregnancy; an issue I have tried to rectify by being very vocal and honest during and after my pregnancy. To be quite honest, I really had no idea what to expect, from labor to breastfeeding I felt like I was thrown in without a life jacket and told to swim to shore as fast as possible.
I promised myself to be as transparent as possible on this new chapter of my life, in hopes to ease another mom’s journey and find a community of supporting mothers.
In doing so it has helped me build personal connections with other mothers and find an authentic space to flourish in.
Using Instagram as a platform, I shared my process of getting back to my love for fitness after postpartum and it was one of the most difficult challenges so far in this process. I somehow thought my body would just bounce back and I get back to my old lifestyle/workout schedule and boy was I wrong. I basically had to rewind and start from the very beginning. To put it into perspective it took me weeks to feel comfortable enough to do something as simple as squat.
Almost 9 months postpartum i can attempt burpees and to my surprise i found myself giving myself grace and being gentle.
If you know the old Dolly, she was entirely way too critical and was always striving for perfection. I realized giving birth to a human actually humbles you greatly with a profound new level of respect for what my body has grown, accommodated and accomplished. To grow in confidence is to understand that perfection is never the goal, understanding who you are and what you bring to the table by simply being you is more than enough. I am so in love and in awe of the new me and of course it doesn’t hurt that I have an amazing little boy who looks at me with eyes of nothing less than admiration.
After a hiatus, I am ready to return to my business full throttle with a new line and a new challenge of staying fit after pregnancy.
Of course, 2020 wasn’t a year anyone saw coming and while I’m just thankful my family and I are safe and healthy, months of manufacturing delays and logistics issues put a big stall in my plans. But we are finally on track for the relaunch on July 17th and G.L.A.D is relaunching with a new 2020 collection that includes upgraded products as well as entirely new fitness apparel and equipment.
I couldn’t be more excited to continue to help my community reach their goals with all the tools and inspiration they need from G.L.A.D. I’m really looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring!