SBF Spotlight Questions
1. First off, for those who don’t know much about you, can you give us a quick introduction? Sure! Hi, I’m Meredith Garofalo, your friendly neighborhood meteorologist that tries to add a little extra sunshine to your forecasts on KEYT and Fox 11 in the mornings. I love to sing, dance, and just appreciate and enjoy life.
2. Tell us a little about your path in the fitness industry – how’d you get to where you are today in your area of expertise? I’ve always enjoyed fitness as I played sports growing up so working out and being active has always been a huge part in my life. I played intermural basketball and softball growing up and did basketball, volleyball, and track (shotput, discus, and pole vault) in high school. Now, as a public figure working in television, it’s important to set a positive example and so I make staying fit and healthy a priority so I can inspire others.
3. How did you end up in Santa Barbara? My job brought me here! I am from Cleveland, OH originally and in the TV business I have worked in Rapid City, SD and Sarasota, FL before calling Santa Barbara my home
4. What was the turning point in your life that made you realize your passion towards the fitness industry and helping people? I think it was the time I realized that I needed to make a change when a viewer basically called me “fat” and “ugly” on air. It takes a very thick skin to be a woman in the TV business. I have high self-esteem but sometimes people can be so cruel and even just one comment can sometimes seem to ruin the 10 other positive ones. Taking a closer look at the video from that morning, I realized that I could focus more on my fitness and change my eating patterns, so I entered a national fitness competition and won first place! I ended up losing 20lbs and 7% body fat over three months and inspired so many people over that short time period by being open and honest about the challenges I had to overcome and the dedication that went into achieving my goal. From then on, I decided that through my career I would reach out to people and be that positive role model for those looking to make a difference in their own lives.
5. To help others with their businesses and marketing endeavors, what were some of your first steps in turning your passion for fitness into something that was bigger than just a hobby? Putting myself out there to be open and honest about what I went through. There’s no need to sugar coat anything, it’s not going to help or inspire people! I shared my experience losing weight and also told people that it’s easier for some than others. I also offered tips of things that worked for me that people could try as well as recipes that were not only healthy but taste pretty good. You have to find what works for you and you can get excited about.
6. What has been your number one biggest challenge within fitness? The eating part and my love for fine food and wine.
7. How did you overcome this challenge? I am now all about moderation but also splurging every now and then (but again with some moderation!)
8. Succeeding as a fitness figure is a difficult feat, what would you say helped in your success? Definitely my support system: friends, family, and even viewers on social media keeping me in check. I did not set unreasonable expectations and realized that some of the best things in life do not come easy or are handed to us. It was worth the hard work and dedication!
9. What’s one of the coolest or most inspiring things you have seen since working in the fitness inspiration business, and who has inspired you most? The stories and success of those that say I inspired them. To me, that is the most fulfilling and they are the ones who continue to push me to achieve my fitness goals and stay in check.
10. How do you feel your own story and transformation has helped you to relate and understand others you work with? They always say to put yourself in other people’s shoes when you want to try and understand what they’ve been through, and by going through everything first hand, I can relate to both the ups and downs that comes with anyone’s journey to a healthier and happier life.
11. Do you have any books, videos, or other resources that have inspired you? Recently, my instructors and classmates at Barre3 Santa Barbara. I take 3-4 classes a week and there is such a strong support group there. Those classes have helped me maintain my weight and continue to sculpt and tone.
12. What is one of your favorite quotes that has inspired you either currently or in the past? “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.” Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, “A League of Their Own”
13. Most will agree that the fitness industry is constantly evolving, how do you stay up to date? Mainly through social media and the posts in the news
14. What’s next for you? Any projects in the mix? I’ve only done a 5K Fun Run once and I’d love to train to do another one or an Obstacle Course Run within the next year.
15. To all of our readers, what is your number one piece of advice you would want someone to walk away from you knowing? Love yourself…and always believe that you can be whatever you want. There will be haters and people who want to bring you down, hinder you, and make you feel terrible because that brings them up. Let them be your inspiration, let them be jealous, and just focus on what makes you happy. Goals, big or little, are always within reach…and if you give everything in life your 110% you can never go wrong. But never, ever give up hope and faith. You are the star in your own life, so put on a show-stopping performance from beginning to end.
Receiving her Bachelor of Science in Meteorology with minor in TV/Radio Communications from Valparaiso University, Meredith got her start in the business as an intern at WGN-TV in Chicago. Meredith has previously worked at ABC affiliates in Rapid City, South Dakota and Sarasota, Florida.She's covered it all from tropical storms to blizzards, flooding to tornadoes, and hailstorms to wildfires; she has also reported, filmed and produced feature stories ranging from coastal and plains wildlife, education, politics, to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Meredith is very passionate about giving back to the community, and donates her time and talents to many causes including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, Make-A-Wish, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, and the American Red Cross.
She sits on Family Service Agency's Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Council and also frequents event planning committees. Meredith also enjoys giving classroom talks to students including career days at local high schools. She is an accomplished singer and actress, performing different venues of music at local charity and community events.She was the 2012 Winter Find Your Fit Challenge National Champion through TLS Weight Loss Solutions.She continues living her healthy lifestyle through the Barre3 program in Santa Barbara.
In September 2013, she starred as "Rizzo" in “Grease” and was a finalist in the 2014 Star Voice Competition.You can also catch her performing our National Anthem at various UCSB sporting events.Meredith plans to become more active in local music and theater in her spare time.
Other favorite pastimes include cheering on her hometown teams (Cleveland Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers), running the coast, hiking the mountains, or doing anything outdoors. Meredith is committed to living a healthy lifestyle and inspiring others to accomplish their fitness goals as well.
She loves photography and also dancing and cooking (sometimes at the same time!) and will post photos, recipes and fitness tips on her Facebook and Twitter pages in addition to forecasts. Make sure to stop by her social media pages and say hi!