During the last 26 years, we’ve certified over 119,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. Each month, we recognize one of our distinguished graduates who use what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference.
Meet our graduate for the month of December, Alyssa Sparks, an AFPA certified Holistic Nutritionist
How did you initially become interested in health and fitness?
I was a competitive and professional dancer for over 20 years, and I always had a love for health and wellness. I had many wonderful opportunities to be introduced to various types of fitness and health experts over the years of my training, and I quickly realized that my passion was also my calling. After being a student of Pilates for over 10 years and using it to help rehab from serious dance-related injuries, I became a certified Pilates Instructor, which then led me to create my own wellness business.
What certification did you choose, and why did you choose AFPA?
I chose the Holistic Nutrition certification because I wanted to provide my clients with a deeper understanding of the importance of nutrition and how it can complement their health and fitness goals. I was looking for a program that was science-based with both Eastern and Western medicinal influences so that I could have a better understanding of nutrition and overall health. It was the perfect program for myself and my clients.
What was your career like prior to becoming certified?
Becoming certified was a wonderful addition to my already existing wellness business. Clients were constantly asking me about what they should eat, supplements they should take, and how to achieve goals regarding weight loss and food. It became very clear to me that this would be an added value for my clients if I could support them in nutrition along with Pilates. My business quickly expanded to seeing new clients that solely wanted nutrition guidance and help, and it also brought me new clients that wanted a full-service wellness experience with both Pilates and nutrition, which changed the scope of my business.
What is your career like now?
My career now continues to grow and expand in various ways. I’ve been able to reach new clients, collaborate with various partners and fellow wellness practitioners, and expand my offerings in ways I didn’t initially anticipate. I have more freedom and control over my schedule and offerings, which is, I think, what every entrepreneur hopes for when taking the step to start their own business.
What are your favorite parts of your career?
I absolutely love the connection that I have with my clients, and it has always been my favorite part of my career. When you work in the wellness space, you create a deeper bond with your clients because you are offering support and guidance in a vulnerable part of most of our lives. The importance of living a healthy lifestyle and the reasons for that are real and raw, and it creates the space for true, vulnerable connections.
How has becoming certified with AFPA impacted your life?
It has opened so many wonderful doors to not only grow my business but also to continue my education. There are incredible programs to further my studies, and it gives me the opportunity to continue growing both personally and professionally.
What advice do you give others thinking about becoming certified?
My advice to those thinking of becoming certified is to commit to the work and follow your passion. If you lead with passion and see it through, you will be pleasantly surprised to see where your life can take you.