The Owner of Self Embodiment Fitness Finds Balance with Meal Prepping and Consistent Routines

Malcolm Pinder, owner of Self Embodiment Fitness, maximizes his time between training clients by meal prepping and sticking to his daily calendar.

Malcolm Pinder, owner of Self Embodiment Fitness. / Photograph courtesy of Malcolm Pinder.

Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one area resident to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email

Who I am: Malcolm Pinder (@selfembodiment), 39

Where I live: Belmont Village

What I do: I own Self Embodiment Fitness, a boutique fitness studio specializing in strength and toning. Amid the pandemic reopening, I am only offering private one-on-one personal training, and require PPE be worn by both the trainer and client. Small group personal training will begin again when the times allow. I am also a husband and father of a three-and-a-half year old son.

What role healthy living plays in my life: Sincerely, fitness has been a lifestyle for me. I was an active kid, and during my time as a collegiate athlete, I learned how to structure goal-oriented training paired with supportive nutrition to receive desired physical results. Later, my fitness lifestyle led me to leave a career in IT seven years ago and invest everything into my studio, so that I can share and support others in their fitness journeys. Deciding to receive and train for the mental and physical benefits of strength training is the definition of Self Embodiment, as well as realizing our physical health boosts our mental well-being and happiness.

Health memberships (and what they cost): I primarily train in my studio, so the cost is my rent (ha!). I do pay $39 per month for Peloton for my wife Jocelyn, who just hit her 300th ride!

Grocery haul for the week: $150 — The Fresh Grocer


Pinder in his fitness studio, Self Embodiment Fitness. / Photograph courtesy of Malcolm Pinder.

5:53 a.m. — Alarm wakes me up with the sound of “The Imperial March.” As you’ll see in the rest of this Sweat Diary, my weekdays are really structured. The night before, I have most hours of my upcoming day already planned and documented in my Google calendar. I do this so I can run on autopilot in the mornings, as I’m pretty much still half asleep with these early alarms. My outfit is laid out, meals are ready to grab and go, and my backpack is packed with my laptop and administrative stuff I need for the day.

6:15 a.m. — First meal of the deal is a protein shake with two scoops whey protein, whole milk, and water. I also take a glutamine supplement and a multivitamin.

6:30 a.m. — After a short seven-minute drive, I arrive at my studio. I begin with setting up for morning personal training sessions. I also lay out a some Self Embodiment-branded Nike tanks and tees for clients to take for free. Perks!

9:30 a.m. — Meal number two: three compartment containers of ground turkey and collard green hash, cabbage, and jasmine rice. Since this is my meal prep, I made these items in bulk as my go-to healthy meals for the week. Being strapped for time during the week, I know meal prepping is a must if I want to get in nutritional foods, as I try to limit processed foods and eating out as much as possible.

10 a.m. — Cleaning regiment of disinfecting equipment and organizing for my evening clients sessions. I aim to have to cleanest training space possible; it reflects how I want my training environment, plus clients love a clean, safe, private space to crush their goals.

11 a.m. — Home again, on the computer responding to emails and checking in with clients. With my business shutdown for three months, I’m also completing an application for a business grant designated for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

1 p.m. — Designing workouts for clients. My workouts are structured and truly individualized for each client’s goals and abilities. I ensure workouts are fun and effective, and that they maximize a client’s time and effort. Clients have access to all their workouts via the app I created for the studio, so they have access to every exercise, set, reps, and weight and can feel empowered when seeing their progress.

2 p.m. — Meal number three is leftover Chinese food from last night: General Tso’s chicken with broccoli. I also have some multigrain crackers topped with natural peanut butter.

3 p.m. — I am back in the studio as private training sessions begin for the afternoon.

6:30 p.m. — After training, I again disinfect equipment, and now organize the studio for tomorrow’s morning sessions.

7 p.m. — Home earlier than normal! I take Melina, our seven-year-old Cane Corso pup, for a walk.

7:30 p.m. — Tonight’s dinner is boneless, skinless chicken thighs cooked in the air fryer, plus cabbage and jasmine rice. Though, my son raided my plate and ate most of it!

8 p.m. — A final round of horseplay with my son before he goes to bed.

10:30 p.m. — Finishing up admin computer work, emails, paying bills, fun stuff! I get organized for the morning, which will be another early start.

11 p.m. — Before bed, I have a snack and tonight remember to take my supplements — ZMA, glucosamine chondroitin MSN, and glutamine. I forget to take them half of the time, but I’m working on consistency.

Daily total: $0


Pinder’s meal-prepped dish of the week: ground turkey, collard greens, cabbage, and jasmine rice. / Photograph by Malcolm Pinder.

4:57 a.m. — Alarm sounds “The Imperial March,” as always. As I mentioned earlier, my weekdays are consistent without too much variation. I do like and need the structure because for me, it’s less stress and time maximizing.

5:15 a.m. — Drink a protein shake of two scoops of whey protein, whole milk, water, and a banana, plus my glucosamine supplements.

6 a.m. — My first client arrives and on time! She has been an endurance athlete and now wants to gain lean muscle, increase strength, and is training to see more definition in her arms and more size in her glutes.

7:50 a.m. — Second meal of the day is the same as yesterday: three compartment containers of ground turkey and collard green hash, cabbage, and jasmine rice.

8 a.m. — I have a short break, so I record my lower body and core strength workout to share on Instagram. Becoming active on social media and sharing my workouts was one of my goals for 2020. I think I’ve stayed committed to it!

9 a.m. — Private training resumes as my next client arrives.

11:30 a.m. — During and after each session, the new normal is to disinfect every equipment used. Now that that is done, I head home to do some admin work. I’ll return to the studio later for evening sessions.

12 p.m. — Now that I’m home, I eat three ribs seasoned with a BBQ dry rub cooked in the air fryer.

12:30 p.m. — I lay down for a power nap, our cats Cheetah and Lovey on each side of me, as always.

1:30 p.m. — Awake and firing up the PC to work on some video edits of my recorded morning workout. I also work on designing some client workout programs.

2:30 p.m. — Meal four of the day is ground turkey hash with roasted veggies. Still hungry, so I raid my son’s cabinet and snack on handful of his veggie straws and Goldfish.

3 p.m. — Begin the first of six (!) training sessions for this afternoon/evening.

9:30 p.m. — Same as the end of every day, I have just finished disinfecting and cleaning, ready for morning sessions.

10 p.m. — Arrive home and eat some cabbage, ginger-infused rice, and crackers with natural peanut butter.

11 p.m. — Finish watching an episode of The Room Is Lava, ha! Take my supplements, and hit the hay.

Daily total: $0


Pinder and his son, Ronin. / Photograph courtesy of Malcolm Pinder.

4:57 a.m. — Alarm sounds, another early start.

6 a.m. — I’m in my studio, first training of the day begins. I love training no matter the time of day. Seeing my clients put in the hard work and have them achieve their goals makes me happy.

7 a.m. — First meal of the day is my meal-prepped ground turkey, collard green hash, cabbage, and jasmine rice. Never too early for something savory.

8 a.m. — Next client arrives and training resumes.

10 a.m. — I have a fitness consultation with a 60-year-old woman who is in great health, but now wants to regain strength and lose some body fat.

10:45 a.m. — Finish my cleaning routine, disinfect equipment, and organize for my evening sessions before heading home for the afternoon.

11:30 a.m. — I’m home and decide to eat my meal-prepped food once again. I enjoy eating what I cook, so repetition does not bother me one bit.

12:30 p.m. — On the computer editing videos of recorded exercises for my online training clients. Whether you’re in the studio or at home, you can still get in a great workout.

1:45 p.m. — I have a call with my CPA to help me stay organized with my finances.

2:30 p.m. — Preparing for tomorrow’s training sessions. Gotta stay on top of the game!

4 p.m. — The first of my evening training clients arrives for their session, and we get to work.

5 p.m. — I have a break, and get a welcomed visit from my wife and kid. I end up having to perform ab wheel rollouts with my son on my back for his entertainment!

9 p.m. — Another day of training clients ends, and again it’s disinfecting and cleaning for tomorrow’s morning sessions.

9:30 p.m. — I’m home, eating some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cabbage. Still hungry, so I eat some of my go-to snacks: crackers with natural peanut butter, Rice Chex cereal, and a Nature Valley bar. Basically a ton of food to make up for not getting in enough meals earlier today.

10 p.m. — I’m in bed watching some television, and I remember to take my supplements. Going to fall asleep pretty quickly, I’m sure.

Daily total: $0



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4:55 a.m. — Wake to my alarm.

5:15 a.m. — I take my morning supplement and multivitamin, and get ready to head to the studio.

5:30 a.m. — Arrive at my studio and realize I forgot my meals, ugh! The worst feeling.

6 a.m. — First training session of the day begins.

9 a.m. — Have a break and record my second workout this week: a dynamic upper body and core strength workout that I’ll share later on Instagram.

11:30 a.m. — With morning now completed, I’m disinfecting equipment and organizing for evening clients.

12 p.m. — Meal number one (so late today): my healthy coleslaw seasoned with Everything Bagel seasoning, a few diced banana peppers, and a dollop of mayo. I then eat two of my meal preps because I’m starving after forgetting my morning meals at home.

1 p.m. — I’m tired at this point and prepared for evening clients so I take a power nap, accompanied by the cats of course.

3 p.m. — First evening client arrives, and training starts.

5 p.m. — With a short break, I do some administrative work, check and respond to emails, touch base with clients to see how they’re doing, and design client programs for tomorrow’s sessions.

8 p.m. — My last in-studio client’s workout is finished!

8:30 p.m. — On my laptop completing more client training programs. I’ve already disinfected and cleaned, so it’s time to head home.

9:30 p.m. — I eat two of my meal preps for dinner, as I’m still playing catch-up from forgetting my morning meals.

10:30 p.m. — In bed, asleep.

Daily total: $0



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4:57 a.m. — Alarm sounds, this time with the Jurassic Park T-Rex roar!

5:15 a.m. — Have my usual protein shake, and remember to grab my meals. I definitely don’t want a repeat of yesterday.

6 a.m. — I’m in the studio early to get a head start on some administrative work and social media edits.

7 a.m. — First of five sessions in a row this morning.

12 p.m. — Time to eat the last of the meal preps. It was a great combo!

12:30 p.m. — I have some time, so I get in a quick abs and lower body flexibility workout for myself.

1 p.m. — Final training session of the week about to begin!

2 p.m. — I’m home and exhausted at this point, so I take a power nap. I am very pro nap.

4 p.m. — Since I’m home for good at this point, I run to pick up my son Ronin from his preschool.

4:30 p.m. — My son and I snack on pretzel chips with peanut butter while we watch episodes of PJ Masks before my wife gets home.

5 p.m. — Enjoying being home, bumming around with my kid and our pets. It’s a great way to wind down a busy week.

7 p.m. — Tonight’s dinner consists of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, roasted veggies (made by Jocelyn), and rice.

10:30 p.m. — Have some Rice Chex cereal and two peanut butter sandwiches before bed.

11 p.m. — I’m in bed at this point, planning on getting a lift in in the morning!

Daily total: $0

Weekly totals

Money spent: $150
Workouts completed: Three
Hours training: 32
Power naps taken: Three