Exercise & NutritionLearn Gina's philosophy on Exercise & Nutrition and also calculate your health factors
“But, I’m going into the hospital tomorrow—in 24 hours—to deliver my son,” I said, looking down at my over-sized belly. But the guy wouldn’t take no for an answer. “I’ll come to your house….. tonight,” he insisted. A few hours later, he was at my door. Eager to do whatever I might tell him. Although he was great looking and certainly not overweight, he needed a leaner look, more definition. To the rest of us mortals, it may have seemed like overkill, but I knew where he was with his thinking. He needed this bad. After all, millions of people would be looking at him, as well as the network executives. I spent the next hour taking measurements, doing questionnaires, checking blood pressure, measuring body fat – all my normal procedures. I even had to have him stand on a chair because I couldn’t bend down to measure his thighs and calves. I stayed up until midnight detailing out his program of specific eating recommendations, weight training and cardio programs. A few hours later, I clicked ‘send’ and it landed in his inbox. Ahhhh….another deadline…another life saved J . I checked in with him while I was in the hospital with my new son, Gunnar, in my arms. Ten days later he had reached his goal: He had lost body fat, gained muscle mass and definition and shot the final 8 episodes of JAG looking and feeling like a million bucks. Although an actor or actress is in the business of looking good, your goals, are just as important as any celebrity’s. Whether your big “role” is the bride or groom in your own wedding, an anniversary, a high school reunion or a first date, my program will work for you. It is a formula, pure and simple. It works for my most high-profile movie star clients and it’ll work for you. Don’t worry; I’ll be with you every step of the way, paving the road that takes you to your destination—on time! My eating strategies and exercise grids are based on who you are, the body you have, what you like, how you live and most importantly the time you have. I know you want to hear that this is going to be easy. Sorry. But what I can say is that it’s simple. There won’t be any starvation, suffering (well, maybe just a little) or unnecessary exhaustion. My programs are structured to produce results not pain. Many people fail in their weight loss attempts because their goals are unrealistic. Others don’t succeed, because their plans are either unfocused, too tough or too time-consuming. I will help you create “real-world” goals that are reachable with clear, measurable steps toward those goals. And though I will encourage you to stay focused, you can also adjust your eating and exercise plans to assure that they don’t become too challenging or too easy.
When I moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast, I was thrilled for the opportunity to be involved in the entertainment industry. As I was studying and working on building my fitness business, my day job was as an assistant account executive in a Beverly Hills Entertainment public relations firm.. I spent lots of time with the up and coming as well as the most established actors, and after awhile, I started to notice that every time any of them had a major audition or had just landed a role, they’d fly into a crazy panic about how their bodies looked. Time was short and they needed to lose weight, lean out and shape-up fast, but none of them had any idea how to do it. Back then personal trainers were hard to come by –unlike today. I remember clearly a beautiful British actress, who had just landed a starring role on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” She was probably 15 or 20 pounds overweight, but had no idea how to handle it. So she went on the ‘latest’ herbal diet pill and basically starved herself into thinness. I thought to myself, there’s got to be a better way to help these well-meaning people get what they need without putting themselves in danger. I realized that if I could come up with a whole plan—diet and exercise—for these actors and actresses, I’d hit a home run. So taking advantage of my science background, I created a formula. Using the assessment tools, nutritional knowledge and training experience I had learned studying at the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA and the real world, I devised data-driven, scientifically based eating and exercise programs… tailor-made. Given that I was working with celebrities, who are notoriously fickle, I knew that my plan had better be fool-proof. If it didn’t work 100 percent of the time, I’d be out of a job. Two years ago, after more than two decades in the business, it finally hit me that I had succeeded. I was sitting at home on a Friday night, nine months pregnant and feeling as big as a house, my baby scheduled to be induced the following day. At around 12 noon, the phone rang; it was a New York soap opera actor in a total panic. He was in LA after landing a lead role as a Navy lieutenant on a hit CBS military drama. In the first episode, two weeks away, he had to do a scene on the beach with his shirt off. He was a little “soft,” and his co-star had told him to call me. “Everybody goes to her; she’s the one you want if you need to get ready fast,” she had said.
And though some celebrity trainers assume that everyone has “Hollywood access”—to a state-of-the-art-gym, a full staff, including a nanny and personal chef and all the time in the world—I don’t. Though I work with celebrities, I also understand the real world. Hey, I live in it. I’m busy; I run my own business and I’m the mother of a rambunctious little boy. I do it all with no extra help (except from my fabulous husband of course) – no nanny, no housekeeper, no chef. I’ve also had times in my life when I struggled with my own weight. Diagnosed as a teen with an under active, partially working thyroid gland, I have been on thyroid medication all my life. So….all my life I’ve had to work hard to look good. It’s been a challenge but it’s made me understand you all the better. I have designed my programs and this book with reality in mind. With YOU in mind. It is practical and user friendly, created for people who are busy and may not like to exercise, but do love to eat. I understand that time is short, distractions are everywhere, exercise can be a pain and fast food is cheap, plentiful and tempting. But you can make significant changes in the time you DO have—whether it’s several months or only two weeks–if you’re willing to work for it. And you will have to work. You will get results, but you have to earn them. Motivation counts, and you have to put in effort and you have to plan. No matter how much –or how little time you have, the formula is straightforward; the key is not to alter it. All I’m asking you to do is stick to the program. Are you ready?