All posts by Wendy Russo


Wendy RussoGluttony: glut·ton·y

/[gluht-n-ee] noun

Excessive eating and drinking.

Habitual eating to excess.

Synonyms: gormandizing, intemperance, voracious


 Eating to excess: personified as one of the deadly sins

Proverbs 23:21– For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty and drowsiness (laziness) shall clothe a man with rags….

Wow, even in biblical times, eating to excess was an issue to be heeded. Unfortunately, we didn’t take heed for long.

Am I wrong to say that this country is in a state of overweight?  Maybe to get a grip on changing it, we should come to terms with the word- GLUTTONY.

I was on the phone with a close friend the other day. The subject of our conversation always seems to lead to what we are doing to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We both strive to live a healthy lifestyle. It is definitely a work in progress, all the time. We discussed a very sensitive subject and how it related to us personally.

That subject is: GLUTTONY.

I personally have been battling weight gain since Thanksgiving.  I went on a feast that apparently got out of control. This led me to gain extra body fat that I am not comfortable with. Each Holiday season I traditionally allow myself a few extra pounds but typically by February, it is gone and I am back to feeling great again. Not this time. I have been caught in what seems like an abyss of the downward spiral. Fully aware that if I continue, my little fat will become more, then before I know it; I could go over the edge. It is a serious and sensitive subject because after contemplation, discussion and study, I believe  that I must come to terms with gluttony.  As my friend put it, we are stuffing our faces with so much food until satisfaction and sometimes beyond, while there are others starving all over the world. Why??? Can every overweight person be accused of gluttony?  What is it that makes us so dependent on food, not for survival but for pleasure? Even while on a diet I must admit, I look so forward to each and every meal. I cannot imagine a life not eating. When I am tempted with sweet treats on a day I allow them, I become a glutton. I can’t stop.

I understand that gluttony has similarities to alcoholism (view the Bible verse above) Coming from a friend of mine who is sober now (once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic) every time he is faced with temptation to drink, he has to make a choice. When the choice is put in his face it’s usually tempting. Ultimately, he chooses no. With food, we allow ourselves to partake with little to no limits.  Why decline?  After all, it will not kill us, chances are we won’t overeat at a party and go out and cause an accident in our car because we ate too much junk food.  We allow gluttony. That is all it is, plain and simple, defined, eating to excess.

Think about it. When was the last time you ate to excess?  I have been using an app on my cell phone called “my Fitness pal”…. It is not yet my pal…. It is a tool to track every little thing I put in my mouth. The first few days I was involved in scanning and tracking. The next few days I spent noticing I have a problem with food. Unless I am on a specific “diet”, and sticking to it, I have a problem.

I like to graze or eat until I am full. Innocent enough, until I realized a little here, a little there, adds up. Thanks to my fitness pal , attempting to become my friend.

After 4 weeks of tracking I have not lost a pound of fat- or a pound of weight for that matter. What does that tell you? That I have gone over my allotment more times than I have gone under. Just hitting the number is a big celebration for me. Why is that? Sure I can lose water from one day to the next, but I know what fat is and I know what I need to lose. At the end of the day if I attained my goals, I am thrilled, but as I sit here this evening, with about two hours to go till bedtime, I am hungry. Guess what? My new fitness pal says I already made my goals today.  I refuse to go over. I think about my conversation the other day and about the starving people in this world who would be overjoyed to have one meal like I ate today. And I can’t imagine a life like that.

It is real easy to get caught up in gluttony.  Eating to excess. Why do we do it?

I am here to tell you that I am a happy, healthy person. I stay busy, I have all I need, my life is fulfilled, and yet I love to eat. Despite what you may think, I enjoy eating.

Have you noticed that there are more overweight people than underweight? (not including folks under 25 years old) How does one get overweight? Eating to excess.  Plain and simple. You cannot out exercise a bad diet, ever. So why do we do this? My peers and I could talk for days upon days and probably never come up with all the reasons, excuses or issues that we have heard.

Allow me, plain and simple: Gluttony- Eating to excess.

             I suck at math but this equation is simple:

                           Excess food = Excess weight

You cannot get around it. Neither can I. Yet I wonder and I think, but no matter the outcome of my pondering, studying, and long intellectual conversations, I realize I eat to excess. YOU think about that today. Reflect on that simple fact. Don’t think about the reasons.  And look where you are today with your self-regarding gluttony.

I know where I am, I know where I have to be. I must make a conscious decision each and every day of my life to keep my mouth shut when I have the chance to eat more than I should. I have to do what I know to do to make it work. I will not allow this to get me. Once my “Fitness pal” really becomes my friend, I am sure I will have succeeded.  How about you?


Starting Over 2014

We all go through trials in life. Just when we think everything is great, boom! It hits you out of nowhere. But it’s those who rebound quickly who can look at it knowing that this too will pass and mostly, we will come out stronger on the other side. That’s what keeps me going. One of my favorite Bible verses is James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy my brother’s when you face trails of every kind, for the testing of your faith produces patience and perseverance” ….

The year 2013 closed out well for me. But I had some issues going on for the last few years that were only getting worse. Topping it all off my cat of 12 years died after a long battle with cancer. That hit me very hard. But then I had some other issues to face. Possibly going through menopause (at 51 it seems inevitable), may have played a role in this. Men would equate it to the mid-life crisis. I didn’t have the desire to get a young guy and spend money on a convertible (although I love cars and would like to have a second car convertible) but I was in a marriage that was not going well. Without getting personal, maintaining privacy,  it was decision time. I had been mulling over this the past few years. Working on making it better, working on making me better, working on making us better. I was unsuccessful. In January I decided to make a change. I had to “do it now” or continue on another year or so, then do it later- which made no sense.  I made the decision to file for divorce. It was easy at first; I left home and began my mission to start all over again.

Four months later, the divorce was final on May 12th, 2014. The day was a whirlwind, but I pretty much fell apart through the emotions of at all, in private of course.

This blog is not about divorce. This blog is about starting over. I am starting a new year and a new life at 51 years old and counting….

Physically, I had maintained my fitness level but I felt tired way too much and had gained 5 lbs of pure fat right around my once beautiful abs. So I went to the Dr. for testing and found my cortisol levels were tanked through the floor, again after 5 years of being perfect. That made me feel better because I know exactly what to do to fix that. Immediately, I decided to take a “before “photo and start a 12 week transformation. I settled on a good meal plan- tighter and cleaner than it has been in months, and made a workout schedule I could stick to. I know it has only been a few days but I feel better already. Once this week is over, I will know I succeeded and it went well. I can say it took me about 6 months of being undisciplined to get to this point.  I am there and it feels like normal again.

I just want what all of you want- I want the results right here and now.  BUT, I know that won’t work, so I look forward to the 12th week when I can take some new photos and post them proudly.

Yes, I am proclaiming it right here and now. My health matters first because as I always say, “without my health, I am no good to anyone- especially myself” Good bye junk food, comfort foods and haphazard workouts. I am writing everything down and journaling my success. No matter how experienced we are at this- keeping a journal and staying accountable are always the 2 major things involved in a successful transformation. After all, without planning, we plan to fail. I will not fail. I have a new life to start, it will be hard but I know I have to look forward to the daily task of eating and working out and the transformation I will go though.  I have great friendships, relationships with friends and family and I love life. I love God and His grace, mercy and kindness. I love my ex-husband, and I will always love him.  I will continue to live, love and be loved every day I am breathing. I thank you all for listening and supporting me. After all- I must continue to be a light that shines in the world of darkness for anyone who wants to look to me as an example. I am doing it, so join me in this next 12 weeks in making positive and healthy changes in your life. We will do this!

Coach Wendy

A Safe Place

Coach Wendy,  Personal trainer and nutrition coach

We all know what a “safe place” means. Most people are pretty aware of some places that are not safe to go to. When we think of a safe place we usually think of some place that we are not in danger of being hurt. Rarely do we use “safe place” to describe a person. Recently I spent some time studying the importance for us to make ourselves a “safe place”.  When we are getting through hurts and issues in our own lives, sometimes we take things out on others. To those we lash out on or judge, we are not being a safe place. Through studying the Word of God and my own transformation, I recently had a clear revelation about people who are not a “safe place”. I already knew that I should stay away from people who are not a safe place, but there had to be more, right? I was able to come up with lots of things that define what makes a person unsafe, and then I thought, “ok, so what good is knowing without application?” I began to think of ways I can actually be a safe place. My intention is not to attack anyone for being unsafe. Doing so would make me unsafe. My intention is to encourage myself and even you, to ask the question, “Am I a safe place?” It is important to me that I have a desire for my face book page and website to be a safe place. Many people pour their hearts out to me, some for the first time in their lives. We are all in search of something better for our future, and when we approach someone we come fully clothed and protected from all the world’s hurts. As we feel comfortable, we slowly take off our layers of self-protection until we stand vulnerable sometimes on social media in front of people we do not even know. And that is where the healing can begin, or could end if someone brutally attacks us while we are standing in our vulnerability. When we pass judgment on someone out of the hurt and warped world we are coming from, we are not considered a “safe place”. It takes a clear consciousness to communicate with others when you are going through your own wounds. You must stop and think before you speak,” How can I be a safe place?” At some points in our life we will encounter a person who is not a safe place and before we realize what and how, they have said something to attack our character that could devastate us. This happened to me recently. Because (thank God) I am healed in many ways- I was able to stand back and realize this person is not a safe place. My knee jerk reaction was to attack back- that is when I realized I MUST be a safe place. I must love, forgive and pray for. After all, my full time job is to control my actions and reactions. I have no control over others actions. So by saying all this, I want to proclaim that I will pay attention to my motives and actions doing everything I can do to make me a “safe place”. Then I can provide a safe environment for others that are healing. If you know someone who is not a “safe place” it may be a good idea to let them know they are not being a safe place and then pray for them as they get through their healing. People act differently as they get through their hurts. You can be a safe place while you are healing your own. You just need awareness. Attacking others is not an acceptable way to get through your issues. My question for everyone to ask themselves today is, “Am I a safe place?” Focus on YOU!

Cleaning closets

Usually we wait for the Spring to clean out closets. Because I live in Florida we are over the little bit of cold weather.  I will start cleaning my closet this month. I believe it is like a New Years resolution. Start fresh at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately most of you have to wait till Spring because of the freezing cold weather and needing those heavy winter clothes.

 I use the one year rule- if I haven’t worn it in one year- it gets removed.

You now can ask, “How does this pertain to living a healthy lifestyle and working out coach?”

I have always strived to be a modest and humble person. Yet, I have had a great life. I have been on top of the world. I have gathered lots of material things in my life. I have had great jobs, great friends and great teachers. I lived in great houses, great neighborhoods, driven great cars and had great clothes. Although I got caught up in material things sometimes- ultimately, I never allowed these things to define my life.  I never want people to look at my stuff wishing they had what I had- ever.  And this is the reason- because real life is not the one going on around you, the one others see, or the one you think you have

*Real life is what’s going on inside you.*

Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you”, righteousness, peace and joy. The life that matters and defines us is the life inside us. What we need to go after is a relationship with God and a relationship with ourselves which leads to relationship with others. After all- how many people can you look at and think by seeing their money and success that they “have it all , but you have no idea what’s going on inside them. Sadly it can be really bad. (Michael Jackson is one example of that.)  No matter how great it looks on the outside.   Changing our minds(cleaning our closets) is so utterly important. People can say to me, “ I wish I had your body” but they don’t realize it’s what’s inside me that kept me going all these years to stay in shape. occasionally, someone will say to me, ” it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to look like that”. They get it.

If someone is not willing to change the inside, yes, the outside can still change, but only for a short time because soon the bad seed inside will grow again and destroy the outside.  I would like people to notice the inside- as well as the outside. And not so much to notice as to REALIZE and then want to do what it takes. I understand the importance of change and I am passionate about doing what I can to help change the world. I feel that passion inside me as I continue to work on what matters most- the inside.  Back to cleaning my closet. Do you see the correlation here?

You can start today by changing your mind, one thought at a time, to make healthy changes in your life. Clean your closet, you pantry the things that will help you feel better about yourself. then take a look at the inside. your personal “closet” so to speak. Then by this, you will start to see some healthy changes going on inside of you which will lead to good things all around you.

Enjoy your cleaning! Coach Wendy

5 Things to do for 7 days to help get the holiday fat off


1. THROW out ALL of the junk food from your house. I know its hard but if it’s out of sight it will be out of mind, too. (Calories saved = 1500 per day… maybe more.)

2. Increase fiber intake to 40 grams per day. (Most Americans only get 15.) This will help clean out “toxic junk” from your digestive system  AND help you feel full longer. High-fiber foods include: barley, beans, bran, sprouted grain cereal, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli and Oats.

3. Drop total sugar intake to 30 grams or less per day.  Only getting your sugar from fruits and unprocessed carbohydrates. Sugar causes belly fat and bloating, it lowers your immune system, and it is highly addictive. Lose it and you’ll lose those pesky cravings, too.

4. Drink a gallon of water a day to help flush your system and to improve your natural calorie-burning metabolism. If you aren’t properly hydrated you won’t burn the fat as fast as you could. And the hangover headaches will pound!

5. Exercise twice a day for 30 to 45 minutes a session. Remember… body fat is just stored fuel. To burn it, you gotta move!

So there are 5 easy tips that can help you keep over 1000 excess calories off your body this week. after 7 days- you should be primed and ready to keep it lean this year.

Coach Wendy

Merry Christmas!!

The next two days I will celebrate Christmas with my family. I am hoping that most of you will be celebrating Christ’s birthday somewhere with someone you know .  One thing stands out in my mind this time of year. That is this- whether you have a good Christmas or a bad Christmas- remember- it is only one day out of 365. But good bad or indifferent, it isn’t about you , me or the kids with presents. Its about celebrating Christ and His birth.

So whatever you do, whoever you do it with, alone or with friends, family or otherwise, please take time to remember the reason for this holiday. If you don’t celebrate it, remember the people who do are celebrating the birth of Christ.

How each person celebrates is up to them, but I do pray that everyone who will be celebrating remembers Him, and  can find some time in their busy day to think about what He came here for and share the love, peace and joy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Coach Wendy

Holiday Cheer!!


Greetings from sunny Florida! It is that time of the year that most will celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and then the New Year! It is a celebratory time for some and the worst time of the year for others.

Most people will say at some point, “If I get through the Holidays I will see what happens” I am not a writer, otherwise I could write a great article on the holiday season. I am a personal trainer and a fitness buff. This is my area of expertise and this is why you come to my website. So instead of lamenting over all the holiday highs and lows, I will point out the most obvious in my world as a trainer what the Holiday season brings to me as a professional. It is a time for food, parties, food, parties and oh, did I say food and parties? Doesn’t take much to realize that no matter how hard we worked to stay in shape all year- food and parties will add weight on anyone. In a hurry. I am not immune to this. So for me, as one who sets an example to others, I have to sit back and think about it like this, “am I just going to eat whatever, party whenever and gain however many extra pounds of fat my body will gain, then pretend like I am supposed to be a shining example for all of you to stay healthy and not gain a pound?” Well believe me, the thought crosses my mind every year. I normally do allow myself some leeway and I let myself gain a few lbs. till New Year’s then I work like crazy to get it all off by spring. Typically I am in great shape right up until Christmas and then I break for a week. Well not this year.  I already put it on and it’s only the week after Thanksgiving. I have added 5 lbs. of what I see as pure fat. I cannot tout 18” biceps (nor would I want to) but I definitely am not a male person and putting on weight does not make me look better like some guys can get away with. Five lbs. on me is 5 lbs. of fat and it sits right around my normally chiseled mid-section and makes my jeans tighter and I do not feel good at all.   So besides this article being kind of a confession, and instead of me coming up with all the reasons I gained weight (ultimately it comes down to me- I put too much junk food in my mouth. No one did it for me. I did it all by myself.) And here I sit, belly to show for it.

Soooooo this brings up the million dollar question- what will my diet be during the holidays?

This is what I did 2 weeks ago.  Through Facebook a friend and I started a 30 day challenge group of about 30 people desiring to stay in shape though New Year’s.  We are all to hold eachother accountable for 30 days. I am not in it to win it (nor can I because it’s my challenge group) but I am in it to lead, and I lead by example. So when I go to parties and make poor choices, guess what? How can I lead a group of people trying their hardest to go to parties and make great choices? How can I sit here gaining weight and eating Christmas cookies and telling everyone else, “don’t touch those cookies?” I put myself through the test. And I must come out victorious because I am trying to set the precedent here. So without going into all the holiday hoopla- cheer or sadness, let’s all try to keep it under control this season. Ultimately it does nothing for you but make you feel bad and mostly unhealthier inside. It cannot be good for us. I would rather spend my holiday season being healthy, happy and joyful and bringing joy to others who may or may not have joy around them. I cannot do it if I am busy stuffing may face with anything that comes my way leaving your house so stuffed I can barely move. Yes I love your home baked cookies- you have no idea how much, but this season I need to stay away from them and admire them with my eyes and not my mouth. Make me smile with your words, friendship and love. Not your baked goods. I will have a free day on Christmas and New Year’s Day, but up until then it will be business as usual in my house. Eat right, plan my meals and workout. I will celebrate the joys of the season with love and many people, but please don’t ask me to eat the food. It’s a temptation I do not want to say no to, but this year I have decided I will. I am leading a group who needs this kind of rigidity in their life right now.  So let’s get rolling and have a healthy, happy holiday season!  Coach Wendy

Moving through September

I am sitting here realizing that the world never stops for me. Each day I get older and each day goes by whether I finish my activities for that day or not. Nothing stops, ever. This is one of the many reasons I have chosen to stay in shape as best I can.

I need to keep up!! I continue to eat right, exercise and constantly set goals for myself. Yes I could lay down and take it easy- but night will still come and morning will still come and the days will go by and I will have accomplished nothing but resting. Every week I make a statement about how busy I am and I can’t wait for a certain day to get here that I will have “nothing” to do. Well that day  has come- it is Friday afternoon at 3:00pm and I finally have finished everything I had to do all week. YES! And I now have time to sit and write a blog! After this I will work on a power point presentation and then go through all my emails and computer stuff that has been patiently awaiting my attention all week.

And guess what? By tomorrow I can say I finished everything I had to do all week and I will get prepared to start all over again next week.

How about you? Do you stay busy, or do you just sit around waiting for things to come up? Do you schedule your time, or do you run around like a headless chicken just chasing things you need to do? Do you make time for exercising, or do you check into the gym when and if you get a spare moment? Do you eat right, or do you just grab whatever you can as quickly as you can to eat while you are on the go? Do you ever get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, or do you lay awake in worry or with a mind that’s running faster than you could physically ever run? What is your life like? Did you take the time to read this, or is life so busy you cant do anything that takes longer than 2 minutes without being turned in a different direction?

Well I am not going to tell you to stop doing what you are doing, I am just going to say this, We ALL have the same 24 hours in a day. Your life is YOURS. It starts with dreams, that turn into goals, that turn into plans, that turn into schedules.  The busier you are, the more important it is to schedule your day.

Crazy as it may sound to some of you- it’s probably those who think its crazy that need it the most!

Watch my motivational video on you tube (if you have a spare 8 minutes)

Then if you really have time (about 25 minutes) watch my newest series of 10 videos made for on “Staying in Shape”

This shoot took all day. It was a long treacherous day, but in the end well worth the effort. The titles are randomly selected, so don’t expect to learn something specific in an actual series. Enjoy and please tell me what you think. I am already working on making the next series better. I learn only from my mistakes so I must be my worst critic so I can get batter each time. 🙂


For now I am going to sign off, enjoy my plans for the rest of the day, and start bringing it on again tomorrow at 7AM- at the gym. Hope to see you there!

Coach Wendy

August News

I have so many things in the making I thought it best to just update my readers here. This will be a list to keep it simple.

Any questions just continue to ask me on FB or in messages.

First I want to thank everyone who has subscribed to my website , my You Tube channel and my Face Book pages. I get so much feedback about what you would like to see, and I want to do it all- it just takes time!

Here is a rundown on what I am working on in August.

1. I changed this web address to You can also get to it with This was a big deal to me because I have used the second address on all my videos, my FB pages, my business cards and I am getting use to it- BUT using my name seemed to be the easiest for me , you and everyone  to get accustomed to. I hope you like it. Lets spread the word.

2. I have shot two strength videos last week. This was big for me because although not scripted, I am talking and trying to explain the movement and the reasons I do what I do and how. (all while working out!) My producer Eric had 2 cameras for the first time, we had a new external mic. Three hours of filming to make two 5-7 minute videos! I will be more involved in editing than ever before – which means more time spent in front of the computer . I expect these videos to be out by the end of the month.

3. I have set up a deal with to make a set of 12 instructional videos. These will be shot and produced by a professional team and will be posted to Unfortunately I was not allowed to pick the topics.  I hope to have more influence and input if my videos become successful. This is an exciting undertaking for me, and will help get my presence out there in cyber world. Not to mention, has just contacted me to film a series of videos with them. I know nothing more except I said yes. 🙂

4. I have joined a team at a new social network called for people who want to get in shape. I have committed to coaching a team for a 6 week challenge. I am excited about this, and look forward to helping a group of about 20-25 women get in shape. The challenge has not started yet, but if any females are interested please visit the webpage or my FB page and I will direct you where to go. There is an entry fee , I believe $99.00? I probably should not type that, but I am pretty sure that is close if not exact. The website and challenge should be underway by the end of this month. I will definitely be posting more on my FB page as it nears.

5. Next week I will start my training again for Track & Field and Swimming for the 2014 Sr. Games in October. For those who have kept up with me, you know I battled a severe case of plantar fasciitis. I can say I am healed after 6-8 months of pain! I will start next week with a new diet regimen. I will not be powerlifting this year due to conflicts with T& F events plus I am so over losing weight to make weight. I just want to eat healthy, be healthy and not have to weigh in for anything for a while! I did add one event to swimming and will consider one event to my field events. I will still be lifting weights 4 days per week – that is a part of me that I cannot give up . I love the weights.

6.  I am training clients at 3 facilities in town and stay very busy with that and online clients. I am loving life and I still manage to take off Sundays!!  My posters have come to a standstill due to me not having the proper program on my computer to make them look like I want them to. I have been limited by what I can do. I want to put out more but make them look better. In time.

7. And on a personal note- my cat Theodore has gone 8 months cancer free, but a tumor has reappeared. I found out he was diabetic and changed his diet drastically. He is now a healthy weight- Monday I will find out that his diabetes is under control (no drugs) and I will keep him healthy and happy till he succumbs to the tumors that will most likely overtake his little body. He will be 11 on Sept 5th.  I expect him to live a few more years, but I will not take that for granted, we know his time is limited. but we love the little guy and I promise he gets the best care of any cat ever!!

I love and appreciate every one of you. Thank you for your support!


Coach Wendy





Bodybuilding with Coach Wendy

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a bodybuilding show, but this time not as a competitor.

I had been helping a young man named Ricky Carrillo get ready for the Jacksonville Physique Contest.

I met Ricky when he was 14 and playing basketball at the YMCA. He was an all-around athlete (athlete of the year at his High School) and is now an engineering major at UCF. While in HS, he would talk with me about weight lifting and nutrition. Once he went away to college, he took everything he had learned and applied it. Ricky came home for the Holidays a whopping 200 Lbs., when prior; it was all he could do to hit 150!  He had been eating and training like he wanted something.

Ricky notes,

“Throughout my life, I was always the skinny kid. In 8th grade, I was ecstatic when the scale reached a whopping 100 pounds…By my senior year of high Rciky & me #1school, the scale finally hit 150 lbs., mostly due to added height and minimal muscle gains. In high school I always wanted to get bigger, but I never got the results, mostly due to a lack of knowledge on the subject, and extensive sports activities. I trained for increased performance in basketball, cross country, and track. After high school, I became increasingly interested and, some would say, obsessed with hypertrophy training. I spent my free time learning how the body functioned and how this correlated with muscle and strength gain. Wendy and I became closer friends through our mutual interests and talked often about nutrition and training. Our conversations sparked what would soon become more than just a hobby; bodybuilding through healthy eating/living became my lifestyle.” 

Ricky came to me one day in December and said he wanted to cut up. I asked,” For what?” I am unsure he had anything in mind except to just try it. I suggested he get serious and register for a show. With some time and contemplation, he registered. When I saw him in January, I will never forget the day he lifted up his shirt for me. I said, “My gosh kid, you have gotten fat!” He looked massively muscular to others, a young man who had gained muscle. To me with a show in mind, he was fat. Needless to say, it was time to start a diet.  He has studied a lot about nutrition and we would talk during the weeks ahead and decide what he needed to eat and how. He was getting to know his own body real well and that is a big, big part of being a successful competitive Bodybuilder.  His approach was pretty direct:

I came to Wendy in need of advice about how to turn my hope of one day competing into reality and she replied, “Well, go sign up for a show then!” With that ricky stage 1being said, I found a contest to enter and began my first ever contest preparation.

January 2013, 12 weeks out from the show, I was 200 pounds and around 14-15% body fat. We wrote my diet and training plan and I “checked in” with Wendy continuously to stay on the right track. I soon found out dieting and training isn’t the only thing involved in a bodybuilding contest. I began my preparation with little to no knowledge of the important art of posing.”

Every week I would see Ricky and he would pose for me. I took photos as we watched his complete transformation into the bodybuilder he would become. We had some assistance from Big Mike, in posing. Mike has competed for years and he knows first hand what the judges look for in a guy. I just know what I look for in a guy, so Mike helped with the tweaking as Ricky listened to both of us with earnest intent:

 “Wendy and Mike met with me every week to help me fine-tune my posing ability so I could display my body in a way that would make me competitive. I went into the show being able to pose comfortably and with confidence.”

Ricky was like a sponge soaking up all we had to offer. It was a beautiful display of discipline and determination. A clear cut reason he did so well. And then came the final week….Ricky writes;

“Perhaps the most confusing time for a bodybuilder is what is known as “peak week.” Sodium & water loading, carb & sodium depletion, “switching salts”, then carb loading, water depletion, weight management, shaving, tanning, grooming and posing (with the little posing trunks)…there was enough to keep track of that I needed a notebook just for peak week. With the help of Wendy’s experience, I was able to navigate my way through peak week and drastically improve my conditioning, lower my body fat and bring out the striations in my muscles.” 

I need to add- through the 12 weeks, his bodyweight dropped to 165Lbs. The night of weigh in, he officially weighed 170lbs. By the evening show he was about 174lbs. Middleweight all the way!

ricky-stage-123“Now for the moment of truth, SHOW TIME. Stress levels are high, risking high cortisol levels and drastic body changes, inexperience causing restlessness and uncertainty. But, with Coach Wendy’s steady assurance and expertise, and support from my family & girlfriend, all of those hindering emotions were kept at bay and I was able to focus on “getting the job done.” I placed 3rd in my first competition in the most competitive division of the show. The judges had incredibly motivational and encouraging things to say to me after the show and my excitement grew beyond what I had imagined. Bodybuilding is now my lifestyle.”

It was quite an experience for me to be back in the arena again. I always want to be on stage when I am at the show, but I really don’t want to go through all the stage ready discipline anymore.   We spoke to the judges to get a critique. They said he needed to come back darker (tan) next time and keep doing what he is doing regarding weight training and diet. They also said he reminded them of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger! This was enough to get Ricky excited to keep on going.  His thoughts:

 “I want to express my thanks and gratitude to my Coach Wendy, my family, my girlfriend and supportive friends who were there for help during my preparation and for being a part of my journey to make my desire to compete a reality.”

Incentive, no doubt. We all need it to move forward. I will use it and so will Ricky.

See you next time.

Coach Wendypicisto-20130414125642-246385