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Train Like a Woman!
By Kristin Reisinger, MS RD
I met Antonia 6 years ago and I've been training her ever since. I've seen her weight go up, I've seen it go down. Always able to get back on track, one of the most disciplined people I know and the person who has experimented with the most diets, meet my longterm client and friend, Antonia Daniel!
KR: Please tell me a little bit about your background: age, athletic background, childhood, career, etc. Anything you might feel is pertinent to where you are now in terms of fitness and competition.
AD: I'm 38 now and my weight has been a roller coaster ride my entire life; I've been ridiculously skinny and very overweight at different times over the years. Until I moved to the US from the UK, I really did not have any inclination to try to stabilize my weight or fitness levels; essentially, it was what it was, when it was. In terms of athleticism, with the exception of tennis and swimming when I was at school, I did pretty much everything I could to avoid exercise of any kind (unless dancing from dusk until dawn throughout my twenties counts as exercise). I was also fairly blasť about proper nutrition growing up so my weight issues were related to eating the wrong type of food as opposed to overeating.
KR: What prompted you to get in shape?
AD: When I moved to the States seven years ago, I went into eating overdrive; so much choice, such big portions compared to the UK. Any exercise that I got in the UK (where I walked everywhere) also went out the window because, once I moved here, the sheer size of the place meant that I was always in the car. With my walking opportunities gone, and way too many food opportunities tempting me, I ballooned. It pretty much came to a head when I was in a nightclub one evening and caught sight of myself in a mirror - my reflection actually made me cry. Being a girl, I immediately called my mother who suggested I look into getting a trainer ''after all Antonia, you're in America, isn't that where they invented personal trainers?"
KR: What is your training philosophy in terms of women looking to reduce body fat levels, increase musculature and get fit?
AD: Set realistic goals, and don't kid yourself that it's going to be easy; it isn't. It takes hard work and dedication and a real belief that you can achieve those goals. Also, don't think that it's a choice between exercise or diet; to see real and lasting results you need a combination of both. Believe me, I tried the 'run and work out 4 plus times a week but eat as much ice cream and drink as much red wine as you want' regimen; it doesn't work. You need a combination of a nutritious diet, cardio and resistance training to really get to where you want to be. Oh, and give yourself a break sometimes, we can't be saints ALL the time.
KR: What is your current training and nutrition regimen?
AD: I call it the Sabbath regime; work really hard on diet and exercise for 6 days and the rest on the 7th day (the 7th day shifts around depending on social activity). Six days out of the week, I tend to stick to steamed vegetables or salad, baked or grilled fish or meat and very low calorie snacks (I could not live without 10 calorie, 0 carb jello shots). I also eat small quantities of these foods/snacks 6 times a day to keep my metabolism ticking over and I drink at least 2 liters of water every day. In terms of training, I run 3.5 miles at least 4 times a week, train with weights at least twice a week, and go to Yoga once a week. On the 7th day, I have cheat meal (whatever I want) and take a break from exercise.
KR: What are your fitness goals for the future?
AD: Well, having thoroughly enjoyed myself over Christmas, I have around 10 lbs to lose so I'm hoping to have shifted them in the next 8 weeks. Beyond that, it's really a case of maintaining but still being able to have fun doing it. I would also like to run a marathon at some point but really need to psych myself up for that. Essentially, I want to look good, feel good but not feel chained to the weighing scale or the salad bowl for the rest of my life.
KR: If there were one thing you could tell a woman looking to get into shape, what would it be?
AD: Hire Kristin Reisinger!... she changed not only my shape, but also my attitude, my health and my belief that somewhere inside my size 14 body there was a size 6 woman fighting to get out!
Kristin Reisinger, MS RD, is a New York City-based nutritional consultant, fitness trainer, freelance health + fitness writer and musician. She holds a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology + Nutrition from Columbia University and is a Registered Dietitian through American Dietetic Association. She is also a competitive figure athlete, former Galaxy competitor, avid snowboarder, rock climber and surfer. She has been competing for over five years and will continue to do so until she is 80. She can be contacted at email@example.com.