I like to think of celebrities and famous people, as just another person, like me. Whenever I’ve met one, I treat them the same as I do everyone else I know, no change there. However, are they really just like you and me? Not really. There is a much higher demand to always appear looking “flawless”! There is much greater scrutiny, I mean down to their every last pedicure gone wrong! And of course someone get’s a snap shot of it! We have all seen it in those hideous tabloids! The demand is always on watch, and the pressure is always on to promote their lifestyle and to a certain degree I can relate to this. Whether it is getting ready for a roll, or an award show, photo shoot, or appearance, or just walking their dog down the street, they are always under the camera’s eye, and that can take its toll. Some take their exercise and diet to the extreme, and some have been able to find a balance somewhere between.
I have read countless articles on famous individuals and almost every single one has a fitness program and most definitely a meal program, diet lifestyle, or strict nutrition plan. Celebrities seem to steer in the direction of what is “HOT”, to keep current and follow the trends in an ever changing industry. Some have even created or helped begin a “trend” in a specific type of exercise regime, I immediately think, Bruce Lee! Jane Fonda! The Rock! Arnold Schwarzenegger! Sylvester Stallone! When people see that celebrities are doing it, their interest is amplified. They see their body’s and associate that style of training to that body, and it motivates them to check it out. I say, Whatever excites you and get’s you moving is fine by me! There is no “one way” everyone has “their way”. Madonna is known for her avid Ashtanga Yoga practice and strict no sugar diet plan, Usher and his “washboard Ab/"forty minutes of funk” and strict low carb diet program (Usher has apparently claimed however it’s all just “good genes”), Gwyneth Paltrow and her yoga-pilates-macrobiotics, and Angelina Jolie and her high protein meal plan, and specific role preparation in weapons training, intense kick boxing and specific sport related workouts geared specifically for her roles. Although they all train very differently, they all have something in common, they work extremely hard, with great discipline and dedication.
I’m lucky enough to know and train an amazing young starlet and popular radio host for Disney, Candice Lopez. She and her boyfriend popular actor/producer/GQ stud Erik Valdez, were nice enough to take the time and interview with me, on what fitness, diet and being healthy means to them. These are two individuals who I can truly say are role models and in general incredible humans.
Nicki Jax: Erik and Candice, first of all thank you so much for allowing us to look into your personal world, you're the cutest couple ever! I love hearing about your fitness adventures and meal challenges. How important is health and fitness to you and what does that actually mean to you?
Candice: Health and fitness is very important to me. It's actually something on my mind quite possibly more than any other goal/subject. Growing up we both were a bit out of shape at times and it took us each individually into our mid 20’s to begin adopting healthy lifestyles.
Nicki Jax: Candice, what is a diet to you and do you feel specific industry or societal pressures to look a certain way? Erik do you feel this as well?
Candice: A diet to me means distinguishing food I should and should not eat in order to achieve my fitness goals. I have tried fad diets and so called weight loss programs that include specific instructions for diet and have found a difference between a diet and dieting.
Erik: For me, I do feel some pressures from not only my industry but also myself. Being on camera is part of my job so in order to be an aspirational figure and represent a young, vibrant and specific brand, being attractive to your audience is important. Unfortunately humans find credibility in a healthy appearance. I have also noticed the recent role that social media plays when it comes to societal pressures to be in shape especially for young people and often hear this proven when talking to my audience of mostly young girls.
Candice: I would say the term "diet," has always been a bit misused in my opinion. Most people, myself included early on in life, associated the term with sacrifice or deprivation. I find that leading a healthy, balanced life is much easier when one is focused on positivity and moderation versus negativity and extremes. That said, diet, to me means eating sensibly, holding myself accountable for what I choose to eat, and adjusting on a day to day basis to compensate for the occasional missteps. Working in the entertainment industry and often, in front of the camera, there's definitely added pressure to stay fit. Rather than succumbing to other's ideas of what fit is and constantly comparing myself to people, I simply choose to try and be the best version of myself, in all aspects, at all times.
Nicki Jax: Well stated, thank you for that. J What does your average Diet/lifestyle meal plan consist of?
Candice: As far as our average diet goes we eat out quite a bit but try to find balance between that and Herbalife shakes, green smoothies, and some clean home cooking. However after experimenting quite a bit with the help of a trainer and nutritionist I was able to find most of my nutritional success with a clean diet and following a specific amount of macronutrients in my diet.
Nicki Jax: What's the last " meal challenge" you did, and what did you learn from it?
Erik: The last meal challenge we did was the My Fit Foods 21 Day Challenge. We found great success with the plan since it is all clean, gluten free, perfectly portioned and precooked. It is convenient and delicious!
Nicki Jax: Do you have treat days (“cheat days”) do you believe in those? What's your favorite naughty?!
Candice: We absolutely believe in treat days. Typically pizza and ice cream are our favorites as well as frozen yogurt! Once I learned that "shocking" the body with a treat once a week turns up the metabolism there was more reason to indulge on a treat day.
Nicki Jax: What does your regular fitness program consist of?
Erik: Right now our regular fitness program is focused on Crossfit 3-5 times a week. We tend to try different work outs in phases and also incorporate hiking and biking as well.
Nicki Jax: Erik, you have a great GQ fitness web show and it is doing really well!!Congratulations! What's that about and where can people go to check it out!!:)
Erik: The GQ web show, it is doing very well thanks! "Fighting Weight" is a show that explores different disciplines of the fitness world. I host the show and for lack of a better term play the "every guy" who gets run through abbreviated versions of different exercises that are designed by some of the most elite coaches and athletes of their respective disciplines. The show is designed to give busy individuals a look into these different worlds whether they are at home, on a break at work or traveling. The idea is that you can have access to brief versions of full workouts on your phone, tablet or anywhere for that matter. People can check it out at www.youtube.com/GQ and look under the "Fighting Weight" tab.
www.youtube.com/GQ : “Fighting Weight”