Yes, another interview this week. I’m lucky to interview such inspirational people and to share their stories with you. Every time I read what they have to say, I feel motivated (especially when it comes to anything with health and fitness). It’s easy to stop when you don’t feel good (My whole family is battling a cold right now, and between taking care of my baby and myself, I have had no energy to do anything else). But when I read a good fitness story, I always find a way to pick up from where I left off. So, this could not have come at a better time. Today I’m talking with Toni Jones, 28, of Monrovia, CA, who is a trainer and who follows a gluten-free diet after discovering eczema on her baby.
Have you always been into health and fitness? Starting at a young age, I was always involved in sports but as far as nutrition goes, I knew very little. Coming from a single mother home and having two other siblings, there were days and nights where food was limited so we ate whatever we could find in the house at the time.
When did you find out about your allergy problems and how did that affect the food you eat? About two years ago when I gave birth to my youngest daughter, she had a bad eczema outbreak on her stomach and legs. I also had eczema behind my arms my whole life and creams never really took it away. I started to research “how to treat eczema” myself and experiment by eliminating foods. Once I took out gluten and dairy from my diet I started to see results and in no time my eczema was completely gone!
Since I was breast feeding at the time, taking it out of my diet -also took it out of my daughters diet and her eczema was completely gone too! That’s when I decided to get testing done to see what else I may be allergic or intolerant to. I found out I’m allergic to corn, dairy, gluten and peanuts. Now, we eat like “cave men” as my husband says. We don’t eat processed foods and have to read all the labels. It was extremely overwhelming at first, but now that it’s been a few years, it has been a lot easier.
Are you the cook in the household or does your husband help? I do most of the cooking because I know what to get from stores and know the brands that are tolerant for me. My husband will occasionally help cook and do the grill if I prep it first because my way is like a different language to him.
Are there any websites that inspire your recipes? Yes! I have a top three that I love using…they are all blogs with people who have similar allergies to me. Against All Grain, Elana’s Pantry and The Clean Program Blog
Does your family eat the same food as you? Absolutely. Creating healthy habits for my family is priority. I even started a book of my favorite recipes for them with pictures and notes. I want them to each have one when they grow up and go out on their own. I also make sure that both of my daughters go shopping with me to pick out vegetables and then they help me prepare them. It’s fun and they love knowing they did something so “grown-up”!
I love the book idea – may have to start my own!
How do you manage your workouts with taking care of your children? Do you involve them in the workouts? I usually do my workouts early in the morning before they wake up and before my husband goes to work or I do them later in evening once they are getting ready for bed and my husband takes over bath and bedtime. If those don’t work my girls come with me to workout and they usually try to “copy” me and we will skip rope together!
Favorite fitness wear? I love LuLu Lemon, it’s expensive but I love their pants! They fit great and they don’t become see-through as some do over time. The quality is great. As far as tops go, I love tank tops so I get whatever is on sale. Target has some great sports bras and tanks for great prices!
What’s your most favorite meal to make? Two words, SLOW COOKER! I love using it because it’s super easy, and not time consuming. I’m free to run errands, play with my kids, or do house work- all while dinner is being cooked. My favorite thing to make is throw in so chicken, a lot of veggies, season to taste and there you go! I usually use the slow cooker when I know my days are so busy.
I agree. My slow cooker is one of my favorite things about fall. That, and my birthday, of course.
If you do have a cheat meal, what is it? I love Pizza!
Best and worst part of being a trainer? I love helping clients feel great about themselves. I want them to look in the mirror and be happy about what they see back. I want my clients to feel strong, healthy and sexy! My favorite is seeing them smile from ear to ear when they tell me about how they went shopping and dropped sizes or just how great and energized they feel.
I wouldn’t say there as any “worse” thing about being a trainer, but something that does grind my bones is when I have someone who trains and I’ve worked so hard to create a program for them and they just disregard it and blame me for their lack of weight loss. I always say “What you eat in private, you wear in public.” As a trainer I can only do so much to help someone achieve their goals but if they can’t put in the effort and meet me in the middle, they won’t see change.
What motivates you every day? I motivate myself. I see how far I’ve come mentally and physically and I’m proud of what I’m accomplishing and have accomplished. I love learning about the human body and nutrition and I feel inspired all the time. Seeing old pictures of myself when I didn’t have kids and seeing them now after having two and feeling more beautiful than ever is pretty amazing!
Where do you get your workout inspiration? I’ve learned from so many great trainers by shadowing them. They all had different views and programs but I can really appreciate the diversity of it all. I also love how women these days are really becoming stronger and seeing that being model skinny isn’t what it’s all about. It’s about being strong and feeling beautiful no matter what body type you may have. I used to box so creating workouts that are empowering and fun is my style. I want my clients to be proud of themselves and see how strong they have become but most importantly having fun is the key!
What projects are you working on right now? I’m currently in the middle of creating a workout program for women and men where we meet three times a week for six weeks and do workouts while eating properly. I want to teach them to live healthy and NOT diet! It’s about changing your lifestyle and being active to achieve better health. Everyone is capable of it, you just need to start!
What is the best part about your health and lifestyle change? As I mentioned earlier, as a kid we didn’t always have food around so learning about nutrition was like learning whole new language. I always struggled with weight issues because i barely ate or when I did eat it was all the wrong stuff. I hated how I looked and it made me so depressed growing up. When I had my first daughter I was determined to change because I wanted her to see me happy and love myself. I didn’t want her to learn that looking at yourself in the mirror meant criticizing your flaws.
I wanted her to know that when she looks in the mirror that girls that she sees is beautiful no matter what! I’ve changed my body by workout out and eating healthy, but I also changed my mind. Even with stretch marks from my pregnancy I still find them beautiful because it reminds me that my body was used to create these two little humans. That young girl who always had weight issues and eczema no longer exists. I’m a confident, strong and independent women, mother and wife. I won’t stop at nothing to help other women and men feel the same way. I mean, “YOLO” right
You can find out more about Toni Jones on her blog, I’ll Start on Monday and you can also follow her on Facebook under Get it Right, Get it Tight. Who inspires you to keep living healthy? Whether they motivate you to eat better or workout more, I would love to know! Share in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #healthmotivator and maybe I can score an interview with them, too! Check out my Pinterest for more healthy inspiration