When certified nutritionist and online personal trainer Stephanie Woods decided to get her body back into shape after her second baby, for her, the writing was on the wall. “I had high body fat and I didn’t feel good,” she confesses. Woods had no idea that her research in nutrition and exercise would quickly make her a spectacle at the gym. “People started to notice how much my body was changing; I had gym managers come up to me and ask me to work for them.” Woods talks to Helium Magazine before joining the Healthy Eating & Living Pavilion section of TheFitExpo this weekend at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.
Helium Magazine: How did you get to where you are? Why fitness and nutrition?
SW: Both coincided; I’ve always been very active, into sports, and fitness, and could never figure out the nutrition side of things. I knew how important nutrition was, but if you don’t do your homework, it’s such a broad range of science. So I decided I wanted to be one of those people that could not only make my bond great with fitness and exercise but I wanted to really pay attention to the nutrition side of things. It was during the six months while I was getting certified as a personal trainer that I was contacted by Dr. Willey—a very well known doctor in the body building industry—he has his own weight-loss clinic, and asked me to become his nutritionist.
HM: What can we expect from you this weekend?
SW: I am speaking on nutrition and diet. I’m really putting the word out there that we, as adults and parents, we are really the biggest example for our children, and if we can’t step up to the plate, our kids are pretty much doomed; we are going to be burying our children and our grandchildren. I have fun ideas planned for my audience, and will be putting things more in perspective and helping them to be aware.
Helium: As a nutritionist, what questions are you asked the most?
SW: ‘How many calories should I eat in a day?’ People are not aware of how many calories they should be bringing in a day to maintain or lose weight or gain muscle—it’s over their head. I can’t actually pinpoint their calorie ranges until I know what their exercise looks like, their body fat, and what their diet already looks like. I also get, ‘How can I look like you?’ I would love to be the person that can take the person who is overweight and to get them to look like me!
HM: What general advice would you give to people who want to eat better?
SW: To start out small. Don’t just jump right in and then think ‘I am going cut out all of my carbs,’ ‘I’m going to cut out all of my sweets,’ and ‘I am going to lose weight’—it really doesn’t work like that. You really have to find a balance. If you get in too deep, too fast, and too quick, then you are going to get burned out or you are going to start binging because you’ve deprived yourself of the things that you are craving, things that you want to eat, things that you are really going to miss. And so, if you just start out small, you are more likely to succeed and you will gradually get better at it and start adding things on as you progress yourself.
HM: What can parents do to help their children’s diets?
SW: Parents need to be more informative; kids are smarter these days. Give your kids awareness even at a young age. Be informative and honest with your kids because it will make them more intuitive and more excited about nutrition options. Give them a reason why and then reward them for making good choices.
HM: What is it like to be an online personal trainer and how does that work?
SW: All of my contact is through email, Skype, and webinars—depending on the packages that they [clients] buy. I do an online boot camp; people from all over the world will sign up for certain boot camps throughout the year. It’s a 10-week weight-loss program designed by Dr. Warren Willey. I come in as a personal trainer and I modify things. I help them with their meal plans for the 10 weeks—how much, how often, and pre-and-post workout meals. My biggest thing is that I want my clients to be honest with me. If they are having a rough week, I want them to let me know, because the more I know, the more I can help them with their rough patches.
HM: What small change can people make that will have a large impact on their health?
SW: Be aware of everything you put in your mouth; it’s actually quite simple. Be aware of every lick, every taste, every smidgen of food. Being aware of what you are putting in your mouth will help you out most of the time.
HM: What’s your passion in life?
SW: My family. I love my job and my career, but my husband and my kids are my go-to people
HM: What is your hope for the Fitness Expo this year?
SW: I’m hoping that people will listen—it is my first real time talking about diet and food in front of people. If I can help just one person change their life, I’ve done my job.
Stephanie is apart of the Healthy Eating Pavilion at the Fitness Expo. Stephanie will speak on childhood obesity, the importance of proper supplements, and dietary limitations. For more information on her demos and seminars at this weekend’s event, please visit:
For more information on the Fitness Expo, please visit:
Interview by Amanda Holst
Photos by Schiess Photography