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  • Ana Bailoni

The final piece that fell into place for me and finally helped me achieve my weight loss goal

A few weeks ago I shared how the mission for our gym was born out of my own experience of being a complete couch potato to a fitness believer & it’s biggest disciple. A week after that I shared how I “fell into” strength training and what a mind-opening (and body transforming) discovery that was.


Today, I want to share with you the final piece that fell into place for me and finally helped me achieve the weight loss I wanted when I started this whole journey in the first place: NUTRITION.

Listen, right off the bat I want you to know who you’re talking to: I love food, eating is one of my favorite things to do, like, ever, I like drinking, and I have a sweet tooth that just won’t come loose, and I didn’t eat salads or any kind of vegetables, really, until my early adult life. So please understand when I say – I get it. It’s not easy for me either.

I also don’t have a Herculean sense of discipline and work ethics. I’ve just learned to find the strategies and styles that work for me in each new season of life.

Ok, so now that you know that I wasn’t raised munching on raw veggies for dessert, don’t naturally crave salads, and I have a crazy sweet tooth, let’s talk about how I came about changing my entire mindset around eating, got myself some better habits, dropped the excess fat and have kept it off for over 10 years.

If you’ll remember, I started this whole game doing nothing but cardio – running and spin classes. I loved how it made me feel, and it gave me great mental and physical benefits… but I was still chubby and I didn’t want to be. Knee issues from running led me to strength training, which gave me newfound muscles and an empowering new challenge… but the physique changes weren’t fast enough for me. I still had the fluff and it wasn’t welcome anymore.

The year was 2010, and I had just discovered audio books. I was listening to some book on my newfound obsession – health and fitness. I can’t remember the name of the book now, but it was something trendy for the time, and it ended up being an extremist vegan manifesto that made me feel horrible about all the wonderful foods I loved to eat. I got very little, practically speaking, from the book, but I got one priceless thing: an a-ha moment!

You see, I never knew anyone around me who ate like that, or who even ate healthy as a lifestyle. All around me people were always just talking about the diets they were doing or going to do, or talking about how they need to eat better, or joking about how they love eating too much to be fit.

And up until that moment, cleaning my room and listening to that audio book about people who didn’t eat meat or eggs or cheese (what???) or sugar, it just didn’t connect in my brain that eating any way other than the way I and the people around me ate was even a possibility. And the a-ah moment for me was: there are tons of people who eat like this every day. If they do it, why not me?

Now, I didn’t, and probably never will, have a vegan lifestyle, but I did radically cut out a lot of things that I thought might harmful – among them was sugar and alcohol. Immediately, I saw the weight loss I was so desperately running, spinning, and lifting after with just 2 weeks of cutting out some of that stuff. Still, I didn’t know what I was doing, and it felt like I was just winging it.

I mentioned my new-found knowledge and weight loss to my personal trainer (remember him? I talked about him in this post). His response? “Why don’t you do a consult with the nutritionist here at our gym.”

I was the easiest sale that girl ever made. I was hooked on my new habits and eager to learn and do more. So, I signed up to work with her, and I like to joke, my mom didn’t teach me to eat (bless her heart), that nutritionist did. Everything was so incredibly new to me, that I remember she had put a morning shake in my plan, and I said, “Oh, I don’t wake up early enough to make that before going to work.” She just lifter her eyes off the paper and up at me, and without so much as a smile, she just said, “Try.” Another a-ha moment, and no more questions or comments from me!


Everything was so incredibly new to me, that I remember she had put a morning shake in my plan, and I said, “Oh, I don’t wake up early enough to make that before going to work.” She just lifter her eyes off the paper and up at me, and without so much as a smile, she just said, “Try.” Another a-ha moment, and no more questions or comments from me!

I just did exactly as she told me to do, continued with the running, the spin classes and the strength training, and for four weeks straight, the pounds seemed to melt off. I had some slips, some frustrating plateaus, but it didn’t take too long (about 2 months, maybe?). To lose the 15 lbs that felt stuck to me forever. To this day, I’ve never gained it back (knock on wood).

Since then, I’ve experimented with different styles of eating, and like everyone else, I have my seasons. Some seasons I’m more on point, others I’m more lax. What worked in one season, doesn’t necessarily work in the next. But one thing is always the same – I have a foundational bed of habits that keep me and my body stable and healthy.


But one thing is always the same – I have a foundational bed of habits that keep me and my body stable and healthy.

I felt better, I looked great, and I was ready for anything. Learning how the foods I choose to put in my mouth directly affect how I feel and how I look changed my life and my mindset forever. And when I opened Rio Fitness, I insisted on putting “Lifestyle Training” as part of the name because I knew that if we were truly to empower people through fitness, nutrition would have to be a key component of our services.


I knew that if we were truly to empower people through fitness, nutrition would have to be a key component of our services.

Today, I have a much broader understanding of nutrition and what drives human behaviors, and our nutrition coaching services reflects that. We meet each individual client where they are, and help them achieve their goals by showing them how they can eat better within their lifestyle and preferences.

No fad diets or one-size fits all here. We are unique in that we are able to provide a truly individualized and personalized service. Because in the end, what changes lives isn’t the perfect training or nutrition plan. It’s a coach who cares.


Time for your a-ha moment? Schedule a 30-minute chat with me at the gym or over the phone. We'll talk about where you are now, where you want to be, and together come up with a plan that will get you there and fit your budget.


Or start by downloading this 8 Strategy Transformation plan!

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