Jackie Warner’s Secrets Of Success
Sexy and sharp, this sweat-provoking siren has whipped many of us into shape with an iron will and a streak of compassion. But her frame of steel has certainly seen its share of tarnishing times. Only through inspiring persistence has she risen from turmoil and achieved the clarity that allows her to guide so many to happiness through health. Jackie Warner is the complete woman, and she's here to show us that the key to physical well-being is a lot simpler than we know.
Congratulations on the great success of This is Why You're Fat.
Thank you! I'm so proud of that book. I read it all the time! It sounds weird, but honestly, it's 15 years of my career wrapped up in one book. I like to use it as a reference point.
That's quite a bold title-provocative but effective.
I speak the truth, I don't sugarcoat it. I always try to make an impact because you have to do that when you're dealing with weight loss. You have to really get someone's attention, shake him or her and ask, "Are you happy living like this? Is this what you want for the rest of your life? It's only going to get worse if you continue poisoning yourself." Originally, the working title of the book was Size Matters. But everything I was writing was going directly to this idea of, "This is why you're fat." It was answering that question. So I called the publisher and said, "I want to change the name to This Is Why You're Fat. It might turn some people off, but that's really what this book is addressing in everythingI write!"
Your personal example of turning hardship into a successful lifestyle is very empowering.
I would not have been able to do half of the things in my life without fitness. It just changed my energy completely. How do you turn selfloathing into self-loving? That's what I refer to in the book. It's what I did for myself and what I do for countless clients. I'm certainly not shy now, but I was at one time. I broke through that with confidence, notlow-self esteem.
I'm sure it was a sequence of events, but can you pinpoint one particularly crucial time in your past that clicked and allowed you to turn things around and take steps forward?
I actually write about it in the introduction. I suffered from a pretty crippling depression in my teens and early 20s. I read a book that changed my life, called Sugar Blues by William Dufty. It discussed how sugar ravages the body, mind and soul-and how to deal with it in large quantities, like I was doing. I started working out, I quit sugar and I started gaining physical strength. That combination really did change my depression levels-I was more normalized, I felt more balanced. It saved my life. In this economy and with the stresses that today's society has, most people are dealing with low-grade depression-would you not agree with that?
I sure would!
I've had thousands of people walk into my gyms and talk to me about that. I'm telling you, we've created a society of lightly depressed-if not fully depressed-people! They're losing their jobs and having to fight harder to keep their homes. It's severe. And the only way to take a hold of that is to control the one thing you can control. That's your body. What people need to understand it that food is a drug. It has a pharmacological effect on the body. You can maintain chemistry balance in the body as well as the brain just by delivering the right kind of food. That's such an important statement-you can really change your happiness levels with food. And I am walking proof, because I was not living a good lifestyle when I was younger. It wasn't until my early 30s that I got a handle of it and turned it around. Then I turned it around for other people. That's why I got into the business.
Originally I worked out for fun. I was into body building and I had a client who was a high-powered agent. She was beautiful, but she was the most miserable person I'd ever met in my life. Working with her through four months, we completely turned her life around and I was hooked. I thought, "If I can do this for a living and really make a difference, then this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Speaking of making a living, how is your new gym coming along?
It's not launching until March 2012, but it's a gym that's never been done in the world. It's a new and interesting concept. It's going to be in West Hollywood. I need to stay where my people are. I'm trying to find a space. I would love to be on Santa Monica Boulevard, but it's a tough area for parking.
I've noticed from your TV shows that you push your clients beyond their perceived limits, but it's clear you care about them. Has there ever been a time when you found yourself questioning whether or not you could actually help an individual?
I always say you have to break them down to build them up. On Thintervention, Nikki was a very difficult client to work with. She was really struggling with alcohol. When someone is used to consuming six to eight drinks per day, as well as trying to lose weight by working out three to four hours a day, that's a tough client. I'm going to say that she was my toughest client in my entire career. She wasn't ready to make that change in regards to alcohol. When it comes to addictions, you have to hit bottom.
What do you find is the most common reason why people don't stick to their fitness plans?
Because they don't make it a lifestyle change and they make it too difficult. Whenever you try to go on a hard diet like Atkins, where you have to eat "only this" and "not that," you try it for two weeks and then just stop. You have to have that realistic conversation with yourself and ask, "Am I someone who will make a lot of food tonight, put it in little Tupperware containers and then take one to work with me today?" You just have to make good lifestyle decisions that fit realistically to your life.
I give you so many choices on what you can eat, how to eat it and how to order it at a restaurant. Not everybody has my lifestyle-with hours each day to work out. In fact nobody has that lifestyle. I didn't write the book for me, I wrote it for everyone else-knowing that there are busy moms and career minded people out there with their own lifestyle needs.
Any new projects on the fitness horizon?
It's a little premature, but I'm very excited about my new book also being released in March, 10 by 10. It's really amazing-ten pounds in ten days! Then a 30-day program for additional weight loss and a maintenance program, as well as a new DVD to look out for. I'm definitely working on a lot.
I would love to speak with you again about these soon. Thank you and congratulations again!
Thank you! It's a pleasure.
Jackie's Fitness FAQ
• Do stress and poor sleeping habits really prevent the body from burning fat?
In a major way, the "stress hormone" is called cortisol. It's released mainly at night and it unfortunately imbalances the rest of your hormones. These are hormones like testosterone and progesterone that give you a peaceful state of mind and a more toned, well-working body- even human growth hormone (HGH), for which people pay thousands of dollars to inject each month. This is becoming a hot topic lately because there are supplements that are addressing cortisol spikes and manipulating cortisol levels for weight reduction. So when you're under a great deal of stress, you start metabolizing fat differently and you gain weight. Combat this, not only by doing things that relax you and taking up hobbies or meditating for half an hour, but by making sure that you have four to five servings of vegetables a day...and that you're eating five small, protein-rich meals a day. This includes freerange meats and low-fat dairy products with casein in them. That's actually a relaxant, so eating a little low-fat cottage cheese before bed is a good idea.
In terms of physical activity, the best way to balance testosterone and progesterone is a burst of exercise. Even if you only exercise 20 minutes a day, you do it very intensely.
• Does getting fit have less to do with the amounts we eat than with the quality food itself?
Nobody in America is getting fat from eating organic fruits and vegetables and lean protein. That's in any portion. But you don't want to go crazy and consume 6,000 calories worth of chicken breasts...unless you're working out like crazy. I have male trainer friends who consume 10,000 calories a day- brown rice, broccoli, fruit...but they're pretty much eating two chickens a day. They've got so much muscle to maintain, the need that protein and sugar.
• Why should men in particular go organic?
Men in particular are having a really hard time with their hormones. Processed foods are estrogen-dominant and testosterone-deficient. As a man, that is the last thing youwant because that makes it very difficult to build muscle.
• If trying to keep fit, are there any foods that are no good whatsoever?
I think everything is acceptable in moderation. The problem is that most people don't have the moderation gene. Very few people know how to live a moderate lifestyle-which is why you see the same people at Starbucks getting muffins every day. What happens chemically in the system is the production of HGH ceases. Even after a couple glasses of wine, you won't produce any for about two days. That's a real problem if you're trying to build muscle. And now your liver has to work harder to process that, so other important systems that help in weight loss and muscle gain are then shut down. But, again, you want to have balance. If you drink two glasses of wine a night, cut it down to one! Eventually you can cut it down to only three times a week.
• How about sugar?
I've got a section in the book about sugar. Sugar is actually good for muscle gain, but you HAVE to be working out with high-intensity and consistently in order to get that benefit. But if you're just trying to lose weight, then sugar is definitely going to be an issue for you. And when I say sugar, I mean bread, pretzels, crackers...anything that has enriched white flour. Replace them with slow-digestion carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and dark breads. Don't cut carbs completely. Remember, your muscles need a little sugar.
• What's the difference between a personal trainer and a GREAT personal trainer:
A great, passionate personal trainer has the most important job in the world-he or she deals with the entire person. Very few industries do that. I gotta tell you, Western medicine and doctors do not. Doctors will say, "Take this pill and do this." They'll address one specific issue-and they know a lot about that issue-but they don't address the psychological component, and that is 80 percent of the game. Great personal trainers deal with the psychology behind why you do what you're doing. They help you set better goals and make lifestyle changes. They know what gives you the most impact in the shortest amount of time, as well as what fuel to put in your body. If I was working with you, and we didn't address how you set up daily goals, we would fail. You might be able to get a great body for six months, but eventually you would fail. It's about reshaping the client's thinking. Those are the only kinds of trainers I hire.