Live to Eat & Eat to Live

Why We All Need Coaches

Back to the competition stage

When I decided to step back on the fitness stage after a 20 year break from competition I knew I needed a fitness competition coach. To people who know me well and know my background this seemed strange. Before my career as a chef, I studied exercise physiology at Northeastern University and was an award winning personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Boston for 10 years.  I trained people from all walks of life including bodybuilders and professional athletes. I wrote diet plans for clients and I personally competed at the national level. So why would I need fitness and nutrition coaching?


Getting out of my own way

Why do I need a coach? I need a coach for the same reason everyone needs a coach – especially for whatever our own area of expertise is.

Although we might be great at writing programs for others (fitness, diet, business, mindset… whatever you do) it’s a different story when programming for yourself.

No matter who you are, you have mental bullshit that gets in your way.

On one hand we tend to gravitate towards what we know and are comfortable with. On the other, we are usually tougher on ourselves and second guess, change things up too quickly etc.  When it comes to personal progress, it’s extremely hard to be objective about yourself.


Old habits die hard

With exercise I always have a tendency to overtrain, I know better but I still do it…especially cardio. As far as nutrition, for a long time I have wanted to show people that it is possible to get great results without severe, restrictive, boring plans. Despite having a thyroid disorder; on an everyday, “fit mom” level I have lived this for years but competition is another level.

My mental bullshit around nutrition stems from competing in the late 80’s and 90’s when things like fruit and nuts were not a part of contest prep. It may seem silly that someone with my nutrition and food background could still have doubts when it comes to my personal nutrition program. The mind is a very tricky thing!  I 100% know and believe that getting in amazing shape and sustaining it can be done on a delicious, balanced diet. However, as soon as you attach ME and the word competition my brain goes out the window, my emotions take over and I second guess myself. This is where a coach is key. Having someone else who I respect and admire reaffirm what I know and believe is life changing. Whether or not we want to admit it we all need validation sometimes.


Finding the perfect coach

Shout out to my friend and rockstar coach Jen Dicandia. I am beyond grateful to be working with someone who shares my values and philosophies about fitness and nutrition. Jen is all about being real. Real about your life, real about what fitness and nutrition protocols fit into your REAL life, real about getting results but not at the risk of health or sanity. Checking in with Jen weekly keeps me mindful of all of my decisions. Checking in reminds me that we are all human and helps me see progress where I otherwise would not. Checking in holds me accountable to someone more objective than myself.

The best part? I am having so much fun with my workouts, I have a supportive community of strong women around me and my nutrition plan doesn’t feel the least bit restrictive. I have been able to take the macro counts Jen sets for me and create healthy delicious recipes that don’t feel like dieting at all.

After working with Coach Jen for the last month and a half, I know that when I step on stage in September, I will be in the best shape of my life. This a tall order. The last time I competed, at 28 yrs old, I placed 2nd in ESPN Fitness America and won the physique round. Since that competition I have had a child, became a chef known especially for sweets and pastry, and been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

If I can do this anyone can do this. Success is not about being perfect. Success is not about who has the most “willpower” -I hate that word but that’s another post. Success is about being realistic with your goals, being in it for the long term and surrounding yourself with the right tribe!

Fitness and nutrition coaching -Join our tribe!

Check out Coach Jen’s website where she has fitness and nutrition coaching options for every level of fitness, including home workouts, gym workouts and more. Follow us on instagram @chefalinae  @Jendicandia and facebook @chefalinae, Jen DiCandia  for fitness, nutrition and cooking tips or shoot me an email

I am constantly adding new recipes to this website and I am available for one on one or group cooking classes (live or Skype).  I also offer personal meal prep plans based on macros given to you by your coach and your personal preferences. Meal prep plans include recipes, shopping lists and instructions for getting the most done in the least amount of time (Skype sessions available).

Like this? Share it!
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop