“The only thing limiting you is you” with Angelica Ventrice and Dr. William Seeds
The only thing limiting you is you. For so many years I told myself I would never be fit because I had autoimmune disorders and bad genetics. I told myself I could never be a runner because I could barely finish the mile in high school so I just wasn’t meant to run. I was telling myself so many silly stories and believing them so they actually became my reality. I was overweight, sad and stuck. Once I realized I was the only one holding me back, I stopped playing victim and took charge. The only thing that was holding me back all those years was ME. Not my “genetics,” which is a bunch of BS by the way, not my parents, not my lack of skills in running. It was my thought patterns. I was in my own way. My biggest piece of advice here is, “ Get out of your own way!!” You can achieve anything you want to in life!
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angelica Ventrice. Angelica has transformed herself over the years by losing 30 pounds of weight while battling Hypothyroid and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. She is passionate about helping people all over the world transform mentally and physically. She is the creator of Fit for Life, which is an online transformation program for females and couples, including tailored fitness, nutrition and mindset coaching.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
Growing up I was always a chubby kid, I never played sports and I couldn’t run a mile to save my life; in fact the only thing I felt I was good at was getting straight A’s! By the time I graduated college, I was 30 pounds overweight and struggling with the symtoms of Hypothyroidism and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was depressed and felt hopeless, like I would never get out of the body I was stuck in. Or so I thought I was stuck in…Until one day, I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew I needed to do something but had no idea where to begin so I hired a personal trainer and my transformation began. As my mind and body started to transform, I felt this deep burning desire to help other people transform just like I did. I KNEW if I could change, so could they and I genuinely wanted to help them. Fast forward a few years; I left my successful career in Medical Sales and became a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutritionist which eventually led me to start my online transformation program called Fit for Life. I currently have clients all over the country and couldn’t be happier that I turned my passion for fitness and wellness into this program.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
The most interesting thing to me is that I actually have an online business. I used to hate social media, I thought it was a distraction and time consuming and I would rather be biking or running. (which is still partially true) Life has a funny way of throwing things at you though. I knew I wanted to reach more people than just those I was personal training in California, however I had no idea how. Until I stumbled upon an ad for an business academy that teaches personal trainers how to transition to online coaching. Now here we are, I reach women all over the world and share my messages daily on social media.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
When I started my personal training career at Equinox gym, I definitely learned showing off does not get you new clients. In fact, it scares them away because they find you unapproachable and intimidating…I was working out like a maniac because that’s how I was back in the days; I was on the row machine and I actually was rowing so hard I fell off. Embarrassing? YES. Especially because I was the new personal trainer from New York that everyone was watching. The lesson I learned from this was to put my ego aside and just be real. I learned to simply just talk to people about my struggles and let them know I’ve been in their shoes and can actually help them. Morale of story: Egos always need to be checked at the door.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I believe my unique contribution to the health and wellness industry is that I’ve actually dealt with many of the struggles the average person is dealing with. I don’t believe time in an industry matters as much as experience does. I’ve been in the trenches; I’ve been overweight, depressed, had severe acne, gut issues and ZERO confidence in myself. I’ve helped hundreds of clients from ages 18–72 not only lose weight but transform their overall health. Clients have come to me who could barely run a mile and are now running marathons. People have come to me wanting to lose their belly bloat and I’ve helped them transform not only their gut health but their behaviors so they can sustain healthy eating habits forever.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
If it weren’t for my Personal Trainer George, 10 years ago, in New York, helping me get started on my weight loss journey, I would have never decided to become a Personal Trainer myself. While working with him, he pushed me mentally and physically. Sometimes I would leave almost in tears because the sessions were so hard. He showed me I was WAY STRONGER than I thought I was and that change is possible if you truly want it to be. After working with him, I became a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutritionist and moved to California to pursue my career in the health industry.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
The most common 3 main blockages that prevent people from taking the information they know and actually using it are:
1) Lack of Strategy. There’s a ton of information out there but without a clear concise plan that is unique and tailored to one’s individual needs and goals, there is no true strategy in place for success. Winging it doesn’t work in anything in your life, especially your health. We all need a solid fitness, mindset and nutrition plan to follow, even me!
2) Lack of Accountability. Even coaches have coaches, I will say this time and time again. Without someone holding you accountable, cheering you on, guiding you, and pushing you out of your comfort zone to grow, its very hard to change on your own.
3) Mindset Shift. People think they want to get healthy and lose weight yet they are not actually 100% COMMITTED. They may know some information and are “interested”; however to see a real transformation they need to shift their mindset to total commitment and connect to their WHY. Once someone connects and understands why and how making this change will transform their life, they are much more likely to integrate the new habits.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
1) Go for nature walks or beach walks. Perhaps not everyone has access to do this but even just a 10 minute walk a day can help you refocus and clear your head. It’s also essential to get in 10K Steps a day for your health so small walks throughout the day help us reach this goal. Most Americans sit on their butts all day at work and simply do not move enough. Walking helps to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and is great for your mind.
2) Do not look at your phone first thing in the morning! Many people begin their day by checking their emails and messages and this puts their brain in reactive and comparison mode. This is so detrimental to our mental health. If we start our mornings by checking our phones, we are willingly starting our day off on someone else’s terms. Instead, begin each morning with a 10 minute meditation, stretching or journaling activity. It will completely change the tone of your day; you will feel calmer, less reactive, and less stressed.
3) Progress over Perfection. Many times people think they need to be perfect on their journies to achieve success and this is simply not true. Having one cupcake does not completely derail all of your hardwork. Just like one workout doesn’t make you fit. Stay consistent and persistent and remember that small tweaks such as eliminating some dairy or eating more veggies daily, lead to big results.
4) Eat REAL Food. Real food doesn’t have ingredients, they are the ingredients. I know that may sound basic but this is key to improving your well-being. The less label reading we are doing and the less processed food we are consuming, the better we will look and feel.
5) Schedule EVERYTHING. This may sound extreme but I I always teach this in my program, what gets scheduled gets done. Make a schedule and have a plan. Don’t just wing it. Winging your workouts doesn’t produce results neither does eating on the go because you did not schedule in time to meal prep therefore end up stopping for fast food. Take 20 minutes of your Sundays to schedule out your workouts for the week, your meditation or walking time, self-care activities, time with your children or partner, meal prep and so on. Along with scheduling have a solid STRATEGY; what workouts will you be doing? what meals will you make this week? when is your recovery day? what can you tackle on your to do list that you have been putting off?
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
Exercise has so many benefits besides the obvious which is weight loss. Regular exercise helps prevent high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, reduces anxiety, and improves your mood. It also improves your sleep and sex drive. The better you look, the better you will feel internally, so it’s a confidence booster too. And one more bonus: sweating regularly helps release toxins and gives you glowing skin.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
1) SQUATS! This is the most basic functional movement; we perform it everyday when we sit down. However, most people unfortunately perform it wrong. I recommend using a resistance band above the knees and performing a “box squat” where you tap your butt on the bench, chair or box. This helps activate your glutes and aids in form. Squats also use big muscle groups, like legs and glutes so will burn more calories.
2) DEADLIFTS! When done properly, they will strengthen your entire back, along with your glutes, hamstrings and core. And because they use various big muscle groups, they help to build muscle quickly and burn more calories.
3) PUSH-UPS or PLANKS: Start with Planks and progress to a push-up to strengthen your core and entire body. Most people think that planks are just for “abs.” However, when done correctly-which means activating every muscle in your body while holding the movement, you will feel a full body burn. Similar with push-ups, which are great for shoulders, triceps, chest and core too.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?
I love this question because I have dealt with so many injuries myself and learned the hard way as a runner and cyclist who over-trained. Here are some of my rules to recover and avoid injury:
1) Dynamically warm up and properly activate the muscles you will be using.
2) Foam Roll and use a band for traction to open up hips, shoulders and glutes.
3) Foam roll and stretch post workout to help prevent muscle soreness.
4) Consume amino acids during workout to help prevent soreness.
5) Take rest days when needed. Don’t make the mistake of not listening to your body and over-doing it. This sets you up for injury in the future-Trust me!
6) Hydrate well. Especially on longer and harder workouts.
7) Consume fast digesting protein and carbs (for me its a vegan protein shake) post workout.
8) Schedule regular massages, accupuncture and/or chiropractic appointments to take care of your body! It needs more than just foam rolling and stretching.
There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?
Honestly, I do not believe in diets or follow them because they are usually incredibly restrictive. What I do believe in and teach my clients is sustainable balanced nutrition- 80% clean eating and 20% treats while following a tailored macronutrient (protein, fat and carb breakdown) plan. This allows them the flexibility to enjoy life while learning how to measure their food and understand how much protein, fat, and carbs they actually need to maintain or loose weight.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
YES!! You are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero. I read it while I was still at Personal Trainer at Equinox and boy did it light a fire under my butt! Reading her book made me see I was complacent and stagnant; I realized I had so much more to offer to the world than just being a Personal Trainer at a gym. Soon after finishing that book, I gave my notice and started my own company. I love this book so much I use it in my program and send a copy to each client. We use it in our group calls; there are so many great points she makes about self-limiting beliefs, taking action, connecting to your source and surrounding yourself with high energy people. I have read the book four times and continue to find new gems each time!!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
My movement would be to show people they can truly do anything they want to do. They don’t have to stay stuck, miserable, complacent or unhappy in their careers, relationships or bodies.I believe many people are fearful to follow their passions or make a change and unfortunately they never live their lives to the fullest. I want to show them if i can turn my passion into business so can they! if my clients can lose weight and transform their lives so can they! No one is ever stuck; only our minds keep us stuck. My movement would be to break this mindset.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
The only thing LIMITING you is YOU. For so many years I told myself I would never be fit because I had autoimmune disorders and bad genetics. I told myself I could never be a runner because I could barely finish the mile in high school so I just wasn’t meant to run. I was telling myself so many silly stories and believing them so they actually became my reality. I was overweight, sad and stuck. Once I realized I was the only one holding me back, I stopped playing victim and took charge. The only thing that was holding me back all those years was ME. Not my “genetics,” which is a bunch of BS by the way, not my parents, not my lack of skills in running. It was my thought patterns. I was in my own way. My biggest piece of advice here is, “ Get out of your own way!!” You can achieve anything you want to in life!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
Michael Strahan, former NY Giant defensive end. I am a die hard NY Giants fan and he is my favorite player! When he was on the team, I loved his leadership skills and energy. It was unmatchable and I’ll never forgot the Superbowl he took them to when they beat the Patriots. I would love to pick his brain about what he was feeling during that season and especially that game. What makes an athlete stellar? What aspects contribute to team synergy? And how does he feel now that he is not playing football?
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Facebook: Angelica Ventrice (I do a lot of Facebook lives on this page with tons of useful tips)
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!