Learning How To Live A Sustainable Healthy Lifestyle with Tony Gooden, iCoach Nutrition Coaching Client

Coach Justin: “Tony, what’s going on my man? How are you?”

Tony: “Good man, happy to be here!”

Coach Justin: “Thanks for taking the time! I want to dive into our journey of working together. You just graduated a few weeks back after working together for about 8 months. Where were you at in your nutrition journey before you found iCoach Nutrition?”

Tony: “Right before we started working together, well about six months before we started working together, I just started CrossFit for the first time. I had worked out, you know off and on my whole life, but I was brand new to CrossFit and I got turned on to the templates from RP Strength. They were affordable, but they were really generic and I didn’t know a ton about nutrition. So I figured I’d try them out. I did the steps where they set you up based off of a series of generic questions to establish your maintenance calories and then they start lowering your calories down mostly through restricting carbs. I got to where I just felt like trash because my carbs and calories had got so low and just wasn’t able to perform / recover from my CrossFit workouts. I told my coach Logan Collins and he was working with you so he referred me to you and I went online and checked out your website and then eventually reached out and that’s when we started working together.”

Coach Justin: “As we started to track your biofeedback and look into some of the categories like sleep, digestion, energy levels, recovery, sex drive, etc. we quickly realized that things were out of whack. Did you realize this before we started working together or were you ignoring your body because you wanted to make sure you were following the template to a T?”

Tony: “I noticed I was feeling worse. I was still training the same amount and the calories were getting lower and I had really low energy, really low performance and I just thought, hey, I guess this is how it’s supposed to be. I just thought you’re supposed to grind it out. This is what you’re supposed to do. I didn’t have any education when it came to nutrition and I didn’t have anybody to reach out to to say, hey, you know, is this normal that I’m feeling this way? I just kind of was going off of what I’ve read off the internet and just kind of trying to fumble my way through it. So looking back on it now, I think, well, no wonder you felt terrible the whole time, you know, and I wasn’t doing all the little things that I know now. I was just like, well this is what you’re supposed to do because that’s what it says on this template. It just goes to show that simply inputting your age, height and weight is not enough info to create a nutrition program. Cookie cutter meal plans and templates just simply don’t work long term.”

Coach Justin: “Agreed! Templates lack individualization and human interaction which are essential to building the confidence and skill set it takes to achieve long term success. So at the very end of following the RP diet template, how many calories were you consuming and how many hours a day were you training?”

Tony: “It was under 2000, you know, I’d have to go back and look at some notes, but it was extremely low carb, fat and high protein. Not to mention, I was training probably 2-2.5 hours per day, 5 days per week. I also work in construction so I walk 10,000+ steps per day. Before I started the template, I was eating probably around 4,000 calories per day on average and just lifting weights a couple days per week at 24 Hour Fitness. Once I started the template, I immediately dropped to around 2,000 calories per day and began doing CrossFit. Without truly understanding this before, I now know I significantly lowered my calories while drastically increasing my exercise.”

Coach Justin: “That’s crazy man! You basically went in two different directions, basically committing nutrition and performance suicide. Not only are you eating half the calories that you were eating before, taking yourself into a huge calorie deficit, but you’re also training harder than ever before on way less fuel. So how long would you say it took before you started feeling like crap?”

Tony: “Not very long at all! Like the first week was just a huge shock to my body, but I thought you know, hey this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought my body was going to get used to it, but it just got progressively worse. My performance declined, my sleep was more erratic, etc. Looking back on it, I was a weekend warrior that started crash dieting and then wanted to workout like a CrossFit athlete.”

Coach Justin: “We don’t know what we don’t know. Back when I was in high school, I got a college football scholarship and they told me I needed to put on a little bit of weight so my method to achieve this was to eat five chicken burritos from Taco Bell every single day that summer. Not to mention, I also spent $200-$300 / month at this supplement store because some supplement guru said that’s what I needed to do. Let’s just say I showed up to two-a-days that summer fat, slow and out of shape. It’s just an example of we don’t know what we don’t know. This was part of my nutritional journey and it’s part of the process of education and building awareness.”

Tony: “That was one of the biggest immediate benefits I took away from us working together, I realized that you can’t out train a bad diet and you need to fuel your body properly. There’s just so much misinformation out there on the internet that you don’t know who to trust. You go to one website and it tells you hey this is what you need to do and the next one it’ll tell you the exact opposite and I really felt helpless. I was working so hard, but literally not getting results.”

Coach Justin: “This is one of the most frustrating parts of the process. We get motivated at certain times, right? We go all in on trying to, you know, fix whatever it is that we’re trying to fix and we have all of this information in 2022, but, it’s information overload! This is why our mission at iCoach Nutrition is to become the trusted resource in DFW to help clients filter out the BS in the nutrition industry! The information is out there everywhere, the magic is in the application. If you can apply yourself to the process of learning and falling in love with the journey then everything else will take care of itself.”

Tony: “One of the first things I asked before we started working together was how long do you usually work with a client? I was really interested in getting all the education I needed so that I could equip myself with a nutritional tool belt that I could carry with me for the rest of my life. That’s exactly what I got! I’ve been really pleased with how much everything has stuck with me even after graduating iCoach University.”

Coach Justin: “It’s one of the things I preach the most, it’s not necessarily just about the nutrition coaching, like of course it’s about that but it’s so much more about the mindset that’s developed along the way, because once you lose accountability your mindset better be on point, because if not, you’re gonna go right back to your old ways because you’re not going to prioritize your own self, right?”

Tony: “Around that 5 or 6 month range, that was one of the really, surprising things that I got out of working together is I didn’t expect it to transfer over to every aspect of my life. I not only accomplished my nutrition and fitness goals, but I also got promoted and became a better dad. After I dialed in my nutrition and health, you started to become like a life coach for me. This journey has truly been life changing!”

Coach Justin: “I love that man! Hearing words like that is literally why we do what we do, you know, like of course I love educating people in nutrition, but like nutrition has the power to change your life, right? Nutrition and lifestyle, right? Like the habits right? Like the way we live our life and so, you know, it’s literally like the oxygen for me, you know, everybody that knows my story. 10 years ago I dedicated my life to helping other people and it’s literally what brings me so much fulfillment in life. So I love hearing you say that man! When we create a solid foundation in life, you’re gonna see all the other areas of life excel as well. There’s four pillars that we talked about a lot which was body, being, balance and business. For you, we started with that first pillar which was body right, that’s this nutritional aspect, but like you said, we kind of extended into these other pillars and that’s really where you start to look into kind of personal development you know, mindset, you know, and realizing that we only get one life, that’s it. We get one opportunity, you could walk out of your house tomorrow and die, like there’s no guarantees, you know, and it’s all about perspective, like we live in America, you know, like our problems are really most of the time, not as big as we make them out to be and so you know, I think just having perspective, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, doing personal development and just trying to live your best life is what life is all about!”

Tony: “100%! Being a father is a huge thing for me. It’s not just me that I’m responsible for, you know, and I know you just had a baby. So i’m really glad that through us working together and changing my mindset I can now teach that to my kids. I had great parents and everything, but I didn’t get taught that stuff growing up, you know, and, I mean for better or for worse that’s how it was. But I’m glad that I can pass some of this stuff off to my kids. It all starts with the parents. The parents have to lead from the front ultimately, because if the parents aren’t living a healthy lifestyle then the children probably are’nt going to live a healthy lifestyle. Just because we didn’t get taught by our parents, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t try their best. It was just a different time. They didn’t know what they didn’t know, but information these days is out there everywhere. I just try to do my best. I’m not going to be perfect. I’m not some food nazi that doesn’t let my kid eat anything bad, it’s just all about finding balance. The more resources and the better equipped you are to handling these kind of situations.”

Coach Justin: “Absolutely! My wife Alex is going through pregnancy and here I am with all this nutritional knowledge and even though she knew the best way to go about pregnancy from a nutritional standpoint, the first trimester was really tough on her. She was throwing up almost every single day, from a nutritional standpoint our plan went to shit, you know what I mean? It just goes to show life happens. Pregnancy can be miserable. I mean, I’m sure it’s a magical journey that a woman takes, but every time I’ve seen a pregnant woman, I’m thinking, God that looks miserable. Hey, I have the utmost respect for women and what they go through during the birthing process. I was balling in that room seeing my wife deliver our child. I was crying nonstop and it was truly a life changing moment. Ok, transitioning back to us working together…was there a period of time that you were skeptical? For those people that have been following us or who are on the fence, what’s some advice you could give for somebody that’s considering working with us?”

Tony: At first I was! I was skeptical because of the financial aspect of it being an investment and long term commitment. Once we started working together, I immediately realized how much better I felt and once we got everything on track I was feeling, looking and performing significantly better! I would tell anybody who is on the fence that for me personally, it was the best money that I’ve ever spent in my entire life. Well worth the investment! The mindset that has been formed in terms of falling in love with the journey of living a healthy lifestyle is something that I truly believe I will take with me for the rest of my life. Every time I’ve ever tried to follow a diet or program to get healthy, i’ve always fallen off because the method was unsustainable long term. This time it’s different! What we are doing is actually sustainable! That’s the thing that so many people fail to realize…there’s no end date when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. This is a lifelong pursuit! One life, one opportunity to live your best life!”

Coach Justin: “For anybody listening right now, if that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will! I love that man! It’s been so cool to see you evolve through this journey of working together!” It just goes to show that, you know, literally at any point in your life, if enough awareness is created, you have the ability to change. I think for so many people, unfortunately they just don’t have that coach, You know, they don’t, they don’t take that leap of putting theirselves out there and asking for help. Hiring a coach can give you a 10,000 ft view of your life in order to create a lot of awareness. Awareness proceeds change! I would much rather have to go along that journey, having somebody by my side that I feel that cares and wants to help me succeed. I think that’s extremely powerful and that’s why, I mean, I’ve said it a million times, I have a business coach, I have a nutrition coach, like I’m a big believer in coaches and I believe I’m a big believer that coaches need coaches because just because I have all this information, that doesn’t mean a damn thing unless I have accountability as well, right?”

Tony: “There’s a lot to be said of that 10,000 ft view, you know, every day you can get wrapped up in so much of your own stuff and and it’s right in front of you but to have somebody else’s perspective is really, really beneficial. I would tell people just, you know, surround yourself with with good people, surround yourself with positive people, you’ve been a huge influence in my life, Logan has been a huge influence in my life, the community that I found in the gym and the woman that I’m dating now have all been a huge influence in my life as I look back. A few years ago, I idn’t surround myself with the best influences. I mean, nothing against them but I had a lot of negativity in my life. Lately I’ve found myself gravitating to more positive people and positive thinkers and that’s been a huge aspect of changing my life and improving my overall mindset towards life. If people realized how much of a difference that would make for them, like everybody in the world would do it. It’s not easy to distance yourself from people in your life that no longer serve you. I don’t think people realize how powerful that is. Looking back on it, I was was amazed by the difference that it made in my career, as a father and just in life altogether.”

Coach Justin: “You got you got me fired up over! I’m teary eyed just listening to your story man. This is why I do what I do! Life changing transformation start with building a strong foundation of living a healthy lifestyle. Once you do this, everything else in life starts to improve! I couldn’t agree more and I mean I just absolutely love it! Coaching is such a transformative process and it just goes to show that your past never ever defined you. It only defines if you let it define you right, I went through a transformative process in a much different way I guess than than a lot of people in terms of like not necessarily like trying to lose weight, but from a mindset standpoint like me going through everything that I went through was extremely, extremely hard and a lot of it was, you know, putting my head down and essentially you know, I don’t want to say like the screw you mentality to everybody else, you know, like watch me, you know and and watch what I do, but it was more of just like I felt so bad, so guilty of everything that like all I wanted to do is be positive going forward. I didn’t want any negativity in my life, I didn’t want you know, in terms of environment, I didn’t want any friends and family in my life that were negative and I wanted to just create a very singular focus towards making a positive impact in this world. I got a second chance at life and I made a commitment to dedicate literally the rest of my life to serving other people and helping other people and it has brought me so much fulfillment in life. I truly believe that’s the key to being happy, find a way to serve others, if you find a way to help people, you will be happy. Like it’s just tried and true. What would you say was the biggest mindset shift for you throughout the eight months of us working together?”

Tony: “I used to always wonder, how long is this gonna take? How long are we gonna work together? How long do I have to do this program? But then something clicked where it didn’t matter to me about how long this process was going to take because I had decided that, hey, you know what, this is how it’s gonna be from now on, you know, and, and we’re not gonna do this for six months and get back down to, you know, a 34 waist and then go back to having papa john’s on speed dial. I made the mindset shift to trust the process in that this is how it’s gonna be forever and this is how I want my children to learn about nutrition and approach living a healthy lifestyle. I think that was the biggest overall change that happened above all the education. I just subconsciously decided and then it became conscious that this is this is how life is now and this eating healthy and eating clean is just how it is now. That’s been the biggest thing for me personally!”

Coach Justin: “I love it man! One of my favorite questions to ask is if you can’t do it for the rest of your life, then what the hell is the point doing it in the first place? That’s awesome man. Well Tony, thank you so much for taking the time, my man, I’m super proud of you and yeah, I’m just excited to be able to follow up and and see you a year, three years, five years from now, still crushing it, my man. So dude, thanks so much for taking the time today. I really appreciate it.”

Tony: “Hey, I appreciate you having me on, man.”