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You're Never Too Old To Lose Weight: Secrets From Certified Trainer Craig Pepin-Donat

Jun 5, 2008
This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's The Healthiest Year of Your Life, which can be found at http://thehealthiestyearofyourlife.com. In this excerpt, Craig Pepin Donat shares amazing, life-changing stories from his book.

The Healthiest Year of Your Life with Craig Pepin Donat, a certified personal trainer and author of The Big Fat Health and Fitness Lie.

Kevin: Yes. You have a pretty compelling story in your book about your grandmother and how she lost over 100 pounds. I think what we sometimes forget is that anyone can do this. It doesn't matter if they're ten years old or if they'll ninety years old. Tell us a little bit of what she did and how it changed her life.

Craig: Well, years ago, my grandmother was, first of all, morbidly obese. Being obese isn't enough to have the word morbidly thrown in front of it. It's just the icing on the cake.

Kevin: Yes.

Craig: My memories of her during that period of time would be that I would go into her bedroom and just this big fat woman laying there with bottles of prescription drugs. She just couldn't even get up out of bed. She was as close to death as you could possibly be. In fact, the doctor's told her that she had less than a few months to live. Something went off in her mind, in her heart, in her soul and said I've got to change. I've got to save my own life. The path that she chose was to go to the Duke University Rice House Clinic with the late Dr. Robert Kempner which it was very innovative, is an innovative program. What my grandmother did, is she decided to use that as the impedance but then from there, she left. She lost over 100 pounds, 125-30 pounds. She got off all the medication for high blood pressure and diabetes and all these things and she changed everything. She, first of all started to exercise. I'm not talking about going out running. She was just walking but it was religiously and she changed her eating. Everything that she did was in portions and she eliminated most sodium from her diet and a lot of saturated fat. Unlike many diets that are out there that say no carbohydrates and eat protein, the center of her food was carbohydrates and that's what the Rice Diet Program is all about, because as you know, Kevin, carbohydrates are really the best source of energy for our body. So she changed it in portions and calories and she stuck with exercising and more than anything she changed her mindset. She didn't make these changes to look better in a bikini. You know what I mean?

Kevin: Yes.

Craig: She made these changes to save her life, which she got 25 more years of life.

Kevin: 25 more years.

Craig: 25 more years of life and she loved life. She did things with her family, with her friends. She lived it to it's fullest and it was lifestyle change and these are the types of things that people have to understand that it's all about creating a mindset for why you are doing this and what you need to do to stick with it.

Kevin: Yes. Just to everyone who's listening out there, I mean what could you do in 25 more years?

Craig: Oh, yes. It's exactly, it's the type of motivation that I have now because I think of it more in terms of I really need to do everything that I can to be around for as long as possible for my daughters.

Kevin: Yes.

Craig: Because, I'm way beyond vanity. Yes, I want to look good. I want to feel good, but I look into my daughter's eyes, my seven month old, my four year old and I look at 20 years from now. I look 30 years. I want to be around to see what they do. I want to be around to help them, to mentor them, to help mold them, to guide them, to be there for them, to live those special moments with them and you have to place your health as your top priority in order for that to take place.

Kevin: I think that you practice what you preach just by listening to that because it seems like you've set your intention and you've sent your motivation very specifically.

Craig: Yes, but I'm still a work-a-holic. I still have all the same problems. I still have all the same challenges as the average person that's out there, so you have to change, I get, I think about it in terms of my mortality now. If you're on your death bed and you're thinking back about your life, you think that you're going to be thinking, boy, I really wish I had spent more time in front of my computer. You know, I really wish I had've done a little bit more work. No, you're going to be thinking, God I wished that I would have spent more time with my friends, my family and doing things that were fun, that enhanced my life and that enriched the lives of the people around me. That's what you're going to be thinking about. And hopefully, you're not doing so regretfully. I'm hoping that people will listen a change and they'll be thinking, I lived a whole life. I did all the things that I wanted to do. I lived it to the fullest.

There's this story I gotta tell you. There's a guy that I met out in Thailand and his name is Bill. I won't use his last name and he was the, is the CFO of this major company that I consulted with out there. I had a conversation with him once and he was very overweight, very overweight and he looked very unhealthy and he had two little boys. He would tell me about his boys, then we talked about a bunch of different things and naturally it always leads to health and fitness because that's always where I guide the conversation, because I want to help people. I want to see if I can get them on the right path. So I ended up asking him about his top priorities. I said -- and I always ask this of people, I say tell me your top three priorities. Think about it for a second, close your eyes. Tell me your top priorities. If you ask that question of people, Kevin, you're always going to get things like wealth, you know and family. Family's a big one. Oh, family's my top priority and I always say great. Well, let's look at it now and in the reality what that means. I always say do you think you're going to be of any value to your family if you're dead? You think you're going to be able to spend that money if you're not around? You know people have to understand that you have got to place your own health as your top priority because it changes everything. It changes not only your own life, but it changes and enhances the lives of everyone around you. When you're healthy, you are able to give more to everyone. You're able to give more to your work. You're able to give more to your family, to your friends, to your loved ones. You have got to find a way to have fun. You've got to find ways to enrich the lives of others. You've got to find ways to enjoy life, because that's really what we're here for. We're not here to work. That's a means to an end.

Kevin: That's a great point. Why don't you tell everyone a little bit more about your book and about your website and where they can find more information?

Craig: Sure. Well, The Big Fat Health and Fitness Lie just talks about all of these different issues that we've been discussing and then some. One of the things that I did, Kevin, when I wrote the book is I tried not to get too, too detailed in the statistics and facts and figures. There's all the information that you'll need. Hundreds of resources and links and all the things that will guide you down the right path, but, I tried to give real life information.

Kevin: Yes.

Craig: Things like my own personal story and my grandmother's. I've got a great story in there about my sister and addiction and how she changed her life and things that people can relate to and sink their teeth into. Real solutions about how you can get on the path to improve health and fitness with no tricks and no gimmicks for the rest of your life. Then the website, which is http://www.fitadvocate.com is all about my mission of protecting and enhancing the lives of health and fitness consumers. So, like you Kevin, I'm out there interviewing health and fitness professionals. In fact, I'm going to interview you for my symposium.

Kevin: Great.

Craig: And get you involved because people like you who have information, websites and books like you've developed that provide great foundation for people, for people to learn from. That's what it's all about. It's about sharing information. It's about helping people and it's just the kind of thing that people need to give them impetus to change. So you can find all the information, the articles the resources, the links, the podcast audio interviews and video interviews and all of this great stuff, product services, whatever it is, that will get people on the path to improved health and fitness for the rest of their lives and that's really what it's all about.

Kevin: I can see all the pictures with you with these incredible celebrities that you've networked with as well.

Craig: Yes, I do have that in there, but I call that "eye candy." I try not to focus that, you know, focus on that too much, because that's not really what it's all about, but this is just, these are just some of the experiences that I've had the fortunate opportunity to work with people like Magic Johnson, Cindy Crawford, Pam Anderson, Brandi Chastain. I met recently Andre Agassi and his wife Stephi Graph, which I'm a huge fan of them and I and met Pete Sampras and Maurice Greene. So it's always a pleasure and a privilege to meet celebrities like that, but I pride myself on delivering information more to the average person and helping just regular people to improve their health. I don't try to market myself as the trainer of the stars or anything like that.

Kevin: Sure.

Craig: I don't try to profess to be any kind of fitness guru. There's too many of those people out there. I just want to be a real person and utilize my experience to provide information that can actually help people.

Kevin: You're very humble about it. I think it speaks very loudly of you to be in a position where you're speaking to celebrities who also have incredible influence and I think that's very important and I think it's, it's a commendable thing. So that's why I mentioned it.
About the Author
To read the rest of this transcript as well as access The Healthiest Year of Life experts just like Craig Pepin-Donat please click here! Kevin Gianni is an internationally recognized health advocate, author & film consultant. He has helped thousands of people take control of their own health naturally. For more information visit raw food diets and holistic nutrition.
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