Tosca Reno


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tosca's Trainer Takes on Cleanorexia

After the surge of activity on the blog due to yesterday’s discussion on my new eating habits, and this word “cleanorexia” Rita, my trainer, felt compelled to make a statement. Below is a guest blog from Rita Catolino. Thank you for the outpouring of support.

Photo Credit: Kelsey-Lynn Corradetti
I feel compelled to write this in response to yesterday’s events that lead to Tosca having to explain herself on video to her followers.
I knew from the beginning that taking on Tosca as my client would be very fulfilling, challenging and exciting to say the least.  Between you and me I didn’t expect that Tosca would be as diligent and focused as she is. Don’t get me wrong, I knew she would work, and work hard she does.  I assumed, that running a family of women, losing your best friend, husband and trainer, taking over as CEO of a huge company and finding time to blog, make guest appearances and write articles would consume all of Tosca’s time, leaving little or no time for the gym, meal prep and the mental focus needed when preparing for a competition.  I KNEW she could do it, or I would have never taken her on. But, I didn’t expect her to follow every rep, step and breathe with me.  She is definitely the ideal client.  She wants this and is willing to make the sacrifices, time commitment and let me lead her with an open heart and utmost trust.  Thank you, Tosca.
Yesterday Tosca posted a food journal of what she ate on July 3rd.  The response, negative by some, was overwhelming.  NO, this is not what she eats every day.  Yes, she had a sweet potato the night before, and a lot more protein.   Tosca writes me her food journals, and I write back with suggestions and explanations of why she should add more fat and protein, or start her day with a solid meal instead of a shake.  Or I tell her how yummy that salad sounds and make one myself. I may tell her why she needs to add a few more egg whites to her morning snack.  Yes, you heard it here first, Tosca Reno is not perfect.  She is struggling more with the nutrition aspect then the physical challenge of the weights.  The latter seems to be her therapy, while the food seems to be her foe. It doesn’t seem right coming from the Queen of The Eat Clean Diet, does it? NO, but neither is losing your soul mate, best friend and trainer.
Stress, emotions and death are handled differently by all.  Some overindulge in food (ever eaten the whole litre of ice cream out of the tub while weeping over a tragedy?) Others indulge in alcohol, drugs or meds to numb the pain.  Many forget to eat. Others cannot swallow without pain.  Tosca falls in the last category.   I am surprised how much she is actually eating, and how far she has come in the past 2 weeks.  Think of what she has been through, where she is, and where she is going.   This is not a typical contest preparation, this is not a typical woman and this is certainly not your typical situation.  We will not start depleting Tosca for a competition that is 3 months away.  We are doing the opposite right now- adding food. 
As for her training, her athletic body has started to plateau earlier then I had planned which means, program change! Starting this week, I have Tosca on a more detailed program, with less sets, reps and more weight and rest.  I know her body will respond nicely to it.  I’m eager to see the weekly changes and progress that she makes. 
As a married women of 10 years myself, I have tried to put myself in Tosca’s shoes when I took on this challenge as coach.  Would I be able to prepare, eat, and train like a champion if this were me? Or would I want to bury my head in my pillow?  I don’t know. I know that every minute is a struggle for Tosca, and the training and structure is her therapy now.  We are working together to find what is right for her right now and appreciate all of the support as we venture on this journey together.



  1. I think no matter the placement in the competition you have won. This is your time, your therapy, and you have dedicated it to Bob. If you follow your heart and your path, you can't go wrong! Hang tough!!

  2. Tosca, you have 100% of my support. You just do what you need to do to get yourself through this time in your life, and I am positive we will be welcomed with a much stronger Tosca.

  3. the most important thing to do right now is find life and fulfillment and joy in something...keep your spirits high...and focus your energy. it would be something different for all of should be commended and encouraged--

    you are an inspiration, 10 times over, lady!! good luck and the best in life/competition/training!! you deserve nothing less.

    mwah! x


  4. Tosca is an incredible example of strength, character and commitment! I am proud of her decision to compete once again, especially in Bob's honor, and am in awe that she has the will to do it! For anyone to tear her apart or pass judgement on her decisions, especially the elements of her training routine, is a shame.

    We love you, Tosca! KEEP FIGHTING!

  5. All my love for Tosca. What a journey! I refuse to pick her apart. She is fighting a battle on so many fronts and I admire her perserverance. May she feel the love of her admirers, family and friends in her new goals. May she continue with her determination to do something awesome for her body and soul. May she fight in remembrance and continue her connection with her amazing husband.

  6. Tosca, it absolutely broke my hear to watch that video you posted yesterday. It upsets me that anyone would have made such hurtful comments, especially given the circumstances. I don't know how you're doing it.. I don't know how you're getting up in the morning, let alone committing to such an ambitious and admirable goal. I have a hard time dragging my butt out to run after a hard or stressful day, so I have SO much respect and admiration for what you're doing. And I think that by committing to such an amazing health and fitness goal right now, you're not only inspiring others, doing wonderful things for yourself and setting an amazing example for friends, family members and your daughters who rely on you to be strong - you are doing something Bob would have been so incredibly proud of.

    Keep on doing what you're doing and never mind the people who spread venom and negativity. For every one of those people, there are hundreds more who are inspired by you and who live healthier, fitter lives because of you. THANK YOU for everything you do- you have more supporters than you know <3

  7. Cleanorexia, huh? Wow! That's a new one. Interesting term indeed. It's not the adjective or adjectives I would use to describe what you are doing. I would use words like inspirational, motivational, courageous, brave, pioneer and most of all, human! I imagine you would miss your husband and more so when you're preparing to compete. I would also imagine that he would be very proud of you. (I hope I didn't make you cry writing that.) I wish you all the best and be you despite what others think or say about you.

  8. You go Tosca!! I admire your spirit! I can not even imagine your journey right now, let alone coping with all the changes and challenges in your life at present. Those nay-sayers aren't even worth any justification from you. There are just some people that get up an hour earlier just to be miserable longer. Keep your head up! You're a CHAMPION lady! xo

  9. While I initially thought her diet was spartan -- given her post yesterday, I did NOT participate in the rhetoric and commentary SIMPLY because I took a big step back and considered Tosca 'as a whole'. I took into consideration her loss - and the shock of Robert's diagnosis. Not only has this incredible woman lost her husband, but, at a tempo that would make most women curl up in the fetal position in a dark corner and stay there for years.

    Not Tosca Reno. She continued to post photos of herself and commentary on her blog as well as Facebook. She smiled for the camera. She wrote for Oxygen Magazine. She put herself out there as transparently as she could without resorting to wallow and pity.

    I applaud Tosca for sharing her contest prep with us (which by the way for your non-competitors -- is an ever changing and evolving diet/training program). Prep is always an extreme and bizarre short period of time to capture a certain conditioning on stage. In no way should any reader assume that contest prep is a healthy view into Tosca's life. It isn't. Contest prep pushes athletes to the limit. However, to say it is 'cleanorexia' is just insanity and truly ignorant.

    That said, more than the criticism that was posted towards Tosca (and Rita) -- I feel badly for the position Tosca and Rita find themselves in as to having to EXPLAIN themselves.

    If the average reader does NOT LIKE what they read - they are entitled to read it, leave what they don't like or agree with - and move on. For those who are intrigued and interested in the life of a woman in 'contest prep" -- than follow along SILENTLY and QUIETLY as both Rosca and Rita share their world that happens in a short period of time to ready themselves for the stage.

    Is this a healthy, sustaining and life long program? NO! But, wasn't that already established? Didn't we all already know this was for a contest? Tosca is about health and longevity. She is not about extreme lifestyles and unhealthy unintended consequences. Everyone needs to step back and look at the big picture instead of being so quick to judge.

    It really bothers me that both of these women need to explain and defend themselves. I am almost disappointed that Tosca felt the need to post her video and that Rita needed to support that by chiming in.

    For crying out loud: not only did Tosca lose her husband and best friend -- and suffering/grieving - but the notion of learning of his diagnosis which did not offer the luxury of 'time to adjust' -- I can only imagine how difficult it is to eat and 'to swallow' the reality of it all.

    Back off, naysayers. Stop the judgment. Stop the insanity. Appreciate the transparency, vulnerability and honesty this woman is open to sharing with all of you. Shame on you for making her now think twice about that. Shame on all of you.

    Tosca -- from a fellow 50+ something who has lost her way with diet and training due to my own tragedies and issues, please don't allow those who react from an emotional state, ruin what you are trying to achieve and turn you away from being the honest leader and motivator I have enjoyed over the past 9 or so years.

    Big kiss to you! XOXO

  10. I love you Tosca! I think you are an amazing, strong beautiful woman. You are my inspiration! I am sincerely sorry for the negative comments that people posted in regards to your eating plan! I am truly sorry for that pain you are feeling. Your recent video in response to people's ignorance brought tears to my eyes! I am so so sorry! Hang in there, keep your chin up and do whatever you need to do to grieve and heal. You are in my thoughts Tosca! Big hugs!

  11. I'm afraid I don't have much to say other than, I'm super proud of you Tosca.

  12. You have my 100% support Tosca and your trainer sounds totally amazing. Great post Rita!
    I know it must be so hard when you are feeling so vulnerable from going through such an incredibly painful loss, and a non-stop series of mountainous life hurdles and challenges like this, but please try not to listen to people who are so full of hate and envy that they would be so ugly and hurtful towards you. Even when you are vulnerable like this, you are so, so strong, and a huge inspiration to us all. Sending you Big, Big Love!

  13. Unbelievable that people opt for negative vs finding a cause or reason to be positive! Well written Rita.
    and to Tosca, thank you for sharing so much of yourself knowing how quick people are to shyte all over it. This is your journey and what you discover about yourself along the way will lead you to where you need to be for you. For every negative word spewed there are so many more who are inspired by you. I look forward to reading about your journey Tosca. Great great work!

  14. Nicely said Rita, what a team the two of you make and I just love following the journey. Much success to the both of you!!

  15. Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep it strong Ladies…your positive impact far out weighs the negative comments!!!

  16. OMGosh, I'm speechless. Well said Rita!! Like someone said above, you guys are already winners. You both inspire me so, SO much...thank you for showing you are human...and HUGS to you, Tosca, for doing this despite all of the emotional pain you must still be going through....

  17. We love our Tosca! Contest prep is another world in an of itself. Way to focus, and work through. I support you 110%

  18. Thank you, Tosca for publicly sharing your food log. When I read the negative comments it generated, the FIRST thing I told my trainer (I'm 51, female, menopausal & navigating a grief course at the moment, too) was... I get the feeling this isn't a typical day. Who knows what she is going through at the time. And even if it were a typical day, at my age, I don't process the 'grain' carbs the same way & if I want to stay lean or drop weight, I have to make a focused effort in that area.
    You can't please all the people all the time. And at our age, pleasing ourselves is finally an area we feel more comfortable in. I say Good for you! I would use your food journal for a jump start & motivating tool in a heartbeat. I found it VERY encouraging & easy to follow.
    Rita is a wonderfully supportive asset to have in your corner. Sounds like a superbly loyal trainer!
    Warm regards,

  19. You, dear Tosca, are a true Warrior!

  20. You are a TRUE inspiration of strength and beauty. Your spirit is so full of life even though at times if feels you are struggling to breathe. Your heart is what keeps you going and I pray that you find peace and joy in each day even as you are going through such a painful time.

  21. They're called BULLIES, Tosca. They come in all forms, I guess. My heart broke watching your post the other day and I hope you gain strength from all of the support you're receiving from those who love and respect you. Thank you, Rita, for being there in person to help and support Tosca through this difficult time. Love and hugs to both of you.

  22. I love you Tosca, you are one of my heros. Thanks for being who you are. Lords Hugs!!!

  23. I've never posted before but felt extremely compelled today after watching your video and shedding tears. You ARE allowed this TIME to make any decision you want...including eating or not. You are a smart lady by hiring someone to help you please take your TIME and give yourself TIME! You are my mentor, my inspiration! Hang in there Tosca! We aren't going anywhere!!!!

  24. Tosca,
    I think it is an amazing thing you are doing and I am behind you 150%. You are my inspiration and I know Bob is cheering you on as well. I think it is sad that people have to be negative about your personal goals...I say SHINE! Haters are gonna hate but no one can stop you!

    Love you.....Colleen

  25. Tosca, sadly my first copy of Oxygen was only 2 issues ago...I am so very, very sorry for your loss and can only imagine the pain (emotional/mental/physical) you are in.
    As I read more and more about you here, I become even more amazed and motivated by your story and your strength. I guess what I'm trying to say is...Tosca, you Rock!!!

    Hugs and healing thoughts ~*~

  26. You are an amazing woman, and an inspiration to everyone, especially us over 40 women. You are doing an amazing thing, and I am appreciative of you sharing this journey with us. Do not listen to those negative comments, this is YOuR road, we, all, are lucky that you are sharing it. I don't think you even needed to respond. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more blogs.


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