Tosca Reno


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Flying Solo Again

From Me:
Oh Rita!  You have flown the coop.  Not really but you have indeed gone on a long and much deserved vacation and now I must dig deep once again to train on my own.  The reality of this did not penetrate until I realized on the Monday after our spectacular Can-Fit-Pro weekend that I had to hit the gym solo.  I quickly tapped an email to Rita thinking I might catch her before she too was thousands of feet up or thousands of miles away but to no avail.  My whining resulted only in a bounced back email from Rita - "On vacation!  See you in a month."

A month!!  Of course I have known this all along but somehow it was not real.  Rita and I have been spending a lot of time together not only in the gym but in front of the camera, shopping (No silly!  Not for clothing - for Clean groceries and new gym shoes!)  So I sauntered down to the gym.  Sauntering is the right word.  I was dragging my feet down the steps.  Bob always said to me, "If you feel crappy and don't think you can get through a workout, give it ten minutes and see how you feel."  Okay Rita and Robert, you have ten minutes.

Ten minutes swept into ten more and then another ten and before I knew it my hour workout was over.  I had been blissfully unaware of the clock focusing instead on the work of shaping muscle.  When you put your mind into the muscle it really does make a difference.

So Rita, I will carry on with your plans both nutrition and physical, holding up my end of the bargain knowing how solidly you have prepared me for this.  I am grateful for your dedicated guidance, your no holds barred approach and your positive attitude.  Bob, I am grateful to you for your Tough Love.


1. How to make yummy almond flour protein pancakes with stewed blueberries.  Yay for breakfast once again!

2. Grunt a lot when you lift.  Can you hear me Rita?  I am grunting.

3. How to thrust.  Everything Rita teaches me involves in some way a thrust, whether I am thrusting my pelvis, the weights or my whole self.  I am thrusting,  Rita! Lol!

4. To bear down.  I stare the weights down and give everything I've got with a very mean, grunty face.

5. To make sure I have a BM every day.  She asks!!  No kidding!  I'm good Rita, don't worry.

6. To drink more water.  I thought I was good at three litters but Rita has me up to 5 or 6 per day.  Floating!!!

7. To train shirtless.  Not braless but shirtless so I can see my torso.  It was hard to do initially but really does help me focus on my abs.

8. To eat pumpkin seed protein powder.  Yuk but I get it.

Okay Rita go ahead and have your wine and your vacation.  When you come back your student will be more than ready.

Keeping it tight.

From Rita:
Yes, I left. I know, I know.  A much-needed family vacation to my husband’s homeland, Spain and Paris.  Here I am basking in the European sun, sipping a wine or 2, enjoying fresh seafood (yes, balance is key in life)….but THANK YOU modern technology.  I am still able to access Tosca (as well as all of my other clients) and check in, keep her accountable (although she is one of the most self-motivated women I know), keep the connection and know that with a click of a button I can send her a new program, answer a nutrition question or just tell her how proud I am of her and her tenacity, drive and sacrifices.

I will miss (and already am) our one-on-one sessions, where much more than a workout happens.  That is where we connect, sweat, laugh, cry and more importantly get charged with enough battery life for the following week.  We sure as heck charged enough battery life last weekend at the Can-Fit-Pro conference, where we spent many quality hours together - coach helping client, and client inspiring coach.  I know we will have enough “Duracell” to pull us through the next 4 weeks until we meet again for the final stretch before her show! How time flies….

As a side note, an important message keeps popping up in my head as I let myself unwind a bit - BALANCE - something both Tosca and I share, and believe so strongly about. The balance of fitness, lifestyle, family life and rest is so important and is what creates long lasting effects and success.  Fitness needs to be integrated into you real life - when you separate the two, one becomes a job or a chore, instead of being an integral part of who you are.  Walking 12 hours around Paris yesterday, and not moaning or wanting to stop, is a positive reminder of my fit lifestyle and how it affects me in so many wonderful ways.  Nutrition plays that same integral role.  I am not thinking fish, asparagus, 15 almonds (as  I do for a shoot or show) - but rather, fresh seafood over French fries, fresh fruit over croissant, and 1 macaron from La Douree instead of a box (which is what the former me would have done).

It’s the balance - enjoying a glass of Moet and Chandon without feeling guilty - knowing that I hydrated my body all day with my fat loss liquid - de L’eau!  I mean just looking around at all of these European women; they must be doing something right.

Ok. Back to North America, Tosca and balance.  After seeing her in her own element for 4 days, I must say, that although I knew she was a strong and determined individual with many accolades as writer, president, business woman and a fighter in the gym, I wrongly assumed that she was waited on hand and foot.  This woman is the REAL DEAL. She impressed me (without trying) with her hands on approach to life.  She takes care of it all. During our Oxygen shoot the other day, instead of taking a breather between sets, she was loading the dishwasher (I think she did 4 loads that day), organizing lunch, business calls - but yes, she was still very present and attentive to everyone’s feelings and prepared to shoot, pose and do a push up or two on a second’s notice.

Tosca is a nurturer. She takes care of her family. There are constant hugs in her household, looks of complicity, healthy food being prepared (by her), laundry being folded, and guest rooms being prepared (yes, once again, by superwoman).  I was invited to sit down with her whole family to a beautiful family dinner (what an amazing family she has - I have self-adopted her daughters as sisters). This is where I saw balance once again.  No, we did not eat hard boiled eggs or talk about how many reps she did. We talked and laughed about everyones' day, upcoming events, and plans for future. The steak was perfect; the post-shoot wine was even better, and the warmth I felt surpassed it all.

Thank you Tosca and Co. for opening your house, home and heart to me.  I feel blessed to be on this trip with my family, but know that I am thinking of my other family back home, and miss you all dearly.

Keep it tight Tosca - I am watching you, thinking about you and know when I return so will the House of Pain!

Signing of from Paris,
Coach Catolino


  1. Love, Love, LOVE this! Thank you for reinforcing the lessons of Balance and Real Life. You're both amazing role models and I deeply appreciate your transparency.

  2. Hi Tosca,
    You really inspire me but I have had some ups and downs over the years . I start to get fit and eat healthy then I fall off and get back on and never seem to keep it on track. Can I do this ? I want it so bad!!!! I'm 43 yrs old -menopausal and just down right in the depression dumps ...

  3. ... a good read that kept me here (for the first time)!

  4. What an inspiring post! On vacation as well and raising my glass-yes, it's all about balance.

  5. Eating Clean for 8 weeks. Down 19 pounds. You inspire me Tosca.

  6. What great role models! So motivating to hear your stories, thank you for sharing as we follow you on your journey.

  7. I was rather surprised to hear that Tosca essentially went Paleo (or Primal). That's pretty cool.

    Me and my husband went Paleo last August from the Standard American Diet (SAD haha). We were both prehypertensive, insomniacs, overweight, etc. Husband was "diagnosed" with IBS. Now, neither of us have started working out - which we know we need to start - but basically my husband has lost about 80 pounds (and no longer has IBS) and I'm down 30. We both have low blood pressure and sleep much better. I don't think we'll ever eat grains or beans again!


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