Belles: You gained instant popularity this year as one of the newest trainers on The Biggest Loser. What can you tell us about how you got selected for the part? What has been the best experience for year as a trainer on the show? Do you have a worst experience you would like to share?
Cara: I want to start off saying that I am insanely happy for the experience and opportunities The Biggest Loser gave me! It was the ride of a lifetime, something many can only dream of. I got to help people in a major way and do some amazing things. The way I look at is is Biggest Loser gave me a solid and tremendous platform in fitness and TV, and I plan on using this gift to continue to do great things in this field.
The best part of the show was by far the contestants, they made me laugh and cry everyday! Some of them were so quirky and eccentric, and I just had the best time getting to know them. They showed me firsthand just how strong people are and that everyone is capable of great things, no matter who you are.
The worst part of coming onto such an established show was being judged on a national level by so many people so quickly. It makes you stronger in the end and I let it fuel me further, but sometimes you accidentally come across something on the internet that is like a sucker punch to the gut! It is something I got used to being in this industry, but people can be ridiculously mean in the things they say behind their computer screens and behind their media outlets. People need to realize that people on TV are human beings. We have feelings too! We try not to read the stuff about us online, but the worst is when your old Auntie, little cousin, or Grandma calls you after they read a nasty blog about you late at night that upset them! They get so offended for you and it makes you feel bad! It is great, though, when a random fan comes to your defense. So what starts off bad can turn good because there really are also great people out there blogging as well! I appreciate that, and so do other celebrities, more than people realize.
Belles: You are a two-time Golden Gloves winner and certified trainer once ranked nationally by USA Boxing. How did you get started in the boxing industry?
Cara: My Dad taught me in my garage when I was a small kid. I loved my Dad so much, and he passed away when I was 14. So I started boxing competitively to honor him. It grew, and Boxing for me became the love of my life, the way I express myself. It gave me my best friends, my boyfriend, my jobs, The Biggest Loser, and my understanding of hard work, sacrifice, winning, and losing gracefully. It gave me my understanding of the true power of a trainer/trainee relationship that makes me a successful trainer today. I can’t say enough about boxing and what it has given me as a fitness professional. The way I understand life and people and ideas all stem from boxing and the sweat, tears, and work I have put into it. It is a beautiful sport.
Belles: How did that translate into your role on the Biggest Loser?
Cara: I am a fighter, which fit hand in hand to what we were trying to do with Season 11 of The Biggest Loser. The theme was “teach the contestants how to FIGHT”, literally and metaphorically. We were teaching the contestants how to start fighting again. They had given up fighting prior to coming on the show and lost all control of their lives. The show brought me on as a FIGHTER, who had been there and done that in the ring, and in my own hard knock life, to fuel their fire and awaken the fighter in each of my contestants. And it worked because by the end of the season they were all fighters- it was tremendous when they realized just how tough they were!
Belles: The Biggest Loser competitors lose weight at a quick rate due to big changes in diet and exercise habits. What advice can you offer the “real world” folks that are looking to drop big pounds quickly?
Cara: Anything is possible with hard work, heart, and courage to follow through. Courage lays deep within all of us, you have to find a way to see that you are a fighter deep down, and use that fighter spirit to assist you in achieving your goals. It is changing the way you eat and your nutrition, it is serious exercise at first until you lose the weight then it gets easier to “maintain” your healthy weight, and above all it is mental strength. Losing massive weigh or even excess pounds is not a joke, but in the end the journey will be the reward as you realize that hard work feels good and your life is worth fighting for. Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the USA, and it is not healthy in general to carry around access body fat. You decrease your chances of many diseases significantly and prolong your life by losing access fat. Think of all the people you love in your life and the things you wish to accomplish, your personal dreams and desires. Let that fuel you to take the first step and follow though from there.
Belles: If you could give the average person one workout regimen to do, what would it be, and why?
Cara: I would tell them to do what they love most so they will stick to it. I love jogging and running, I also love boxing. So I will do it no matter what. Everyone is different and there are so many efficient workouts to chose from. Hiking, jogging, spinning, dance class, yoga, boxing, Zumba, circuit training, etc. it all works. If you are capable of jogging, it is the most accessible and easiest to do anywhere. I love jogging. And did I mention boxing? You should definitely try out a boxing class!
Belles: Many changes are in store for next season’s Biggest Loser, not only will you not be returning but neither will Brett Hoebel or Jillian Michaels, how do you think all these changes will affect the show? Were you disappointed when you found out you wouldn’t be back?
Cara: I think what makes the show great are the contestants and how they inspire America. Of course the trainers are important as well because it is out job to pull the best that we can out of the contestants so they can in turn inspire millions. Every trainer has something to give the contestants. I know I did! I plan on using the platform Biggest Loser gave me to continue to help people individually and on a much larger scale achieve their fitness goals and life dreams of better lives. Am I disappointed? Sure. But Life is about ups and downs, I know that all too well. I always let that fuel me. If I get knocked down, I fight all the harder to get back up and come back stronger. That is the lesson I shared with the Biggest Loser Contestants and I live my own life by that school of though. “A fighter gets up, no matter what.” And comes back stronger! I have great plans for the future and will follow them through to the best of my ability. I hope you can all cheer me on!!
Belles: We are big supporters of at home fitness. What are the chances you may add creating an exercise DVD to your bucket list? What does the future hold for Cara Castronuova?
Cara: I plan on creating a series of DVDs in the near future to bring boxing and my training style to America where everybody can participate! My workouts will be accessible for people of all fitness levels, whether they be a kid to an 18 year old athlete to a 40 year old working Mom to a 80 year old Grandpa! I don’t think people realize just how easy, effective, inspirational and fun a REAL boxing workout is, and it is my job to show you all! Especially to those of you who think you can’t possibly box or get in shape! I plan on proving you wrong and pushing you from your own living room to find your fighter within!
Belles: What is your workout regimen and nutrition plan like? Can you give a day in the life of Cara Castronuova?
Cara: I LOVE to run outside in my neighborhood- it is when I meditate, think, and pray. I have the best ideas when I am running. Sometimes I feel like I’m flying, I go so fast. I also love to box and beat the crap out of the heavy bag, it is cathartic and like free therapy. The boxing gym has always been my Church. I will either run or box everyday and have made nutritional, clean eating a part if my everyday life. I threat my body like the temple it is, I follow what I call my Warrior Diet. You have to eat like a warrior to live like one. It took trial and tribulation to get to the point I am at today, because believe me I’d love a greasy slice of pepperoni pizza for lunch and a bowl of sugary kiddy cereal and bacon and pancakes for breakfast like the next guy! But I work on training my mind to resist. It takes a while to learn self control and has become part of my life’s work, and I love to share that as a fitness trainer.