Are you a mom trying to get back in shape? Where have you been going wrong with past plans? How can Heidi help you transform?
In this podcast takeover episode, Melissa Vogel talks to Heidi Powell about having your cake and eating it too – doing it all as a mom of four.
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Meet Heidi Powell
Heidi Powell is the ultimate female force. She is a trainer, transformation specialist, mother of four, savvy businesswoman, author, nutrition nut, and overall health guru. Heidi became a fixture in America’s living room as she worked side-by-side husband Chris Powell on ABC’s hit show, “Extreme Weight Loss.
Heidi has more than a decade of experience as a personal trainer and holds both ACE and Crossfit certifications.
As a coach, mother of four, and manager of their family business, Heidi brings a whole new perspective and level of compassion to the Powell’s approach, helping others overcome many of life’s challenges to create effective, long-lasting success. When not traveling, she resides in Arizona with Chris and their four children.
In This Podcast
- Self-love and transformation
- Doing it all
- Major roadblocks
- Advice for mom’s starting out
- A typical training routine
- Transform with Chris & Heidi
Self-love and transformation
When Heidi hears some of the ways that women talk about their physical goals, she gets the feeling that they think the weight loss will change how they feel about themselves permanently. It won’t, it will be temporary. Self-love, or the lack thereof, is really the root of what they’re dealing with. It was like that for Heidi with her eating disorder. She couldn’t get skinny enough, even at 89 pounds, and she couldn’t understand why she didn’t love herself. Now, Heidi can get to places where she never imagined she could be in terms of body fat and weight ranges and it doesn’t affect her because she is more educated, is more confident with who she is, and knows the reasons why she wants to be fit instead of just thinking she wants to be fit.
Doing it all
The world and our culture tells us we have to be a great mom or we need to dedicate our lives to a career. No, you can do it all and I believe that when we do it all, we’re empowering other women to do the same. And that’s really what I love, I love feeling like I’m making a difference in whatever way it is.
Heidi is the mom of four – two teenagers, an eight-year-old and a six-year-old. How does she juggle the kids, the business, and still find time for herself? Heidi says she drops a lot of balls. She throws them all up and catches what she can. For the vast majority of her life, Heidi has been a perfectionist but has had to let go of that in order to experience life to its fullest. She realized that when she’s so focused on doing everything perfectly, she couldn’t do as much as she wanted to and didn’t get to experience the joy that life and all of those different trials had to give her. It’s learning the power of living an “and” life instead of an “or” life.
Heidi blew out her ACL twice in high school doing cheerleading which kick-started her eating disorder and for Heidi, it is ingrained in her that ACL reconstructive surgeries put her in a bad place. Last summer, she blew her ACL again and cried because she had all these goals and didn’t have time to be on crutches. Within minutes, she decided that this was an opportunity to rewrite the story of how ACL surgeries affect her and see it as a chance to slow down and force her body to get some rest. After the birth of her last child, she keeled over in pain at home and discovered that she had kidney stones that had to be surgically removed. Heidi ended up having to have three kidney stone surgeries over the next year and a half which was a really trying time for her. She started losing her hair because of the medication and she felt really weak. She had just had a child without an epidural but she could not get enough morphine with the pain of the kidney stones, it would just wear off.
This was a very difficult time for Heidi but it made her realize that she couldn’t control everything but she could control how to view it and how to respond to it. When we realize that we can control these things it means that we also have to take responsibility not only for the good that happens but also for all of the bad that has happened. A lot of people shy away from taking control because they don’t want the responsibility, they want to be the victim but that creates a miserable existence.
Advice for mom’s starting out
1. If the show’s contestants can do it, you can do it
The reason why they always choose the super-obese to work with is that they want to prove that if the most hopeless, defeated, depressed individuals can change their lives then you can lose that last 5/10 pounds easily.
2. Don’t take on a mountain of commitments all at once
If the plans that you’re trying are rigid and hard to stick to then they’re not sustainable long term. It leads us to a trap of feeling like we’re not okay so before you know it most moms will stop trying. We succumb to this idea of being stuck with the body that we have when in reality, we just need to shrink it down to something that is simple and sustainable every day.
A typical training routine
In an ideal week, Heidi works out on six days. She knows that her body needs more rest but six feels good to her.
- 3 x lower-body days a week – mostly hamstrings and glutes, adding in quads occasionally as she is still recovering from ACL surgery.
- 2 or 3 x shoulders and back days a week – So, if she does 3 upper body days then 2 will be shoulder days and 1 will be a back day. If she does 2 upper body days then 1 will be shoulders and 1 will be shoulders & back.
Heidi’s body changes over time so she will change her routine according to what her body needs. Heidi is an advocate for resistance training, she loves weights and she loves bodybuilding. It’s all about understanding her body and the look that she likes. She likes being curvy and this gives her that curve.
Transform with Chris & Heidi
They created an app called “Transform with Chris & Heidi”. The app has everything from traditional weight loss, to bodybuilding, to cross-training, and scales specifically to your goals. It has two years of programming for every platform that they have, it has their workouts and it has nutrition plans completely scaled to suit you and includes hundreds of recipes. It is the most comprehensive fitness app out there. They also have a range of protein shakes and supplements.
- Girl, Put Your Bra on First With Veronica Cisneros: Podcast Takeover Series| PoP 473
- Extreme Weight Loss
- Transform HQ
- Heidi’s free content
- Sign up to join the free webinars and events here
- Podcast Launch School
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Killin’It Camp
- Next Level Practice
- Free resources to help you start, grow and scale
- Apply to work with us
Meet Melissa Vogel
Melissa Vogel is a mother of 3, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, nutritional coach, actress, energetic keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and podcaster. With over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, Melissa has not only been able to help others achieve their fitness goals, but she also leads by example. As one of the most sought after personal trainers and fitness instructors in the Inland Empire, Melissa has independently grown her in-person and online training business successfully and has been voted as the Best Personal Trainer for 2020 by Inland Empire. She has contributed to numerous publications and has been featured in the Trail Blazer Magazine, and published in the April 2020 edition of Health Magazine.
Sign up for Melissa’s free course and ’30 Days to a Bomb Mom Body’ Fitness Plan.
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
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From the moment you say to yourself, I want to start a private practice until you hit six figures, Next Level Practice is for you. It can be so confusing to know where to spend your time and your energy, what things you actually need to get your practice going, and what things really can wait till later. And whether you’re growing a telehealth practice or an in-person practice, the SEO ,the blogging, getting the right clients and knowing what to do can be so darn confusing. Well, that’s why we started Next Level Practice. Next Level Practice is a membership community of over 400 clinicians, just like you, who are starting and growing their practice. We have three or four live events every month, we talk about what’s working, you get to go into a small group of eight people or so to really hash through what it takes to grow a private practice. You get an accountability partner and access to over 30 e-courses. Also, we bring in experts every single month that you can pick their brains to know exactly what to do next. If you’re looking to be most effective with your time, and your money, Next Level Practice is for you. We have a cohort opening on August 24. Now, these only open a couple times a year, so you’re gonna want to get in. You can sign up to get all of the invites over at practiceofthepractice.com/invite if you want to be a part of this cohort. I would love to help you continue to grow your practice or to start a new one. Again, that’s practiceofthepractice.com/invite.
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 474. The podcast takeover continues with Melissa’s podcasts the Bomb Mom podcast, here we go.[MELISSA]:
The Bomb Mom podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts, that are making the world better. You’ll also probably like the Imperfect Thriving podcast, Beta Male Revolution, and Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. Check them out at www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Hey, what’s up everyone? If you’re looking to be inspired, motivated, educated, and entertained, you have come to the right place. Welcome to the Bomb Mom podcast, the podcast where we explore your fitness, life mindsets, and actions that help you become unstoppable. You’re worth it and it’s time to finally make changes in your life that will last you the rest of your life.
Hey everyone. Welcome back to the Bomb Mom podcast. I’m Melissa Vogel, your host, and today we have the most amazing guest. You’re never going to believe who we have on the show – Heidi Powell. Oh yes, she is the ultimate female force. She is a trainer, transformation specialist, mother of four, savvy businesswoman, author, nutrition nut, and overall health guru. Heidi became a fixture in America’s living room when she worked side by side with husband Chris Powell, on the ABC hit show Extreme Weight Loss. Heidi has more than a decade of experience as a personal trainer and holds both Ace and CrossFit certifications. As a coach, mother of four, and manager of their family business, Heidi brings a whole new perspective and level of compassion to the Powell’s approach, helping others overcome many of life’s challenges to create effective, long lasting success. When not traveling she resides in Arizona with Chris and their four children. Let’s get started.
All right, everyone. We have an amazing guest today; we have Heidi Powell on the show. Heidi, say hi to all of our Bomb Mom listeners.[HEIDI]:
Hi guys. I’m so excited to be here. [MELISSA]:
I can’t believe you’re on the show and I have to tell you… Okay, so let me back up really quick. I’m very hard to please. I don’t just respect anyone in the fitness industry. It takes a lot for me to really respect someone and their hustle and their grind. You are literally one of the only people, like, I can think of maybe like three, and you are one of them that I actually respect what you do, how you look. [HEIDI]:
I appreciate… you’re gonna make me cry over here. Thank you. That means a lot; it really does. [MELISSA]:
Well, I know what it takes to be in shape after having babies, and what they do to your skin, and your stomach, and your muscle, and then raising them, and your life and you’re doing it and you’ve had four. [HEIDI]:
Yeah, and coming from someone that knows what it’s like, it is not easy. And I think a lot of people assume that it’s just natural, but it’s not. It takes a lot of work and a lot of brainpower and yeah, and just [unclear] easy. [MELISSA]:
Yeah. Do you ever have people try and take that away from you? Example, people are like, oh, well, you just got really good genetics or oh, you know, you must have help at home, or… [HEIDI]:
Oh, all the time, all the time. I mean, that is a common thing. People will… they all kind of attribute it to genetics, but what they don’t see is… and I’m really open about how I eat, like, I’m not gonna say I eat 100% paleo or all natural if I don’t; when I squeeze in my marshmallow dream bars, or whatever it is, my snacks, my M&Ms, I put it out there because I want people to know what’s actually possible. They might see that but what they don’t see is that I… well they do but sometimes they choose not to look at it, is I am bulk prepping my food; I have my chicken, I have my rice, I eat that. I have my green drinks and I’m counting my macronutrients. I’ve spent years learning my body and what works for me. And while a lot of it now is intuitive, it took a 15-year eating disorder, and then it took five to ten years of me figuring out my body after that, for me to figure out what does work. So, it’s been a lot of effort and a lot of therapy to get to where I am today. [MELISSA]:
Yes. Oh my God, I’m so glad you said that because people ask me, like, how long? Well, how long did it take you? And I’m like, girl, I’m like six years into this thing. I just now know how my body responds to certain things and food and what I kind of get away with and what I can’t, and… so much time. And then throw in adding kids into there and raising them and making sure they become good humans. [HEIDI]:
Oh my gosh, I know and trying with the kids, trying not to do what I feel like set me on a bad path when I was younger, and it wasn’t my parents fault at all. They didn’t know what they were doing. They did the best that they could, and they thought they were helping, but how I ended up internalizing and processing a lot of it turned to disordered eating. And so, I’m constantly thinking that, I’m like, gosh, okay, I don’t want my kids thinking they have to look a certain way, or they have to be anything. How can I…? You know, so it’s juggling my goals with juggling what’s best for them too. [MELISSA]:
Right. Tell us a little bit about that, like, how you really got into fitness, because you do competitions and stuff, right? Are you still actively doing them or was your last one your last one? [HEIDI]:
Well, you know, what’s funny is, quote unquote, my next show was supposed to be April 2 or something. [MELISSA]:
That’s right. [HEIDI]:
Yeah. And so, I was starting… so last year I ended up having ACL reconstructive surgery. I blew out my ACL. [MELISSA]:
Yup. I remember seeing that. [HEIDI]:
Yes, I had to take time off from competing there. And I actually planned to make a run for Olympia this year. And so, [unclear] I wouldn’t win, you know, obviously they have a different… they go for the younger girls. But anyway, I wanted to just get there. I wanted to be able to say I have four kids, I work a full-time job, I own and manage companies, and I still made time for my goals. But anyway, so yes, I was supposed to start competing in April. I will as soon as they open these things back up. But yeah, so how I got into fitness itself, I was raised in a really fit family. I mean, my dad looked like Mr. Clean. He was bald with a bunch of muscles and my mom was little Barbie doll. I actually, my last post on Instagram is my mom and dad and they’re… it was like nine years ago and then… [MELISSA]:
Oh my God, I saw that. Yeah. [HEIDI]:
Yeah, they’re both just so cute. They were so into health and fitness and they used to take me to the gym when I was younger. And I was a cheerleader and a gymnast. So, it really was ingrained in me. I trained right out of high school. And I didn’t love training in a gym environment actually, so I ended up leaving that and going… business. I love business. I feel like it’s one of the things I’m the most, I have the most passion. I have a lot of passion for it. I actually got out of training, and just kind of trained on the side, did little mommy boot camps, but I was in lending. So, I was a loan officer and I would buy and sell homes and remodel them, and I love real estate. And so, I did that up until I met Chris. And I kept running half marathons and doing different things like that and running these mini boot camps, but it wasn’t until I met Chris, and he obviously… we both loved fitness. So we worked out a lot together and I helped him with one of his business things because he was struggling And I would kind of run the business end and he would do the training side of it and, just slowly, if he needed like a girl to come on the news with him to like demonstrate movements I would do that with him but I still wasn’t… [MELISSA]:
You were the go-to girl. [HEIDI]:
Yes, I was. But my lifestyle – I was into fitness. So, I had my routine, I had different things. And it actually was not until we created Extreme Weight Loss together, where I was working behind the scenes and suddenly he went from transforming one life, which is how the show started, to between 15 to 20 a year, and he couldn’t handle the load. So, I mean, within like a month of the show start, I was behind the scenes training people, bringing people to Arizona because filming a show for Chris was a full-time job just being in front of the camera. You don’t have time to actually train, and he needed me as a trainer and I loved it so much because training on that level, that scale, with those people that had to lose hundreds of pounds is very, very little about diet and exercise. And it’s mostly about life coaching and bringing, like, it’s addiction recovery. And so that for me is where I was shining, I could shine. And whereas Chris was the physiology geek and really, really, really great at that – there’s nobody smarter than him at those things – we made a great team and I was more the feely, lovey, unconditional, like, I’m here for you. Let’s get through it. [MELISSA]:
What an amazing balance though, like, no wonder it worked. What a great team and balance at both ends. [HEIDI]:
Yes, it really, truly was. And obviously then, you know, I naturally got pulled in front of the camera in season 2, 3, and then 4 and 5 we were co-hosts and then the brand grew from there, but the brand is me. So, it’s really simple, I don’t really have to fake anything at all. [MELISSA]:
Right. No, not at all. So, you guys created that show, like, you came up with the concept of it and everything? [HEIDI]:
So, I’ll give credit to Chris for coming up with the concept because at the time, I was more just his manager, his business manager. And so, I would drive with him, I would sit in the meetings, and we would bounce ideas off of each other, but ultimately, he was the visionary. And he was the one that you know, was so passionate about it and he always had this thing – he manifested it – he was like, someday I will be the Ty Pennington of weight loss. And I’m like, oh, that’s cool. But he actually made it happen. He was really the Ty Pennington of weight loss. And as the show went on, it morphed and evolved to what we, jointly, Chris and I wanted it to be because it was through the creators of Biggest Loser and so they were very diet and exercisey. Very like, you have three months, make them lose as much weight as possible. Well, we have a full year, and ours isn’t weight loss. Ours is rehabilitation. It’s real life transformation. So, we have to approach in a very different way. And that is where, you know, it became our vision, our creation. [MELISSA]:
And how magical if everyone took that approach, instead of just looking at everything as just diet and exercise, diet and… that’s like the number one thing that women come to me, and they’re like, just tell me what to eat and tell me how to work out and I’m like, wow, oh, girl. [HEIDI]:
And really, when I hear somebody say that what I immediately think… so I get it, because we all need to have these physical goals. But when I hear it, and I hear some of the ways that some of the women say it, I get the feeling that they think that’s going to change how they feel about themselves permanently and it won’t. It’ll change how you feel about yourself temporarily, but self-love, or lack thereof, really is the root of what they’re dealing with. It was like for me and my eating disorder, I couldn’t get skinny enough, and I couldn’t figure out why, even at 89 pounds, which was skinny, and I thought that was my goal, why I didn’t love myself. And now I can get to places where I’d have a little more body fat and I can step on the scale and I can be up to weight ranges that I never imagined I would be at and it doesn’t affect me because I know… maybe it’s, I’m more educated on what my body is capable of. I’m more confident with who I am, and I know now the reasons why I want to be fit instead of just thinking I want to be fit so I’m happy. It’s a lot deeper now. [Unclear] that’s hard. [MELISSA]:
It is. It totally is. I 100% like, get everything you’re saying like, I’m not kidding, Heidi. I think we were separated at birth. [HEIDI]:
We probably were. We probably were. [MELISSA]:
Like, listening to your story and like, coming from a fit family and your dad and your mom. I’m like, oh my god. Is she talking about me? And like, started training early like, oh my god, she’s talking about me. I started doing fitness classes at 15. Yeah, and they were like, can you not tell anyone your age when they ask you how old you are? That was the instructor, I’m like, okay, we’ll keep quiet. [HEIDI]:
That is so amazing. Oh, my god. [MELISSA]:
But I get it. And then people try and take that away too, of like, oh, well, you know, it’s just because her dad was that way. And that’s the way she is naturally. [HEIDI]:
Oh, gosh, I get that. That’s a story of my life in every area because my dad was also very successful. And I feel like people naturally would think, they’re like, oh, she’s only as fit as she is because of her parents. And she only is successful because of… you know, and for me, I always would be like, okay, people are going to assume this is because of my mom and dad, so I’m going to go in a completely opposite direction to prove my value and my worth and what I’m capable of. Because yeah, it’s like, I want people to know you don’t need that to get what you want. You just need yourselves, and hard work, and dedication, and relentlessness. [MELISSA]:
Exactly. Absolutely. You know, how do you, right now with four kids, one’s a teenager, right? How old are the kids? [HEIDI]:
No, two are teenagers. So, Matix is 16, Marley’s 13, and then Cash is 8 and Ruby is 6. [MELISSA]:
Okay. Yeah, they’re all… that’s a fun range. [HEIDI]:
I know. [MELISSA]:
And how… I know everyone is gonna want to know, and so I’m just gonna ask the question – how do you juggle it all with the kids, the business, and still finding time for you? [HEIDI]:
I drop a lot of balls; I juggle, I throw it all up in the air and a lot of them drop and I catch a couple, that’s the truth. I’m not gonna lie. I think for me, I am by nature… I shouldn’t even say by nature. The vast majority of my life, and in a lot of ways still, I have been, and I am a perfectionist. I’ve had to let go of that in ways I never thought I could in order to experience life to its fullest, because I realized when I’m so focused on being perfect at everything, I can’t do as much as I want to do and I don’t get to experience the joy that life and all these different attempts and trials have to give me. And so, for me it’s like… learning the power of ‘and’, it’s not an ‘or’ life, I don’t have to live an ‘or’ life; I get to live an ‘and’ life. So, I don’t need to be… I’m probably not great at anything, but I’m good at a lot of things, you know, or I think I am. I’m decently good and if I’m not, I know I can work at things and become good at anything, but no one ever said, like, who says I can’t be a mom and a businesswoman and a bikini pro? Why can’t I do this? I think, [unclear], the world and our culture tells us we have to be a great mom, or we need to dedicate our lives to a career, or… no, you can do it all. And I believe that when we do it all, we’re empowering other women to do the same. And that’s really what I love. I love feeling like I’m making a difference in whatever way it is. [MELISSA]:
Oh, you totally are. Because, like I said, I don’t give many people credit. And, you know, I can’t stand all the Instagram models and all these women that look a certain way. I have to always point out to people, like, she’s 22 and she’s had zero babies. That bitch better look like that. [HEIDI]:
And I have to point that out to myself, because I’ll find myself getting down and [unclear], okay, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, her body has not housed a baby yet. [MELISSA]:
Yeah. They don’t take that into consideration. And so, when I look at you, and you inspire me and motivate me so much, I’m like, no, she’s had four babies and she still is ripped. Like, props. Props to her. [HEIDI]:
Thank you. I appreciate that, thank you. [MELISSA]:
Even someone who’s like 33 or whatever, and still, maybe, I don’t know, one baby, okay, I’m giving you some credit but I’m just like, you pop out a couple and you have ripped abs – now we can talk. Now we can be friends. [HEIDI]:
That is so funny. [MELISSA]:
I love how you’re breaking the mold and that’s always been like my mission, is like, we don’t have to live in what I call this mom box, you know? Did you see around Halloween time that picture that was floating around of… it was probably like high school girls and their Halloween costume was a tired mom? [HEIDI]:
No, I didn’t see it. [MELISSA]:
Oh my god. Okay, so I’m going to like text you a picture of it after or something. [HEIDI]:
Okay, yeah. [MELISSA]:
You would fully get this. Okay, so their costume was a tired mom. So, they had like a baby doll pinned to their shirt, one Cabbage Patch Kid doll pinned to their leg. She had on Lululemon leggings that she probably never wore to the gym, and she had like a flannel tied around her waist and this high messy bun with a Starbucks cup in her hand. You know, she just looked like crap. And I went like, oh my God, that’s really funny. And then I was like, wait a minute. Is this how society looks at moms after we’ve had kids? Is this really what teenagers look at us like? [HEIDI]:
Yes, actually. So, do you remember, did you ever watch Desperate Housewives? [MELISSA]:
Oh, yes. [HEIDI]:
Okay, so I can’t think of her name. But do you remember that blonde one? She was the stereotypical mom and she… gosh, I don’t remember, but she was always ragged and always tired and always had a flannel tied around her waist. And I remember being like… because I’m so grateful. The thing I can thank my mom and dad for is the example they set. My mom is 58 and is smoking hot like, for a 58-year-old. [MELISSA]:
Oh, she is. [HEIDI]:
But it’s because she takes care of herself and it’s because she is determined to break the mold. And so, I think everybody can do that. But I remember watching Desperate Housewives and thinking okay, I’m not ending up like that. I’m ending up like my mom. Because we get to choose, you know. [MELISSA]:
Yep, it is a choice. We don’t have to get stuck into anything. We could use more Heidi’s out there. [HEIDI]:
And more you’s. More you’s out there. [MELISSA]:
Have you ever hit any major roadblocks with your health, your fitness? I mean, coming off an ACL repair, I blew out my left ACL and had that reconstructed. So, I know that pain. Was that a major roadblock for you? Or can you identify any other ones where you were like, yeah, this is a pretty low point, but I overcame it. [HEIDI]:
Yeah. Of course. So that’s a really good question. I actually blew out my left ACL twice back in high school, so once my junior year, once my senior year. [MELISSA]:
Doing what? [HEIDI]:
Cheerleading. Cheerleading, of all things. We were [unclear] and I came down on it wrong and… two years in a row, doing the same move. That actually is what kind of kick started my eating disorder. And so, for me, I think, like, it’s ingrained in me that ACL reconstructive surgeries put me back in a bad place. And so, I’ve had a lot of health things, but tearing my ACL last summer, which I was doing cheer jumps, of all things, for a group of people that I was coaching, I just like to be fun. And so, I was like, come on, guys. I was doing herkies and jump kicks, and I ended up blowing my ACL because I’m not 18 anymore. But that was kind of my… I remember when it happened I cried for about 30 seconds. I did. I got in the car; I was fine. Like, I walked around, didn’t tell anyone because we had a group of 100 people, I kept going all day. But I got in the car with Chris and I just started crying because I’m like, I can’t. I have goals. I don’t have time to be on crutches. I don’t have time for this. But I quickly, like within minutes was like, okay, this is my opportunity to rewrite the story of how ACL surgeries affect me and I actually get a little bit emotional even saying it because it led to such a dark point in my life before and I decided to like say, okay, our bodies need rest. So now this is a point where I’m going to get more rest than my body could get before. It’s going to force me to slow down and truthfully, coming back from it, I do feel like my body has responded better over the past six months than it probably ever has to my resistance training protocol. And so, it’s kind of like looking for the positive. But also, right after Ruby… I had four kids, obviously, the last two I was having as I was filming the show and traveling around the world. I never stopped, literally labor, bed, and I’m texting the publisher of our book and it really… I have goals, I work a lot.
So, I had my last two babies without an epidural. I decided to try it out, and it was amazing. It’s all amazing, no matter what. So, with an epidural, it’s a miracle, without it’s a miracle in a different way. But right after I had her, I keeled over in pain at home, and come to find out I had horrible kidney stones that had to be surgically removed. This is fairly bad, but I have to say, so I ended up… I went on to have three total kidney stone surgeries over the next year and a half just because I have a kidney issue. And I had to continually go in and get it kind of repaired or fixed. And well, yes, that was actually a really trying time for me. I started losing my hair because of all of the medication and the anesthesia. And not only did I just have a baby and I kind of felt weak because I’m like, gosh, I could have a baby without an epidural. But when kidney stones hit like, they could not give me enough morphine or dilaudid. I’d be like, it’s wearing off. They’re like I just gave it to you 10 minutes ago. I’m like, it’s wearing off. So that was a difficult time for me. And a time where I really felt out of control, and coming from someone who’s such a control freak, that was very difficult for me, but I also believe it’s what I needed to learn that I’m not in control of everything. I’m in control of a lot of aspects of my health, but I can’t control certain things like kidney stones, or that I’m tearing an ACL, but I can control how I view it and how I respond to it.[MELISSA]:
Yes, and you’re not going to believe me. You’re going to be like, shut up. I’ve had kidney stones and surgery to get them lasered three times, I swear to God. [HEIDI]:
Oh my god. Do you have medullary sponge kidney? [MELISSA]:
I have horseshoe kidneys. [HEIDI]:
Oh, what are these names that they come up with? [MELISSA]:
My kidneys are connected. [HEIDI]:
No, that’s very cool. That’s a talent right there. [MELISSA]:
Yeah. They’re connected and they kind of, you know how they get one on one side, one on the other side – mine are together and they kind of shape a horseshoe. [HEIDI]:
Wow. Okay, that’s really cool. [MELISSA]:
Everything you’re saying. I’m like, oh my god, I know that pain. Oh my God, I’ve been there. But I did not have them right after having a baby. So holy cow, you win that. [HEIDI]:
I never did the laser. I wish they could have but for some reason they couldn’t do it. So, they had to [unclear] and up which was not fun. But yeah, I don’t know. I wish I could have tried the laser. [MELISSA]:
No, I know what you’re talking about, and after they had to put a stent in and stuff. [HEIDI]:
Yes, which is the worst thing ever. [MELISSA]:
Oh, my God. Were you awake when they took it out? [HEIDI]:
Yes. It was horrible. Like, it was awful. [MELISSA]:
I’m like, can I just have another baby? I’d rather give birth right now. [HEIDI]:
I am right there. I’m like, that tube was not meant for anything to enter it. Never. [MELISSA]:
Did we just become best friends? [HEIDI]:
As you say it, I can actually feel that. Yeah, it was awful. [MELISSA]:
I’m crossing my legs right now. I’m crossing them. It’s happening. Oh, gosh. I love how you, though, the whole thing that you said about you get to rewrite the story that you’ve told yourself with the ACL repair like, oh my God, it’s just beautiful. You need that on a tank top or something. Because so many things happen to people and they’re just like, well, this sucks, you know, and this is my life. And you know, this happened and now I can’t do that. And I’m like, yeah, but you have control. [HEIDI]:
You do. You have control over anything, and I think it’s a really tough thing for… it’s hard to accept because, number one, we don’t realize we have control. Many of us aren’t built that way, to know that we can control whatever, you know, our life. But then also, even if we do, or when we get to the point where we know, we’re aware that we control, you know, we’re responsible, that means we have to be responsible. And responsible not only for the good that happens in our life and maintaining it, but also responsible for all of the bad that’s happened. And the bad that can happen. And I think a lot of people shy away from taking control of their life because they don’t want that responsibility. They want to be the victim, and they want to point the finger away from them. So, they’re avoiding responsibility for why they’re not where they want to be in life. But the reality is it’s creating a miserable existence. [MELISSA]:
Yeah. And that’s why you and Chris probably got amazing results because you help them hold themselves accountable. Like, this is on you. And that’s okay, let’s change it. [HEIDI]:
Yep. Yeah, yeah, we always say, and it’s true… the very first meeting we would have with all of our people, even though on the show, you saw episodes that were all separate. The reality is they all knew each other. And they were all together, all year long, and we just shot separately with them and we would fly them home. You know, when they would go home for periods of time, we would go shoot with them in their hometown. But on day one, we would sit every one of them in a room and we would let them know, okay, this is going to take, you know, 10%. I’m sure everyone here thinks we’re here to talk about diet and exercise. We’re not. Maybe 10% of the time, it’s gonna take us five minutes to go through that. Actually, it was a few hours, so it would have been about you know, 10, 20 minutes. But the other three to four hours, we’re going to be going through what really matters. We’re going to be talking about integrity, taking responsibility, lottery syndrome, all of these things that really make a difference in physical transformation and really any kind of transformation in your life. Yeah, all year long. All year long. It was about that. [Unclear] [MELISSA]:
Right. Yeah. Working out, I can kick your butt. Easy. [HEIDI]:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. [MELISSA]:
Oh, you know, what advice would you give to someone who is just starting out? Maybe someone who’s listening to this and they’re like, yeah, but you know, I’m not on the show, but I really want to get going and I don’t have a Melissa or Heidi near me, like, am I lost? What would you tell that mom? [HEIDI]:
Yeah, you know, I think the most important thing for anybody to know is, well, a few things. Number one, if they can do it, you can do it. And there’s a reason why we always choose the super obese to work with and we did for so long because we wanted to prove if the most hopeless, defeated, depressed individuals can pull themselves out of a hole and change their lives, you can lose the last 5 to 10 pounds easy, like no problem. The second thing I think people need to know is you don’t have to take on… not only do you not have to, but you shouldn’t be taking on a mountain of commitments at once. So, what happens is we try and fail and try and fail and try and fail so many times, but these plans that we’re trying on are, you know, rigid and very hard to stick to; they’re not sustainable long term. And so, it leads us into this trap of feeling like, we are not capable. Everybody else is capable of following a plan and losing the weight and transforming their bodies, but I’m not capable. I can’t do it. I’ve tried so many times. So, before you know it, most moms, most people stop trying at all. And even if they do try, they’re not going to tell anybody about it because they’re embarrassed by the fact that they’ve tried and failed so many times publicly, they can’t handle one more thing to make them feel shameful and less than so we kind of succumb to this idea that we are stuck with the body that we have. But the reality is, they need to just shrink it down. They need to shrink it down to something that is so simple and sustainable every single day that they know without a shadow of a doubt they could do it. It is baby steps, like baby steps… what’s that thing, like, the journey… oh, what the hell, it’s like a Chinese or Japanese proverb or something. The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step, or something like that, whatever it is. But it really is the small things that add up. And if we’re not willing to scale back and be more patient and take those small steps, we just have to know that we’re just going to keep trying and failing and we may hit our goal. But if it’s these big, massive things, like I got to lose weight in three weeks, oh my gosh, I have this wedding coming up or whatever it is, I need to get on the beach, just expect you’re going to gain all the weight back and probably more but if it’s something you want to stick long term, you need to scale it back. You need to make it so simple and know that it’s a slow process over time that leads to the ultimate results. [MELISSA]:
Bingo. Yep. Do you have those like, tight camp things around you where they do like $500 and you have to lose 30 pounds in six weeks, and then you get your money back and… [HEIDI]:
I don’t know, I don’t know if we do. I’ve never seen it, but [unclear]. [MELISSA]:
They’re big here. [HEIDI]:
Are they? [MELISSA]:
They’re big here in California, at least in the IE where I am. And it drives me nuts because everything that you’re teaching and I’m teaching, and people are like, well, I’m just gonna do it just to give me a kickstart. Like, I just need that jumpstart, and then I’ll maintain my health. And like you said, they all gain it back. And I’m like, and the pressure of the money. I don’t like that. I call myself the camp cleanup because I get so many people. [HEIDI]:
I love it. Yes, you are. It’s kind of like those juice cleanses back in the day. The purpose is not a bad idea. I guess like it’s nice to cleanse your body and some people do need a kickstart. But what happens is we become reliant on that kickstart. And so, we stop putting forth the effort to actually change our bodies because we think we can just drink juice for a week and get the body that we want, but it doesn’t stick. [MELISSA]:
Yeah, yeah. Or they think that they could go to the camp and just get their butt whooped, you know, seven days a week and only eat chicken and broccoli every meal. Oh, yeah, I’m sorry. You can change up the broccoli to asparagus and have a real treat. [HEIDI]:
What kind of a life is that, like, to live on that? Gosh, I couldn’t do it. I maybe eat that clean for about a day and a half, two days before I get on stage. But that’s it. That is, it. I can’t. I know myself. If I deprive myself too much, I’m just gonna go back into my old eating disorder ways. It’s not gonna be good for me. [MELISSA]:
Yep. I’m the mom at the birthday parties that’s the first one in line for cake. [HEIDI]:
Me too. [MELISSA]:
I’ve talked about this on another podcast before and I’m like, who goes to a birthday party and doesn’t have cake, and everyone thinks that I’m the mom that, oh, Melissa’s not going to eat that, like, oh my god. I can’t believe you even have cake at this party. You’re gonna insult Melissa. [HEIDI]:
I know. I get the same – people will be like you’re actually eating that. Oh my gosh, and I’m like, do you not watch my Instagram? Because I eat this all the time. [MELISSA]:
And I’m like, I’m gonna eat mine and I know my little one’s not gonna finish hers, and it’s like, oh hunny, just give that to mommy. [HEIDI]:
Exactly, yes. Oh my God, it feels like I’m not alone. [MELISSA]:
Totally not. It’s all about balance. [HEIDI]:
So, I have to ask a selfish question. I’m sure other moms want to know this too. What does your typical training routine look like right now? Are you split training? Are you seven days a week? Are you like, okay, just biceps today? What does your current routine look like? [HEIDI]:
That actually hasn’t changed too much since this whole quarantine thing. I wouldn’t even see the difference because even before it was like I would get to the gym occasionally. But I couldn’t always make it so a lot I had to do at home. And I could have done all of it with dumbbells or, for a lot of moms out there, if you don’t have dumbbells, water jugs. All of it’s doable and you can do a lot with your bodyweight, but I do, in an ideal week, I’m going to say five to six days a week. Ideal week I like six, my body doesn’t need six. I just like six because I just feel good that way. It’s one of those things. I know my body needs more rest, but there’s something ingrained in me that makes me feel like, it kind of… [MELISSA]:
I’m laughing because I get it. I get it, girl. [HEIDI]:
Yes. Like, some of the days I’m like, I could have pushed harder. So, adding that sixth day, just kind of like, it’s like it fills the gaps on the days where maybe I could have pushed harder too. You know what I’m saying? I always do three lower body days a week because my lower body, I have a harder time building muscle with my butt specifically. So, I do three lower body days, I do mostly hamstring and glute and I’ll add in quads occasionally, especially now because I’m still recovering technically from my ACL surgery. [MELISSA]:
Okay, makes sense, yeah. [HEIDI]:
Yeah. And then two to three days a week I do shoulders and back. So I’ll usually do… if I have, you know, three upper bodies, I’ll go two shoulder days and one back day, if I do two I’ll do a shoulder day and then a shoulders and back day because my back does not stop growing and my shoulders need to grow more. And my body changes over time, so there might be a time where my quads are dominant. And so, I know I just scale back; I’m going to do a lot less quad centric work. And then there are times where I look at my back and I’m like it’s just overpowering. So, I’m not doing any back at all for a month and I get it naturally with some of my other moves. But I do not do any cardio at all. And, coming from someone… I was a cardio queen; it was really difficult for me to back away from that, but I realized when I was doing a lot of cardio I was skinny fat. I’d be like, why can’t I tone up and firm up? Why can’t I lean out, and I’m running all the time? I never wanted to be bulky, I’d be like, gosh, I don’t want to be bulky. But the reality is when you build that muscle, and you allow your body to consume the calories, not running, consume the calories, but you allow your body to consume the calories, you can actually build the muscle that helps burn the fat and make you appear leaner. So, I am such an advocate for heavy lifting. Not even heavy, for resistance training. I love the weights. I love bodybuilding. Five years ago, I was so anti that and I was 100% into CrossFit. Five years prior, I was anti all of that and I was 100% into running. So, it’s just understanding my body and it’s also the look that I like too, you know, I like being curvy. And this is what gives me curve. [MELISSA]:
Right. Oh my God, we’re soul sisters. Everything you’re saying I’m just like, yeah, me too. [HEIDI]:
Yeah. I do spend more time on biceps and triceps though, but I have really long arms. So, any definition that I do have in my bicep or tricep, like, I got to really fight for that. [HEIDI]:
See? And that’s where our bodies are all different. I wish I could give you some of my biceps and triceps. I never work them – I haven’t for probably [unclear] years. [MELISSA]:
That is insane because you have amazing arms. [HEIDI]:
I cannot get rid of my biceps, like, sometimes I wish they would go away. But with compound movements, and a lat pulldown you’re getting a lot of… so when I do that, and I do pull ups, I’m getting a lot of bicep. I’m just not doing isolated bicep curls by any means. [MELISSA]:
Oh my God, would have never guessed that. Your quads are amazing. [HEIDI]:
Oh, thank you. [MELISSA]:
I think everyone’s gonna go look for you now and be like, I gotta check out her legs. No, your quads are amazing, and I struggle with any kind of size on my legs, but I’m only doing two day lower body. Maybe I need to up that third day. [HEIDI]:
Yeah, so, in our app… I mean, you do all your own stuff, but I will get you a code so you can see how I… I do follow my app. Chris and I both programmed it and it’s what I used to build my body for stage. And we did add a little more bis and tris and quad movements than I did myself, just because it needs to be well rounded. But I’ll send it to you so you can see what I do. [MELISSA]:
Oh, that would be cool. That’d be cool. And tell us more about your app, about the transformation app. [HEIDI]:
Yeah, yeah. Sorry, I had to make a note, so I don’t forget to send that to you. So yeah, it’s called Transform with Chris and Heidi, and Chris and I did not… we spent years on the show with people wanting help, and we never could help them because we were so busy, you know, traveling around transforming the lives of the people on the show and raising our family. And so when the show was canceled it was super bittersweet. It was bitter because obviously it’s an era of our life that completely changed everything, but sweet because it actually gave us the time to create the tools to help people. Now, inside of the app it is everything from traditional weight loss to bodybuilding to cross training. So, any kind of a program that you want it scales completely, specifically to your goals, age, weight, height, gender, you know, all of that. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, it scales for you. It completely modifies, gives you a program, whether you have access to dumbbells or you don’t, or you have access to a CrossFit gym or you don’t, or I want to body sculpt but I don’t have access to a gym. Well we have an at home Body Sculpting program. We have Dance by Transform, which is a newer program. And so, if you want to do dance fitness, we have the cutest dance fitness instructor in there who guides you through.
So, it’s two years of programming for every single program that we have, and thousands of workouts and nutrition plans. So, you can either follow a plan of ours, which is completely scaled to you, there’s hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of recipes. And all of them are scaled 14 different ways. So, your plan would be different than mine and would be different [unclear]. Even if you chose the same food. And also, you can do macros. So, if you’re like, well, this is great, I want to count macros, we have that all built into the app. It is the most comprehensive fitness app out there. It’s insane. There’s so much in it. It’s great.[MELISSA]:
It sounds amazing. And I love how you’re saying you can like put in your information and it customizes to that person. [HEIDI]:
It does. And it also… something that no other app has, it auto adjusts for you when you plateau. So, it has smart logic in it. Yeah, so as long as you’re putting your weigh-ins in, it will auto address for you. So, you know never have to worry. Like, you would never have to go off of the app ever, ever, ever. Like the thing will go on forever and ever and ever and will continually adjust to your goals. It’s really cool. [MELISSA]:
Wow. And you guys have protein shakes and supplements now too, right? [HEIDI]:
Yes, we do. You’ve done your homework. Yeah. [MELISSA]:
I have. I was even looking at the ingredients because I’m such an ingredient snob and I’m like, Oh my god, these look amazing. [HEIDI]:
I’m gonna have to… I’ll send you a care package too. You just need to tell me what flavors you like. So, we have low carb meal replacement shakes, which are the best tasting things you will ever, ever, I’m not kidding, best that you’ll ever have. And then we have whey protein, which is really good too, but nothing beats the low carb meal replacement shakes. Sometimes though you just need straight protein. Yeah, and we have different mental clarity and focus drinks, which are freaking incredible too. We have BCAAs, we have pre workout. We’re just barely starting to come out with our wellness line, so we have probiotics, vitamins and [unclear]. Yeah, so I’ll send you a care package. You need to tell me, okay, wait, what flavors do you like? What flavors? Are you a chocolate person, are you a…? [MELISSA]:
Do you like mint by any chance? Do you like mint chocolate chip ice cream? [MELISSA]:
York Peppermint Patties are my favorite. I’m getting a bit of everything. [HEIDI]:
Okay. We have the best… I can’t live without it. Mint cookie is the best shake you’ve ever had in your life. It really is. So, I’m sending that one to you for sure, in addition to all the other good stuff. [MELISSA]:
Oh, well, thank you. I’m excited to try it – this is gonna be great. And you guys, you know me, watch on my Instagram stories. You will be seeing me try this and open and everything, so that’s cool. What’s the website where they can check out these supplements and shakes and everything? [HEIDI]:
Yeah, yeah. So, when it comes to anything Transform, which is supplements, shakes, coaching, it’s transformHQ.com and then anything, all of my free content is on HeidiPowell.net. [MELISSA]:
Perfect. And you guys, if you didn’t get that, you’re like, oh my God, I don’t have a pen – everything’s in the show notes. Don’t worry. [HEIDI]:
Awesome. Oh good. [MELISSA]:
Everything’s in the show notes so that you can find it. Oh my god, Heidi. I feel like we could just talk for hours upon hours. And the next time you guys come out to California, you have to get a hold of me. And yeah, we’ll get all the crazy children together. [HEIDI]:
Yes, I want to. Yes, we would love it. [MELISSA]:
It’d be so fun. Oh, I feel like we could seriously just stay on here forever. [HEIDI]:
I know. I know. I love this. This is so much fun. [MELISSA]:
I appreciate you coming on here and talking to all of our listeners. Everything that you said today was just absolutely priceless. Just priceless. And you’re just so motivating and inspiring and just know that you have like just thrown gasoline on my fire over the last few years of just like, no, you can do it. You can keep going, you can keep pushing, and she did it, you can do it. No excuses. [HEIDI]:
That makes me feel so good. Thank you for saying that. I really do appreciate it, and thanks for having me on. [MELISSA]:
Oh, we love it and we can find you on Instagram, Tiktok at @RealHeidiPowell, right? [HEIDI]:
Correct. You got it. We’ll have some fun. [MELISSA]:
Yes. Perfect. Oh, you guys. Well check her out, check out the website. There’s supplements, everything, their app. It just all sounds amazing. And thank you again, Heidi. We can do this again. [HEIDI]:
Yeah, you just say when and we’ll do it. [MELISSA]:
Oh, perfect. Perfect. I love it. Well, thank you everyone for listening. Thank you, Heidi. Check her out. Everyone stay safe, stay healthy and have an amazing week.
If you’re ready to become a bomb mom, join my free course over at www.melissavogelfitness.com/course.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, nutritional, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.