Rhonda Decker is more than just your average work-at-home mom. She has taken her passion of personal fitness and nutrition and turned it into a home-based business. After years of working to get herself fit and healthy through proper exercise and nutrition, she is now helping others achieve the same dream with her online and in-person fitness training programs.
Besides being certified in personal fitness training, Decker is also a certified Nutrition Specialist, has worked in the holistic and spa industry for about 14 years. From her Southern California home, she teaches outdoor/indoor full-body fitness classes, personal and semi-private fitness training, as well as a continued practice in massage therapy.
Decker, 35, took a few minutes from her busy schedule to chat with LoveToKnow Exercise about her fitness and nutrition passions, as well as her Internet and in-person fitness training.
How and why did you decide to become a personal fitness trainer?
"I had struggled for many years of my life (in my teens and most of my 20s) with issues of self-esteem and an unhealthy view of my body. After becoming a mom, however, I really felt the need to be the best role model I could be for my daughter. To make those changes in my life, I began working with a trainer and the transformation took place-both in mind and body. I simply want to share that amazing feeling with everyone else out there who desires to be better, but needs the proper guidance and support."
Tell me about your specialties in terms of fitness and exercise?
"I have certifications in both personal fitness and nutrition as well as holistic healing as a massage therapist. I specialize in nutrition, working with post-natal and menopausal women who need help losing or keeping weight gain off. I am also currently involved in learning Pilates and the study of martial arts, as well as Russian Kettlebell training. However, the specialty I have that I feel is the most valuable, is my ability to motivate others."
What type of training did you have to do?
"I studied in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, injury and disease, as well as learning the different methods of training all body types and age levels. For the Specialist in Performance Nutrition, I studied everything there is to know about the elements of nutrition and their effects on athletic performance including metabolism, digestions, fat loss and muscle gain, food and sports supplement knowledge. I also learned more on anatomy and training technology and setting up customized nutritional programs for individuals based upon their performance needs. I am also CPR certified."
Who does your client base include?
"Well, most of my clients are women, but I also train men and occasionally children. Most people are between 35-60 years old who want to be healthier and look better. I will help the ones that sometimes need a lot of help and have tried everything else to lose the weight."
About Personal Training
Let's talk about popularity of online fitness training. Why did you get involved in this type of training?
"I am able to reach so many more people online, and help them reach their goals to lose weight, perform better, and live healthy and happy lives. In a live session one-on-one, I am only there for them one hour, maybe two to three times a week. But online training allows me to be there for them anytime-whether it's to update their workouts or give them support and help with their grocery shopping."
How does it work?
"It's actually quite simple. You register on my website and complete the necessary forms on your current health and fitness level as well as any medical concerns etc., and I begin customizing an individual coaching program based upon your needs."
What can you offer individuals wanting to do this type of training?
"Daily support, questions related to their health and fitness answered, and nutritional coaching and the comfort of being able to work out anywhere, anytime, often with little to no equipment."
What should someone do if they are really interested in becoming fit?
"Start immediately. One of the biggest obstacles is putting things off. In terms of nutrition, begin with small changes made periodically instead of big ones. This is a lifelong way of living and most people will go into a sort of "shock" if they begin with drastic changes--especially with their food. As for fitness, look to someone who can help you accomplish your goal. I see a lot of people who are unsure of what to do to become healthy and would benefit from someone to educate them."
I know you are a Certified Nutrition Specialist. How do the two (nutrition and fitness) go hand-in-hand?
"The body begins from the inside out. How a person feels physically is a result of what they put into their body. Optimum nutrition will help to produce optimum fitness. Hence the term "you are what you eat". By making the right choices in what we eat, we are able to start to feel good and want to be active."
Overcoming the Misperceptions
What are some of the misconceptions people have about exercising and getting in shape?
"There is no such thing as a diet, just live simply when it comes to your food and choose to be physically active in things you enjoy. Life is hard enough with everything else to stress about. Being healthy should be enjoyable and even fun, if you know how to create a lifestyle to induce that. If most of us could look at being healthy with a positive attitude, our goals would be much more attainable and quickly reached. It's all right to make time for yourself to exercise, it helps us to be better for everyone else important to us."
Is online fitness for everyone? Why or why not?
"Well sure, if you have online access. Each of us has a goal, dream, a certain amount of desire to be better people--both inside and out. The beauty of having a personal trainer online is that it's much more convenient and cost-effective. You can do the workout anywhere, and a real person is guiding you through it all."
Working from Home
As a work-at-home mom, how does being a fitness instructor work into your daily lifestyle?
"I do have an advantage of making my own hours, however, they are generally coordinated with other women's schedules as well. I do a bit of juggling at times, but I still have the better hours out of the day with my daughter, and use the evenings for my own fitness endeavors and/or time with my husband."
How has your job changed your life?
"I look at so many things differently. I have never felt the need to use the words 'I feel fat' especially in front of my daughter, and that makes me feel proud. Knowing I can help to reshape other women's self-esteem is also an awesome feeling. Shopping for food and clothes is never a chore, but a joy. I'm no longer afraid to grow old since I know my bones are stronger due to exercise. I love being stopped by someone who wants my advice for anything to help them be fit and healthy."
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
"I wish I could help every person, and for everyone to have a happy, healthy and active long life."