Ladies, if you're looking for healthy, practical, nutrition advice, look no further. Corinne Dobbas is your girl. Her and I "met" through twitter awhile back and I instantly loved her light-hearted approach. Based in San Francisco she challenges her clients to find their best selves, even if it's not easy. If you take a moment to read Corinne's Food & Health Philosophy you will instantly see why she is a great fit for The Balanced Life. I was honored to interview her for today's edition of "Real Women, Real Balance." I hope you enjoy it!
Hi Corinne! First things first, how did you get into a career in nutrition?
I began my love affair with the nutrition and fitness world once I joined my high school cross country and track team. Here, I ran simply for fun and sport. I was by far the slowest person on the team (yet I always finished—haha). During my time with the sport, I began reading commercial health magazines, specifically on how proper nutrition can influence athletic performance. The science behind it just fascinated me. Additionally, there were a good number of ladies in my high school (sadly, as in almost any high school today) that had disordered eating patterns. I didn’t want to go there. I wanted to know how to eat properly and how to healthfully fuel my body. Thus, my affinity for fitness and nutrition grew even deeper. Once, I took high school physiology, and we covered nutrition and the body, I was hooked. Lastly, I absolutely adore social media, communications, and people, so my career has transpired into combining all of my loves and helping others become their “best you.”
Tell us a little big about you. What do you do when you're not working with clients?
When I’m not working with clients, I’m typically doing something social media oriented for myself or one of my social media clients. I should mention that I also work as a social media consultant. Right now though, I’m very focused on my brand and getting to know my fans, so you’ll see me working on my videos, newsletters, and blogs or pinning, Facebooking or tweeting—and the list goes on! I love it!
But, when I’m not doing anything work oriented, you’ll likely find me working out, cooking, hanging out with my boyfriend, friends or family, or reading. I’m big into running and lately I’m addicted to interval workouts. I also adore Jillian Michaels DVDs, so if I’m not in the mood for the gym or an outside run, I’ll turn to Jillian. I’m also all about the Crockpot and stews and trying new recipes. I love to cook!
And I’m super close with my family and friends … sometimes I wonder if too close (just kidding!), so there’s always something going on. In terms of reading, I’m a chick-lit gal—big time. Just finished Thin is the New Happy. Great read! You should check it out!
What inspired you to become a nutritionist?
That is such a great question! I must say, I’m not sure if one person inspired me to become a nutritionist, I think many did. For me, I adore the world of health, nutrition, and fitness and just living a healthy lifestyle. I also truly love working with people. I’m a “people person.” So, the fact that there’s a career, which allows me to motivate and inspire people to be their best healthiest self is so straight-up awesome. There’s honestly nothing better than inspiring others and giving them the tools they need, so they can lead the life they really want to live.
As you know, The Balanced Life is all about empowering women to approach health & fitness with a balanced mindset. How do you handle the pressure in the fitness industry (or as a woman) to look or a certain way?
Another great question! To be quite frank, I felt more pressure when I wasn’t in this industry. As soon as I started counseling, I very quickly realized that no woman—no matter what size—doesn’t wish there was something different about her physical appearance. Sadly, I’ve also never met a woman who didn’t wish she was five pounds thinner. You soon realize that everyone, and I mean everyone, has insecurities! For me, it’s not about how I look. It’s about how I feel. I’m bummed when I miss a few days at the gym or that rare occasion I forget to bring my lunch—not because I feel pressured to look a certain way, but because I know that I won’t FEEL as good. I have imperfections for sure (including cellulite … oh yes, I went there) and that’s ok because I’m a real woman with a real body who takes care of herself. We all have imperfections. We need to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things our bodies do for us and how we should nourish our body, not punish it, and the perception will change.
That is a great perspective! So, what does balance mean to YOU during your current season of life?
At the moment, balance means having a professional life that I love; a personal life, which truly brings me joy; and time for mental/spiritual well-being. I’ve learned that you must love your work and truly stand behind everything you do to be completely happy. I won’t take on a project or work, if I don’t 100% believe in it or the company, or if it’ll make me miserable. No matter how much money it is, you can find something else that you truly respect and adore for the same thing, if not better. When it comes to careers, find something you love and believe in and do it well. The rest will follow.
This past year, I’ve really nurtured my personal life. I can be a workaholic. Sometimes, you literally need to pry my laptop from me (haha!). I have an overwhelming desire to succeed and to do it quickly. I can be impatient. I’ve toned that down like 500%. I got on a roll from college to grad school and internship to tons of projects and work and literally one day—just stopped to digest. I needed to slow it all down. You’ve got one life, and you better smell the roses. This has been an area of my life that I can proudly say is now balanced.
In terms of mental and spiritual well-being, exercise and short meditations or a “prayer” before bed help me stay balanced. As I mentioned before, exercise helps me feel good, but it also is such a stress reliever for me and endorphin boost. And right before bed, I still my mind and try to mediate. Or, sometimes, I’ll say a short “prayer” or poem to myself. It’s part of a routine that I’ve done, since a toddler that helps me stay grounded.
Who/what inspires you?
My clients truly inspire me. At times, they’ll start working with me thinking that they’re helpless in all areas of their life—love, weight, health, work and the list goes on. But then, after a set plan and some straight-up real-deal counseling, their lives begin to change, and it’s all their doing. They have taken the tools we discussed and put them to use.
For example, one lady came to me just having moved to the city with no friends, no exercise routine, no romantic involvement, and being 30 pounds overweight. In about six months, she was in the best shape of her life, made tons of friends at the gym, snagged a cutie boyfriend, and ditched the 30 pounds. She transformed her life—she who thought she was useless and helpless. The joy in her eyes on our final visit was remarkable. I always tell folks, “My job is to teach you the tools, so you’re set up for life. If I have to see you weekly, I suck!” I am so deeply touched when I see my clients’ lives renewed.
What inspires me to keep on going and spreading the healthy word, is that there are so many more lives to be touched and there’s so much more good to be done. I’m also inspired to always challenge myself for something new to keep me on my toes. And as long as it’s for the greater good and I love it, I’m in.
What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a busy life?
Get in a weekly routine so you always have healthy foods on-hand for lunches and dinner. Cooking your own food is key for a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be gourmet—at all—but cooking and bringing your lunch and snacks to work are essentials. I spend 10-15 minutes the night before preparing my meals and snacks for the next day.
Also, plan out your week with workouts and plug them in your calendar, so you are more likely to commit. For me, a daily sweat session is such a staple in my life—for physical and mental well-being.
What projects are you currently working on that you'd like us to know about?
Starting late February, I’ll be launching a radio program on Web Talk Radio. It’ll be on everything from love to fitness to nutrition! Stay tuned for more details☺
To stay in touch with Corinne and receive a regular dose of healthy inspiration be sure to follow her on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest. Oh, and be sure to visit her blog regularly for healthy recipes, tips and sound nutritional advice!