Jonny Bowden, M.A., C.N.S., is a respected expert in the fields of fitness and nutrition. He is the
author of "Jonny Bowden's Shape Up!", "Jonny Bowden's Shape Up Workbook!", and most recently,
"Living the Low Carb Life: From Atkins to the Zone Choosing the Diet That's Right for You".
His work has also appeared in The New York Times, GQ, Cosmopolitan,
Seventeen, Fitness, Family Circle, Marie Claire, Allure, Men's Health and Walking.
He frequently appears on television and radio as a fitness expert and is also a popular speaker at
media events and seminars. His course, "Becoming a Personal Trainer," is a frequent sell-out at the
Learning Annex in New York.
With this issue, we debut Jonny's association with
Low Carb Luxury Magazine. Jonny will be writing a regular column in each issue, and will take your questions
about fitness and about low carb.
Have a question for Jonny? Send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While not all questions can be answered, we'll do our best to publish all we can. We are grateful to Jonny for taking the
time out of his busy schedule to lend a bit of advice to our readers!
Low Carb Luxury Magazine: For any of our readers who may not be familiar with you and your work, can
you please give us a little background? What makes you a fitness guru?
Copyright © February 2004 Jonny Bowden and Low Carb Luxury
Jonny Bowden: Well, I think what makes a "guru" is not what you know, but
how well you communicate
I'm a natural teacher. My own background is pretty diverse- I have a Masters degree in
psychology and a very good understanding of research. I earned about seven different
certifications as a personal trainer including that of the American College of Sports
Medicine. After working as a personal trainer for a while, I went back to school, got
my nutrition degree from the National Institute of Nutrition Education, went on to be
certified by the Certification Board of Nutrition Specialists of the American College
of Nutrition, and here I am. I've been the "Weight Loss Coach" on i-Village.com since
1995, and my original i-Village "Shape Up!" plan (detailed in the book "Jonny Bowden's
Shape Up! The eight week program to transform your body, your health and your life")
combined nutrition, a low carb diet, basic exercise, and motivational work. It was
so successful that 75,000 people went through it online. I've been writing and
teaching and practicing for over a dozen years, and I never get tired of it.
LCLM: This wasn't always your line of work…you used to play piano on Broadway?
What kind of path brought you where you are today?
Like a lot of people, I got into the business of health largely to figure out how to
handle my own issues. Even though I was trained as a psychologist, my "day job" was
working as a musician, which I had done since I was 15. As a pop musician with roots
in the world of jazz, I was not what you would call a great example of healthy living.
I was fat, I smoked cigarettes, and my idea of breakfast- when I ate it at all- was a
buttered roll or a cheese Danish, a cup of coffee and a Marlboro. Originally, I
didn't even get into all of this to get healthier- it was much more superficial: I
just wanted to look better, lose my spare tire and have some muscles! But the
information out there was so convoluted I couldn't figure out what to do. That's
when I decided to get some training and stop relying on what I like to call
"Muscle and Fiction" magazine.
LCLM: Now, of course, you have your own series of books, videos and even a
website. What's been your favorite medium for communicating your message?
Well writing is my first love. And I still love the internet. I cut my teeth on it,
with my position as columnist and "resident nutrition guru" on i-Village.com, and
I was just blown away by the ability to reach so many thousands of people over the
years doing chats, auditorium lectures and answering message boards. I love doing
live speaking engagements and interacting with people in person, and I do a lot of
private phone coaching as well.
I just love communicating and teaching and motivating period, no matter what the medium.
LCLM: On top of everything else, you still maintain your own practice in Beverly
Hills. Is your office still growing? What kind of work are you doing there now?
What does the future have in store for your private practice?
I see a lot of clients in person in Beverly Hills, but I also do a lot of phone coaching.
The phone coaching work is modeled after the work of "Life Coaches" which is itself
modeled after business coaching. I make weekly appointments which are treated just as
if they are in-person appointments- no interruptions, no call waiting, no distractions.
When people become a phone coaching client they sign on by the month, and during the
time in between phone sessions I stay in touch with them constantly by e mail and fax.
I love that I can still see people in person though since that personal touch is always
nice. But I have a lot of people from around the country who write to me, and the phone
and e mail program is a great way for me to work with people who can't get to Los Angeles.
As far as the kind of practice I do, well, I really believe that everything in the body
and mind is connected. So when someone comes to me for weight loss, of course that's the
first thing I tackle, but my secret agenda is not just to get them slim, but to also get
them healthy. So we'll look at all kinds of things- stress levels, sleep, inflammation,
hormones, food allergies, relationships, jobs- anything that can be impacting their life,
which ultimately winds up impacting their weight and certainly winds up impacting their
health. I like to think of what I do as an overall program to not just get people thin
but to empower them to take care of themselves in a way that produces vibrant health,
fabulous energy and long lives in a body they love to live in!
In our next issue, we'll continue our 2-Part Interview with Jonny Bowden, as he prepares to
take your questions on low carb and fitness! Don't forget to email Jonny
if you're in search of an answer!