Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In Support of Tosca

I'm at nearly 2 weeks post-op. I'm feeling good. Good enough that we're heading over to my father-in-law's for a holiday barbecue. My food has been solid since surgery and I know that's helped speed my recovery. I'm getting hungrier, which is a good sign. I will tell you, I cannot wait to be back in the gym!!!! Just over 4 weeks to go. 

I will share the details of my recovery in another post, but today I wanted to address something I saw on facebook. I believe you all know that I am an Eat Clean Diet Ambassador - clean eating changed my life, and I am a huge fan of the resources that Tosca Reno has made available in her books, magazines, blog, and more. Tosca is one of my hero's and has been for years. Last year I had the opportunity to meet and work with her at the 2011 Arnold Sports Festival, and my hero-worship turned to respect as I learned how real and transparent Tosca is. With the death of her husband, fitness icon Robert Kennedy, Tosca is experiencing a grief and life-change that is devastating.  

As part of her grieving process, she is competing again, in October, to honor Robert. She's chosen to share her journey, and yesterday posted her food journal - her journal for that single day. The backlash that followed was ridiculous, and frankly mortifying. In response, Tosca posted a very personal video reply to the messages. I read through the posts, astonished at them. I know that many people do not understand what goes into competition training - it's not all workouts. In fact, food is a HUGE part of prep success. It's easy for someone not in the competition world to look at a day of competition diet and not understand that it is just a single day - for many of us, the diet is taken in phases - it changes from day to day, goal to goal. 

Most competitors keep their diets ultra-secret. After all, those meal plans are expensive and personalized. They're not for the average person, and they're not for weight loss. The supplementation is specific to the phases of the diet - to be sure that the body is receiving all necessary nutrients. That Tosca shared even a single day of her food diary was a courtesy - a glimpse into her daily life, but not necessarily indicative of
EVERY day. It is not, was not, meant to be a "plan" for others to follow.

People who have no understanding of competition prep, look at that single day of food and judge. And they judged harshly, unfairly, and ignorantly. 

I shared with all of you my own competition prep - including insight into my diet. I was blessed by your responses to me. You understood that the diet was temporary and targeted. You understood that I was doing everything in my power to keep my body healthy and strong. You supported me, encouraged me, cheered me on, and celebrated with me when I achieved success. I said it before, but I'll say it again - I am so very grateful for each of you!

My own experience in sharing my prep left me unprepared for the self-righteous judgement that was leveled at Tosca when she shared a small portion of hers. I hurt for her as I read the comments, and then watched her honest and vulnerable video response. Frankly, I wanted to take a big stick and go beat the crap out of everyone who was so judgmental of something which they did not understand. 

So why did I share all this? To ask you for a favor. I'd like to ask you, each of you, to post words of support for Tosca in her journey. You can post on her blog, or on her facebook page (or both). I would love for you to share with her the warmth and support that you shared with me. 

Thank you.


  1. I followed your link and watched the video. As I posted to Tosca, it made me sick to my stomach to read what some of those folks said!! I, too, wanted to go looking for them! How dare they! I'm so sorry that happened. I can't fathom the amount of grief she is dealing with and to go on and compete? It blows my mind the strength in that woman. I got a small glimpse into the world of competition by following you, but I know there is so much more you go through. As I told Tosca, we are blessed she is on this planet, and is willing to share her journey. The good she has done for those she has never met is humbling. Thank you for posting this, Chelle. and thank you for sharing your journey, as well.

  2. I saw that post yesterday as well, and I'm with a stick for me! I couldn't believe how many people who are supposedly followers of the Eat Clean principle actually know nothing about it, or the preparation that one goes through for a competition. Their comments made me angry, and Tosca's response had me in tears. She has more class in her pinkie finger than any of those commenters!