For Shanna and Lou Ferrigno, getting fit is a walk in the park
By Shanee Edwards
On any given day, you might run into certified fitness professional Shanna Ferrigno, her two dogs, Tyson and Ruby, and her father Lou in one of the many parks in Playa Vista. They love it here and it’s easy to understand why.
Shanna gushes, “I love the fact that there’s workout equipment right here in the parks. I love that you can’t make an excuse not to exercise once you’re out here — and you can bring your dog. It’s such an active community. Everybody walks, and they talk to each other. You can have a glass of wine at one of the restaurants and then come here and enjoy the outdoors,” she says as I chat with her and her father Lou Ferrigno, the famous body builder and actor, at the Bluff Creek Fields.
At 65, Lou is still a Mack truck of a man, with muscles upon muscles. But he’s also incredibly humble, kind-hearted and maintains a positive attitude. These are qualities his daughter reflects in spades. Together, they built their lifestyle brand, Ferrigno FIT, on their core values to help people get healthy in a “safe, sane and holistic” manner.
Shanna’s book “The Reset Plan: Lose the Secrets, Lose the Excuses, Lose the Weight” is all about letting go of trauma and how to stop making excuses for not being fit. “It delves more into the mental-physical aspect, as opposed to a six-pack abs kind of book,” she explains.
For Shanna, the book is very personal. When she was 12 or 13, her father returned to competitive bodybuilding. Her parents established a super healthy, highly structured food regimen for the entire family. Shanna admits she rebelled, with a mindset of “anything that nobody saw me put in my mouth doesn’t exist.” It led to her becoming overweight. Now she’s healthy, strong and beautiful, and says that experience helps her to understand how people self-sabotage their own weight loss and overall health.
“It comes from their past. A lot of people get told they’re not good enough. But at this point, we’re adults and we have to walk through what’s going on in our lives and not mask it,” she says.
Lou says one of the biggest pitfalls he sees is when “people lose weight, but they gain it back because they can’t handle being successful with their own body.”
Shanna thinks being too focused on becoming a specific size or weight can also undermine people’s success.
“Throw out the scale! It’s just a crazy numbers game,” she says. “It’s all about how you feel and what goes into your body.”
In 1977, the U.S. Government released its first dietary guidelines (the McGovern Report), which inspired the low-fat craze of the 1980s, which in
turn inspired lasting confusion about dietary strategy.
“The report said saturated fat is going to kill you,” says Shanna, and “I think people are still really confused: ‘Do I go low-fat, do I go fat-free, do I go no carbs, do I go glutton-free?’ You’ve got to go with what works for you and how you feel. I think people are losing track of how they feel because of all these gimmicks coming out. Weight loss is a $4-billion business, and they’re not out to serve our best interests.”
Lou says even if you can’t afford a pricey gym membership, Ferrigno FIT can help people figure out what they need to work on at home or in parks, like the ones in Playa Vista.
“Some people can’t afford a personal trainer,” says Lou. “Some people have bad trainers. This is something that will work for any age, any type — you teach yourself how to become a personal trainer and you motivate yourself.”
Shanna agrees with empowering people to take action. “We have to be our own hero. We have to know what’s right for us.”
Though Ferrigno FIT and acting jobs keep Lou incredibly busy, he’s on the verge of adding a new title to his resume: Head of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Nutrition. President Trump, Lou’s former boss on season five of “Celebrity Apprentice,” has tapped Lou for the job.
“Because of the life I’ve lived and what I’ve overcome, I feel I’m the best candidate,” he says.
For more information about Ferrigno FIT, visit their website at ferrignofit.com.