Gianluca Ianiro - Certified Primal Health Coach
Online Health Coach
Behind The Scene!
My name is Gianluca. Yes, Gianluca not exactly a common name. The funny thing is I’ve been in sales for 15 years, so not the best name for sales either, as people constantly get baffled on how to pronounce it. I always say the same thing, it’s like Gianfranco, Giancarlo or Gian Marco except for its Gianluca. In Quebec, I tell people it’s the Italian version of Jean-Luc.
Now that we have gotten how to pronounce my name out of the way. Let me give you a brief overview about me.
I was born and grew up in Montreal. I am a first-generation Canadian. Both my parents were born in Italy. I graduated from Mechanical Engineering a Concordia University in Montreal.
After getting married in 2005, my wife and I moved to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) due to a career opportunity for me in technical sales. We still live in Milton which is in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).
We now have two girls (10 and 13 years old respectively). They are in multiple activities which keep them and us busy throughout the week. The activities include karate, soccer, tennis, dance and music.
My wife and I are both professionals with full-time jobs. Actually, I am currently transitioning into starting my own business as a freelance website developer (https://gianlucaianiro.com).
I have always struggled with my weight even when I was a child. I could say it is because as an Italian we ate a lot of pasta, but I don’t think that is true. I believe the issue was I liked food (especially sweets) and did not really stop eating when full.
I am not sure when or where it all went wrong. However, I was 275lbs at my heaviest which was in my final year of university back in 2003. I recall during midterms and finals my friends and I would study at the Concordia library building in downtown Montreal and would always go to McDonald’s or some other fast food joint for lunch or dinner.
I would consider myself a stress eater. Instead of smoking when I get stressed, I eat. I believe a lot of people can relate to this. Food is great comfort in stressful times. Unfortunately, comfort wears off quickly.
When I graduated from University the job market was challenging it was a struggle to get a job. In order to keep me busy, II would wake up in the morning go to the gym at 8:30 AM after the morning rush hour. I would stay at the gym for 2 hours. After the gym, I would go back home and send my resumes to any job posting I could find online. This was my routine from Monday to Friday for about 6-8 months when I finally landed my first job.
When I went to the gym would start off with a small warm-up on the treadmill (10minutes), then 30-45 minutes weight training session (different body parts each day) and conclude with a 1 hour to 1.5 hours of cardio workout (treadmill, elliptical and/or bike). Needless to say, I was drenched in sweat after my workouts.
With regards to food, I cut out sweets, controlled my portions, stopped eating fast food. When you think about the conventional wisdom of calories in – calories out, it was a no brainer that I would lose weight. And at 25 years old it worked for me. I went from 275 lbs to 193 lbs at my lowest in less than a year. This was fantastic. I felt great, looked great and was on top of the world.
The 2-hour workouts ended with the start of my professional work career back in 2004 as well as the eating habits. Since my university days, I got married, had two kids, moved to the GTA and furthered my career. Therefore, there are definitely positives.
Even with all the great stuff, there are days when you are stressed because of work, kids or just too busy or unwilling to eat well or exercise. Two-hour workouts are unrealistic when you have a career and family. Even 1-hour workouts are difficult to fit in. I am sure a lot of people can relate to. Add in all the activities my kids participate in (karate, dance, soccer, swimming…) and finding time to exercise and properly prepare meals becomes difficult.
Like most people, my weight started to increase on a yearly basis. I did have those Mondays (after New Year’s, after Easter, after the Super Bowl….) when I said today is the day I am going on a diet and will lose the weight. Unfortunately, that did not last long. Sometimes it worked but, in the end, I spiralled out of control. Unfortunately, there is always something else that comes up, another family/friend outing, another activity, another stressful day at work. As a result, I continuously feel off the bandwagon and did not stick with any improvements I had implemented. Although I did not gain all the weight back, I did get back up to 240 lbs, which is almost a 50 lbs weight gain since my lowest weight.
I think I am like many people out there that have busy lives with kids’ activities, housework and stressful jobs. In addition, food becomes something we use to comfort ourselves almost like a drug. Why not have a Tim Hortons coffee with a Donut or Starbuck vanilla latte with a lemon loaf. It’s Friday why not eat out or order a Pizza. They do taste good and give you such a great feeling when you are eating those treats, however, that feeling does vanish quickly after consuming them.
Like many people, I was also so confused as to what was the right strategy to lose weight.
I believe I’ve tried it all. I went gluten-free at one point, I juiced, gave up coffee…. although some of them worked. I did not find anything that was sustainable. I also see it unrealistic to give up something you like to eat forever.
During the summer of 2018, I did get back down to 195 lbs, where I still am (plus / minus 5 lbs). I am definitely glad to be back at my lowest weight. I still would like to lose 10-20 lbs however I feel great at my current weight.
I have the solution that worked for me and would probably work for most people. I don’t think of it as a diet but more of a lifestyle change or health revolution. (Yes! I just put in the tagline.)
There is a balance between food and exercise that needs to be met. However, it is NOT 50% Food and 50% exercise it more like 80% food and 20% exercise.
Changing your eating habits and treating food as fuel can have the biggest impact on your health. Exercise still plays a role however it is minimal versus food. The advantage of this is that being healthy does not have to be time-consuming.
You do not need to spend countless hours at the gym exercising and you do not have to give up bad food forever.
Since starting my weight loss journey, I have become a certified Primal Health Coach which I will explain in a future blog post:
I decided to start this blog so I can share what I am doing and what has worked for me.
Another goal I have is to create a community as we are stronger working together.
I would like to create a health revolution as I believe a lot of people struggle not because we don’t care but because of information overload, overwhelm and a lack of time. I am hoping to make my blog a great forum for people to share their struggles and success.
The ultimate goal is not only to lose weight but to be healthy, feel great and be around for many, many more years with our health in check for our kids and loved ones.