Every Journey Toward Better Health Begins with a Few Small Steps
An interview with Keoni Hudoba, Trainer and Fitness Expert
We had the chance to sit down with Keoni Hudoba, renowned fitness expert and creator of popular methods Cyc and DRENCHED, to hear more about how he transformed his mind, body and spirit in his journey to become a passionate New York City trainer and inspiration to many.
You grew up in Hawaii. Can you tell us your best memories?
In my best memories, I’m always outside. I’m such an outdoor person, and I love the ocean. It’s funny, when I left Hawaii everyone said I would change to become a big city guy, but I’m still the same person I was. It’s a totally different vibe there, though. It’s an open-door community where everyone is ohana (or family), and that perspective really fuels me.
So, what brought you to New York City?
I moved to the city to pursue a singing career, originally. I studied opera in college and before the move, I worked professionally for Disney and Royal Caribbean, opening shows like Finding Nemo. When I settled in New York City full-time, I was auditioning regularly. I got a job waiting tables and gave myself eight months to audition. After that eight month mark, I quit the job and invested more time in something I had grown to love - fitness.
What sparked your interest in fitness?
I was very overweight in college and in my early 20s. At my lowest point, I weighed in at 327 pounds. That was a shock for me. I went to an audition and a director asked me to stay for the movement call. Within the first eight count, I was dying – I thought I was going to have a heart attack. After the audition, the director pulled me aside and said that he loved my voice, but if I wanted to take this career seriously I was going to have to lose weight. Hearing that from someone who wasn’t a family member or friend made me realize I needed to get myself together.
After that, I signed up for a gym membership and a trainer. This trainer offered to have me to shadow him at no cost, which sparked my passion for what I’m doing now. I dedicated the next three years of my life to getting healthy. It’s a routine now. I wake up every morning at 6am to work out, and I can’t go a day without doing something physical.
When I train clients at their lowest point and they say, “You don’t know what it’s like to be heavy,” I say, “I know exactly how it is.”
“Like I always tell my clients, nothing is impossible. The word itself says, “I’m possible.””
When you’re helping people start out, how do you motivate them to stick to it?
The right timing is critical. I tell clients they have to be ready to make a change and fully invested in reaching their goals. Any time I start working with someone new, I make them sign a contract saying that they’re ready to make that investment.
Once they’re ready, we look for ways to make healthy routines enjoyable and part of their lives, starting with small changes. When it comes to diet, for example, I have my clients see a nutritionist to find things that work for them, because those are the things that they’re going to stick to. Personally, I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But I make them with almond butter, berry preserves with no added sugar, in a flaxseed wrap. So I get my fix with good nutrition! I also love gummy vitamins – my go-to is vitafusion™ Men’s – because they are easy and delicious so I remember to take them every day. It’s all about what works with individual preferences and needs.
How do you stay motivated?
I enjoy every part of the workout - from the opening jog to the finale, I’m having the time of my life. The enjoyment aspect comes with the music. I live for my music. I change my playlist numerous times to get the right mix, because I think music has a huge role in workouts. Also, I give my clients one thousand percent and they in return give me the same. The energy I give to them, they give to me.
After my transformation, fitness and health has become a lifestyle, a daily thing. Even if I’m tired, I’m invested in the time I’m working out because I’ve already made it in the door. Invest in the body. It’s the only body you’ll ever have, so make the commitment to yourself.
Like I always tell my clients, nothing is impossible. The word itself says, “I’m possible.”