I'm Joanna Lopez, or Coach JoLo,
Weight Loss Guru
I'm a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and Sustainable Weight Loss Expert who has been in the wellness industry for 20 years
I worked in corporate marketing/PR for 10 years after graduating from McGill University and Humber College, always feeling like I should be doing something else. Something where I had the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.
I finally found that something else at age 30, when my mom and I opened two Curves Fitness and Weight Loss Centres for women, and ran them for 10 years.
It’s my PASSION to help moms over 40 look and feel their best
I love love love looooove witnessing transformations,
and hearing women tell me how happy they are to:
Lose weight and keep it off
Feel strong and confident
Lower stress and anxiety significantly
Cure their joint pain
Lower blood pressure
Reverse type 2 diabetes
Fit into clothes they hadn’t fit into in years
Feel confident wearing a bathing suit
And so on!
Education and Training
Precision Nutrition Coach
- Precision Nutrition
Fitness Group Instructor
Resist-A-Ball C.O.R.E. Course
Bachelor of Commerce
– McGill University
Public Relations Post-Graduate Certificate
– Humber College
*Canadian Fitness Professionals is the largest provider of education in the Canadian fitness industry.
My husband, Cameron, and my kids, Evan and Isabel, drive me crazy, but they're the best thing that's ever happened to me. Yup, I'm the photo bomber trying to be cool in front of my kids. I actually look like the Joker from Batman but oh, well. Sometimes I go all out to look good and sometimes I don't, and that's ok!
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Sporting the white clay mask to “rejuvenate our skin.” Soft as a baby’s bottom, I tell ya ;)
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME
I have an older sister named Vanessa who is a Psychotherapist, and an older brother named Alex who is a Tech Genius. I’m lucky to have them.
I have a covid puppy named Clover (it’s really my daughter’s) who is very very very busy, indeed!
I have a cat name DC (for darn cat), that my husband found on his car engine.
I was born in Venezuela and moved to Canada at age 11.
With a Venezuelan father and a Newfie (Newfoundland, Canada) mom, I'm always looking for the next laugh (telling jokes is a favourite past time of both these cultures). Got any jokes for me?
One of my weaknesses is freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
I love to dance – anywhere, anytime, if I like the song – yes, even in a public place like a store where people look at me funny when I bust a move.
but most importantly...
Now that I'm in my 50's, I understand that the true purpose of life is our well being and we each need to fight for that in our own lives. If anything interferes with my well being (such as peri-menopause- uff!), I know what I need to do to find my way back to my happy self. Of course I have hard days where I feel stressed or sad sometimes, but I know what my happiness feels like and know how to get myself back there every time.
I OWE IT TO:
3 years of therapy(therapy is the window to your soul), to heal and forgive my parents for divorcing when I was 15, and to get to know myself
Being extremely healthy – doing my best to sleep 7-8 hours a night, completing 2-3 total body workouts per week, walking 7,500 steps on most days, and eating healthy (80% of the time)
Embracing positive self-help books, audio CDS and podcasts
Continually reminding myself that it's impossible to be the perfect mom
Accepting and loving my body, even if it doesn't fit society's mold of what a woman's body should look like
Not reading or looking at magazines or social media accounts that make me feel that I’m not a good enough human, pretty enough, or not being around people that make me feel inferior
Not being afraid to show my anger. I tell my kids and husband that they can show me theirs too…respectfully, of course
Crying when I’m sad and learning how to self soothe – it’s a magical thing I’ll teach anyone
Having friends that make me laugh, and who know how to listen when needed
Having awesome kids with an amazing man
Finding a career that I LOVE
MY ROAD TO WEIGHT LOSS
When my youngest was almost 4, I was finally ready to lose the 15 lbs I still carried after my 2nd pregnancy.
I kept at it — relentlessly — until I reached my goal.
The first thing I started to do was exercise regularly ...youtube workouts, walking and biking. I felt amazing.
But I didn’t lose any weight...
Because I focused too much on exercise at first
SO HERE'S WHAT I DID TO LOSE THE 15 LBS IN 12 WEEKS:
I made sleep a priority (so less TV at night), and kept the 3pm sugar/carb cravings (mostly) in control. I allowed myself a 100 calorie non-fruit “treat” when I couldn’t control my cravings.
I got past the guilt of letting my kids watch TV in the weekend mornings so I could sleep in, and letting them watch TV on weekdays while I cooked a fresh meal for the family.
I worked out 2-3x a week for 30-60 minutes, to strengthen my heart and my body. My house was often messy and my husband or mom helped with the kids when needed.
I regularly looked at a picture of myself when I was at my healthy weight.
I weighed myself weekly.
I walked 4 kms, 5 days a week (walking kids to and from school).
I followed a diet where I restricted carbs(but this was a bad idea - see why below), tracking my food on the MyFitnessPal app so I was 100% aware of what was going into my body.
BUT I’m going to admit here that when I lost the weight I knew a lot about fitness but limited science-driven nutrition for weight loss, so I focused too much on exercise and following a strict diet where I focused too much on cutting out carbs, and I love carbs!
I lost the weight in 12 weeks, but I struggled to stay at my healthy weight for years because I felt restricted and tired all the time. I didn’t have a simple and healthy nutrition plan in place along with my exercise habits to maintain my weight loss easily.
Enter Precision Nutrition.
I took the year-long certification and became a certified Nutrition Coach by the world's no. 1 most recommended Nutrition Certification, Precision Nutrition. It’s no. 1 because it’s founded and run by Nutrition Science PHD graduates. That certification set me on the path of diving deep into scientific research and journals for all things related to weight loss. I spent hours and hours the last few years doing this research, which included behavioural psychology on how to help people improve their relationship with food in order to control cravings and stop overeating.
So as I became both an expert in research-driven fitness and nutrition, I discovered what I was missing for scientifically proven weight loss and easy maintenance, and it isn't cutting out carbs, any restrictive dieting or long extreme workouts.
Based on some of Precision Nutrition’s and other scientific findings...
HERE'S WHAT I DO NOW
TO KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF,
I still make sleep a priority.
I follow an easy portion control system that includes ALL food groups so I know what to eat, including carbs, at every meal! I learned how to eat slowly and mindfully until I'm 80% full. I allow myself a 100 calorie daily treat to keep my sugar cravings in control.
I weigh myself almost daily (once a week is ok too) and when my weight goes up by 1-3 lbs, I reverse small weight gains by eating SUPER healthy for 1-3 days - using a super easy hand measurement portion control system I teach my clients.
I reach 7,500+ steps a day so I burn extra calories as I eat ‘em.
I work out for 30-60 minutes 2-3x per week. My workouts are always total body so they include cardio, strength training and cool down. That way I look after my heart AND build muscle to look and feel toned.
I take Vitamin D during the Canadian winter months.