By Rene Lynch
Los Angeles Times.
Hers is the Cinderella story of the fitness world.
At age 40, Tosca Reno says she was nearly 80 pounds overweight, depressed and clinging to a bad marriage because, as a stay-at-home mother, she feared she couldn’t raise her three young girls on her own.
Today, at 53, she is one of the most recognized celebrities in the fitness world, and not only because she recently posed for the cover of Oxygen magazine in a blue bikini that showed off trim, tight abs and a brilliant smile.
Reno says there’s nothing remarkable about her transformation, except that she consistently took the small, persistent steps toward health and wellness that she outlines in her latest book, “The Start Here Diet.”
“I didn’t come from a fitness world. I didn’t know where to begin,” Reno says. “But I knew I had to begin somewhere. I would get winded walking up a single flight of stairs. It scared me. I remember thinking, ‘If I don’t do something about this, I won’t see my girls grow up to be young ladies.'”
Reno says “The Start Here Diet” is her most revealing book to date, and there’s no doubt it’s her most accessible.
Typically, Reno is preaching to the converted. She writes a monthly column in Oxygen magazine, one of the few mainstream fitness magazines aimed at women who are not afraid to hit the weight room at the gym. She is also author of the “Eat Clean Diet” franchise, which includes more than a dozen bestselling wellness books and counts Angelina Jolie as a fan. (Reno is also behind the glute workout bible, “The Butt Book.”)
But she says she realized that the “Clean Diet” approach and its emphasis on exercising and eating like a body builder, six small meals a day, eliminating all processed foods in favor of lean proteins, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables, was too intimidating for some.