Here is the Get a Grip Team…
Carrie A. Kukuda, Owner, Head Trainer/Coach
RKC, NBCPT, TRX, and Life Coach
I (aka The Someday Coach) have dedicated my life to helping others. I have been in the fitness/nutrition/health field for over 17 years and life coaching for over 10 years. I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up and here I am today.
Before my career started, I was a high school swim coach for girl’s ages 11-17. Wow, that was interesting but it taught me a lot. Many of them suffered from body dysmorphic disorder. It broke my heart. They were so young and beautiful and didn’t even know it! Plus, too young to have issues like that, and probably will struggle with it all their lives. This gave me another reason (other my own passion to help others) to help others and make a difference.
My own personal struggles are my eating. I love to exercise and I love to eat! Portion control, what is that? FYI – where did they teach us that! Anyway, when I was active and in school it didn’t affect me too much; but as I worked more and exercised a little less, it became a challenge. I got really down and I did the whole cycle of being down and eating more. You know the Self Sabotaging Cycle! I hope I’m not alone here. So, I decided to go to Weight Watchers to get on track. I am very driven by challenges and very sensitive about sharing with others my weight, so going each week to weigh in sounded like a great idea. Until I walked in there and everyone and I mean everyone looked at me funny! Hey, FYI we all have a place we want to be, Don’t judge. Well they judged. I felt so uncomfortable and couldn’t wait to get out of there. Yes, I never went back.
At this point, I started reading everything and taking this workshop and that workshop and certifications and etc. It turned into my mission! My biggest trick became my clothes. The whole scale thing, would mess with my mind. I would weigh in first thing in the morning, at lunch, at dinner (sound familiar) and I would be all over the place. I became so frustrated, I decided I can’t do it anymore (hard – but the best decision I ever made). I used my clothes as my measuring point. When they got tight I knew I needed to give myself a swift kick in the butt, especially sense the rule was I couldn’t buy bigger sizes. It was NOT an option. If I gained weight I still had to wear the clothes tight or not. I wasn’t really one to like to draw attention to myself, so it wasn’t fun! But, it WORK!!!!! There is hope for each and every one of you out there; you just have to be ready to change. You CAN find what can WORK for you just like I did.
I use many other tactics today to help me with my stress eating (yes, I am a stress eater – I can eat as much as my husband) and I can help you, too. You heard it: My passion and mission is to help as many of other people live the life they deserve, period!!! I hope my story gives you hope and maybe helps you get off the couch and do something about it. Nothing feels better than being comfortable in your own skin. Try to be kinder to yourself along the way. Give credit where credit is due and NEVER quit! If you live in Tampa or its surrounding areas give me a call and we’ll see how you can change your life!
It is TIME and I am so happy to have the BEST of the best on my Team!
As you know, the Get A Grip mission is to help people move from where they today to living the life they deserve!!!! You do NOT have to live unhappy OR wait for, “I’ll be happy when…” We have the missing links to help direct you from A To B and with speed (the legal kind). We provide you with an environment of anything is possible, accountability, motivation, and friendships you are unable to find anywhere else.
You have to place yourself in an environment of like-minded people. You want to loss fat, hang out with people who are losing fat and or want to, too. Get A Grip has just that. The possibilities are endless inside our doors!
It is not just the Get A Grip Team, it’s the people who belong. Talk about amazing people, they are in our studio and gym. You can find them all over this site, they rock!!!!
With the people and the growing team, we are going to have the best year yet in reaching our goals of changing people’s lives, what all of our passions are.
Thank you to all the current members for helping us grow and add such a great team.
Arik Bishop, CPT, TRX
Arik his own weight loss story…In 2003 he was at my highest weight of 375lbs. and felt like there was no way he could ever lose it.
Arik Before – Amazing Transformation!
After trying many diets without having any long term success, his weight loss had hit a plateau of 295lbs. He decided to step back into the gym after a long absence and ask for some guidance. The trainer there taught him some workouts and told him to eat five times a day. This had some success but something was still not right. At this point he found out that he have an addiction to certain foods and had to make a decision to stop eating sugar and white flour. Once he was able to get the food in order his weight melted away. His amazing experience led him to be a personal trainer. He felt he would have something to share with people whether they needed to lose weight or just get into better shape. He had been in the worst shape possible and now feels like he is in the best shape of his life.
Christine Bonaventura, CPT, Professional Chef
Christine brings her passion and expertise to us which compliments everything we stand for. Christine is a graduate of The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and an NFPT Certified Personal Trainer.
Over the years she has owned and operated a restaurant, managed a million dollar Day Spa business and has taught cooking classes. It was not until 2000 that she caught the fitness bug, thanks to her husband and has been able to take all her life experiences and use them in expanding a new fitness career.
Christine has been training, teaching, inspiring and transforming her clients since 2004 and is dedicated to her mission of sharing her fitness knowledge, holding you accountable and pushing you a little harder than you would push yourself, all to help you attain your fitness goals.
As a former Championship Natural Bodybuilder she understands the discipline and motivation it takes to build a beautiful body, inside and out!
With Christine’s culinary background she is able to effectively address and incorporate the nutrition aspects of your fitness program for a lifestyle change that is healthy and results driven.
She believes ALL the pieces of a program must work together in harmony… diet, resistance training, cardio and your overall wellness to be truly effective and hopes to share her knowledge with you.
Jamie Blessinger, Yoga Instructor
Jamie is a great addition to the Get A Grip Team. She incorporates her expertise of yoga with the studio’s agenda of creating a yoga practice concentrating on recovery from exercises such as our programs and running, increasing flexibility, reducing stress, and overall health and wellness. She fulfills the recovery, mind, and body position of our mission to help people reach their full potential and live the life they deserve.
She believes everyone can benefit from yoga as it facilitates personal growth and brings a holistic awareness to light as it integrates body, mind, and spirit. Jamie’s love for yoga permeates her entire being. She has noticed the tremendous impact that it has on her own life as she feels her absolute best while practicing, teaching, and studying yoga.
She is always willing to share yoga classes, private sessions, or just conversation with anyone who is interested. Jamie has an Associate’s degree in Human Services, Bachelors in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Social Sciences, and she is a 500 RYT-hour graduate of PranaVinyasa School of yoga. Jamie just earned her educator designation ERYT 200. She plans to allow her yoga journey to continue to evolve as she embraces it as a lifestyle.