Joanne Lee's Bio
Joanne LeeCertified Nutrition Coach & Personal Trainer
Joanne grew up in the North East of England, born under the glow of an industrial blast furnace Joanne’s parents worked hard to achieve their dreams and were able to move their family into a wonderful home in a beautiful village called Hilton.
Hilton is still where Joanne calls home, her parents still live in the same house, some 35 years later and maybe its that solid family foundation that gave Joanne and her brother, Simon the stability to be able to spread their own wings, create their own destiny and dance to the beat of their own drum.
Joanne was always the athlete, while others at school played hockey and netball (England remember); Joanne was always told to get back out on the track. High jump, 100m and 200m with the occasional hurdles were her forte. Although her dislike for the high jump was pretty intense she persevered and took all her events to county level where she competed for several years.
While training at the track Joanne was encouraged to train with weights to strengthen her legs, this would be the first time Joanne entered a weight gym - when she was 14 years old.
It was pretty much love at first rep and by 17 she was onstage competing in Bodybuilding. In her 20’s Joanne won the British, European and World championships. She turned professional, competed in the Ms Olympia a couple of times before retiring at the age of 30.
When not in the gym Joanne was quite a good student going from college to University to gain her BA (hons) in Business and Finance.
With two main goals achieved, to get her degree and to get her “Pro’ card, Joanne turned her sights to travel and moved to Australia. On her return flight to England Joanne had second thoughts about going home and when the plane landed in Los Angeles for a stop over, Joanne got and didn’t get back on …. 14 years ago.
Dreams do come true and Joanne turned her great passion for training into a personal training business building. Gold’s Gym in Venice became Joanne’s base (and this is where she first met Mark McDonald of Venice Nutrition) her clientele and reputation grew; she became the go to girl for ‘conditioning’, the best advert of her skills being herself.
The path for Joanne didn’t always run in a straight line. With no formal education in nutrition and being involved in a sport which demanded such insane conditioning and just as insane dieting... Let’s let Joanne tell her side of this somewhat fairy tale story...
"People ask me ‘what did you look like before you started training’ and the truth is I really don’t know, I’ve always trained and one of the greatest blessings of my life is that I started so young. That being said, I was in the North East of England, not known for their culinary fare and this was in the 80’s where super low calorie diets were all the rage and fat was a very bad word.
The first diet I did was as a teenager and the advice of my coach was to eat as little as possible. Prior to the show I didn’t drink any fluids for 4 days and then I was given liquid liver “for Iron” ….. I thought there had to be a better way !! I started reading everything I could get my hands on and that was the real start to my training.
I remember reading that protein built muscle, so I got a huge box of cereal but only ate the nuts ! I read more and learnt that nuts weren’t the best protein choice and that there were these things called essential amino acids .. fascinating, no one had told me about those!
I read and I read, I asked questions and I watched and I trained. By the time I left the stage I knew my body so well but I was about to learn a huge lesson. I had by this time been dieting for shows every year for 12 years and although I always ate quality food I would always put on a very acceptable 15 lbs off season. My metabolism was in an utter state of confusion. If I ate a little too much I packed on the pounds, if I dieted hard it came off, but now I wanted consistency, I wanted off that roller coaster ride.
I looked beyond the calories, I looked at my metabolism, my energy, I changed my training, I ate to fuel my body and I took my body from a state of shock into a place of balance … my body became the best training tool at my disposal. For years I had used diets and treadmills to achieve the results I needed, with study and research and trial and error I soon discovered that the best tool I had was in fact my body.
People also say to me ‘You must have great genetics’ and indeed I am very blessed, but I have also traveled quite a journey. The reward I get from helping others take control of their health is the greatest prize of all and makes that liquid liver almost worth it."
My favorite words to live by
“Complacency is the Devil and Boredom is Hell .. we need not meet either”