Fitness Career Spotlight on Destini Moody, Certified Personal Trainer, and RDE
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on AUGUST 1, 2017
Meet Destini Moody, RDE, BS, CPT. Not only is she a Certified Personal Trainer, she is also a soon-to-be Registered Dietitian. Understanding the importance of combining both Fitness and Nutrition to truly enhance and optimize her clients’ success is a wonderful benefit to them. Read on to learn more how taking the extra educational step can open up a whole new world of abundant job opportunities. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
I started out studying nutrition without the intention of becoming a dietitian. I wanted to work in a health club and help people lose weight by giving them general nutrition advice as a nutritionist. However, upon discovering I would be more capable of helping people with nutritionally-relevant diseases such as kidney disease and diabetes, I decided to take the plunge into the very science and medical-heavy study of dietetics. My interests then shifted to clinical nutrition, until I started working at the front desk at Crunch fitness and fell in love with the idea of the exercise lifestyle all over again. Because that’s what fitness is: a lifestyle. Everyone who is in the field will tell and express to you that once you get into fitness you never get out of it, because to stay conditioned you can never let yourself abandon the gym for too long. The same goes with good nutrition, if you don’t make it a lifestyle…you will notice!
Most importantly, though, during my study of dietetics, we were repeatedly told that we were not allowed to assign or prescribe physical activity. And that bugged me! How frustrating was it that we tell people with obesity and all of these other co-morbidities that they need to lose weight to improve their lives, but we are only “allowed” to paint half of the picture for them? That’s why I decided to become a personal trainer in conjunction with being a dietitian, so that I could take full control of helping the people who need in most in both spectrums. The industry is literally screaming for us and yet, we are hard to come by in the gym.
Your Job Title:
Elite Personal Trainer
Company you are with now:
– Instagram: @destinifit
A typical (or not so typical) day in the work-life for you:
I work in a gym of downtown San Francisco, otherwise known as the financial district. Therefore, a lot of the clients we have get training early in the morning, at lunch time, or during rush hour when they finish the business day. Sometimes I will be in the gym from 6am to 8pm, but only about 4-8 of those hours actually consists of training. Also, sometimes we do not work out at all and clients need the full hour for nutrition counseling. The cool thing about being a dietitian in a world of trainers is they are not allowed to make meal plans, but I am! So, sometimes I get other trainers’ clients for sessions of nutritional counseling if the client either needs a meal plan or the trainer has been struggling with the client nutrition-wise. In the downtime when we aren’t training clients, all us trainers will go out to have lunch together or even have group workouts in the field in front of the bay bridge. All in all, it’s a pretty fun job. You get to come to work in your workout clothes and play with people in the gym…while also changing their lives! It’s an amazing environment to be in as a health enthusiast for sure.
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?
It’s interesting. I moved to San Francisco from Indiana and found it difficult to adjust to the cost of living during my dietetic internship. So, I decided to seek out a part-time job that wouldn’t take up too much of my time due to the intensity of my internship curriculum. Therefore, I got hired as a front desk girl at Crunch fitness which came with a free gym membership awesome. Not a bad gig for a girl who loves working out and only worked 10 hours a week on weekends. That being said, when the fitness manager found out I was going to be a registered dietitian, she thought I would be a valuable member of the personal training team. A year later, I was made the transition from a front desk girl to a personal trainer!
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Skills that help me in my job that I have naturally is the ability to encourage people and the ability to be energetic no matter where I am or what time of day it is! My internship director even told me I probably didn’t belong in a hospital because I had too much energy. This is so useful because a huge obstacle to exercise is, even if you want to, finding the motivation can be tough. Even I can attest to this on a regular basis. As a personal trainer, you’re not a workout artist, you’re a leader. And having a positive attitude and enthusiasm about fitness gets your client to think of it as fun, rather than miserable. Some skills I’ve learned along the way include sales and just general knowledge of kinetics. As dietitians, we do have to be familiar with anatomy, but learning how muscular anatomy moves in conjunction with picking up heavy stuff is a horse of a TOTALLY different color, but very imperative to client success. It’s something I’m still struggling with, but the beautiful thing about gym co-workers is that, since fitness is their life, they have no problem sharing their knowledge with you which has been immeasurably helpful.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
I would say be humble. The fitness and nutrition fields are both complex and no one could ever know everything about both. I get proven wrong all the time and get taught new things about nutrition by trainers even with my education. So, I never assume that I know everything or I know more than anyone else I work with. Also, as long as you’re in it to help people, clients and potential clients definitely pick up on it if you are genuine. As long as you have that, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Knowing that I changed a client’s life is the best payment. If I could get a type 2 diabetic off of insulin or help someone lose enough weight to feel good about themselves…what else could I ever ask for?