Remi Ishizuka (pronounced ‘ Ray-Me’), is an LA-based fitness and wellness blogger with a passion for healthy living and self-care. She originally started her blog to document her homemade healthy meals, and that escalated to her love affair with working out and how the combo of the two was making her feel SO good.
HōmeBodies co-founder Nate Pontious (and Remi’s boyfriend), has the certifications and education when it comes to working out, including ISSA (International Sports Science Association), NASM (National Academy Sports Medicine), Crossfit Level 1 Coach, and USA Boxing trainer (sheesh). He has boxed at the semi-professional level, raced triathlons, competed as a top-level CrossFit athlete, ex-military, and won a world fitness championship. He gained a deep knowledge and appreciation for fitness during his time serving in the US Marine Corps as an infantryman.
Together, cheerleader Remi and coach Nate make the perfect team because they are so incredibly different (Nate is more extreme and Remi more balanced) but their commitment to growing and giving their best to changing your life is how they meet in the middle.
How HōmeBodies Got Started
The day the governor shutdown gyms in California, Remi & Nate decided to hop on Instagram and share their how-to workout without a gym. Since that day, They’ve been showing up Monday through Sunday at 9:00 AM without fail – rain or shine. They made it so that “all our readers had to do was get dressed and turn on Instagram live every day at 9:00 AM.” It was the best thing they did during the quarantine – connecting through sweat, finding a new routine, and creating a sense of normalcy during a really scary time. They changed platforms to hold their workout videos because Instagram Live crashed a lot, there were annoying spammers, and they weren’t allowed to play copyrighted music. With the new Homebodies new platform, they can now give better quality video shot horizontally to fit computer and TV screens.
Since launching in early August, Remi & Nate have committed to uploading one brand new 1-hour workout every single day. They release seven brand new workouts a week – that’s a new workout EVERY SINGLE DAY. And each workout is created with their in-ear coaching style as they guide you through the entire workout, reminding you to have the right form and keep moving. Instead of boring repetitive circuits and basic movements, they are always challenging you to move in different ways.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with influential health coach/wellness blogger Remi Ishizuka and here’s what went down:
Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the industry?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and am the 1st generation born here. My mom is Japanese and my dad is Taiwanese. They don’t speak each other’s language so we all communicate in broken English but we’re all great at reading body language and communicating through love so to speak. I got my positive outlook from my mom and my hard-working drive to be an entrepreneur from my dad. Growing up my parents were mindful of eating healthy and we always ate homecooked meals. Of course, I was always jealous of the kids that got take out, or Lunchables for lunch and had a pantry full of snacks and soda. That was never the case for me so I went a little crazy in college because I was finally free to eat everything I wanted. I had a stint of about 8 years of eating unhealthy, partying, and not taking care of myself. I always banked on being “skinny fat,” but it wasn’t long until it started catching up with me and it was affecting my focus, productivity levels, and energy during work. I walked around the office like a zombie and didn’t really wake up until after lunch when I would then be hit by food coma again eating take out. This was about the time that my confidence was at its lowest low and I started questioning what my purpose in life is and how to fulfill it. I didn’t want to live paycheck to paycheck anymore, but I just didn’t know how I would get there. That aside, I was becoming intrigued with all the colorful, yet healthy bowls that I was seeing on Instagram and it tempted me to want to try them out too. This was the first time I started dabbling in superfoods, adding fresh veggies into smoothie bowls and making blue colored smoothies. Once I made one bowl, I was drawn to make more. I work up 2 hours earlier every day before work to work out, shower, and make a new breakfast recipe bowl. I took an elevator downstairs to the lobby with my bowl and shot a picture of it on a cement bench because I liked the texture of it. This simple gesture repeated every single day for 2 years got me to where I am today. If you would have told me that 6 years ago, I would not have believed you. Sharing my journey discovering a new healthy lifestyle that energized and brought me happiness is what started this all.
How did you develop an interest in fitness and what drove you to pursue that passion onto social media?
The moment I made the commitment to myself and my health was the moment I fell in love with the active lifestyle. The passion I had for discovering energy I never knew I had driven me to keep showing up and sharing on social media (which was my personal Instagram at the time) and kept me going. Influencing my circle of friends and family in a positive way was my motivation and I kept doing it because it made me feel good. I felt aligned with what I was supposed to be doing even though some people around me thought it was a waste of time. It’s crazy to think back at it now but quitting my full-time job to pursue being a content creator was the best decision I made 6 years ago!
What do you like most about being an influencer?
Having a community/ virtual BFFS to vent to, ask for advice, make connections with, sweat with, and then also being their friend that pushes them to be better.
In what way has social media changed your life?
It’s held me accountable! I’m that person that gets dressed in workout clothes and then procrastinates on the couch. Knowing that I have a community behind the screen that is also on the same journey as me, motivated me to get up and start moving. I would say we are a positive influence on each other and without social media that closeness wouldn’t exist. I am so grateful every day for my Pancake Fam. Pancake Fam is our nickname for our virtual sweat fam and everyone that does our HomeBodies workout program because we end every workout in a pancake stretch.
What are some of the difficulties of being in the industry?
Finding a healthy balance of work and real life. It’s such a blurred line when your brand is based around your life and relationships around you, but it is also important to respect boundaries and find time to log off, share moments with people you love without a phone and be completely in the present.
It’s also difficult because the more vulnerable you are and the more you share, the more you open yourself up to critique and sometimes negativity. If I can learn something from it, I will but otherwise, sometimes you get unsolicited advice and they can be a trigger to my anxiety.
The good news is my readers are very positive, sweet and so loving, so the negative nancy’s can unfollow me and go on their merry way. Thank youuu, bai.
How does your thought process differ when creating content for Instagram versus content for YouTube?
When I create content for Instagram, I am thinking about not only the story behind the photo but how I can compositionally make it beautiful. It’s how I funnel my creativity.
For YouTube, I am less concerned with aesthetics and more focused on showing up as my authentic self and speaking to the camera as if I’m speaking directly to my reader.
I think that’s the beauty of IG stories- is they are not curated and where I can be my raw self and show my personality more.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
To do one thing and to do it well- my boyfriend Nate (@nates_beard) and I built HomeBodies during a very uncertain time and our plans are to keep showing up to provide the most fun, explorative and inclusive experience to keep progressing our health and fitness journey together. We have some exciting things we are working on and we can’t wait to share them!
The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
- Last good movie I’ve seen SHOTCALLER
- What do you consider beautiful and why? ANIMALS! Unconditional pure love is beautiful!
- What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Host a HomeBodies retreat somewhere beautiful and get to know everyone on an intimate level
- Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” do more public speaking.
- What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? My stubbornness because it helps me persist.