CBS 8 Weeknight Evening Anchor, Carlo Cecchetto, sits down with 50 Shades of Health for an up-close and personal look into how he stays fit, his diet habits, and how he believes life/work related pressures and stresses.
Carlo’s sports du jour are running and Soccer. Although Soccer is Carlo’s first athletic passion, his focus is primarily on running these days. “I’m training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in June. I have a time goal in mind, so I’m approaching my training pretty seriously to achieve a personal best.” It is critical to his training regime to increase his lower back health, due to a herniated disc in his spine. He does this through core work, stretches and back related exercises. His current marathon training workout schedule consists of running five or six days a week, various distances with a long run on Sundays. “Low-end weeks are in the mid 30-mile range, and high-end are in the 60-mile range. I mix up distances and courses throughout the week. Some days are flat runs, some are rough hills, some are trail runs, and some on the treadmill. Variety helps.”
Where is it better to train than San Diego? San Diego offers an incredible variety of places to run. “San Diego is a dream for a runner because there are so many different routes available. Everything from trails with hills to nice, coastal treks, and places like Lake Miramar, lots of variety.” His motivation for working out is to feel better about life in general. “Working out regularly makes me a happier person, a more engaged person, and a more productive person. I’m a better father, friend, and employee when I’m taking care of myself. I also enjoy just being in shape. Feeling strong and alert and it is a bonus when clothes fit right. “ We are not alone ladies. Clothes fitting are important to both sexes.
Balancing life, work, and family can often times get in the way of personal fitness goals especially when training for a high endurance sport like a marathon, triathlon or Ironman. Setting a goal, following a training regimen, establishing what motivates you, and finding time are some key factors. How does Carlo find the time to train and what motivates him? “My schedule is actually pretty conducive to working out, less so for family and a social life. My days are fairly open; my kids have school and most of my friends work during the day. Means I really have no excuse NOT to work out!” Training can be grueling, but it is a necessary evil when competing in any marathon or endurance sport for that matter. “Training is the challenge. There are days when running feels like work over the course of preparing for a marathon, but the alternative leads to failure. You gotta train.” Music helps. He is never without his iPod shuffle on his training runs. His music of choice: Rock, The Black Keys, The Kills, Grunge era music, and Pop-Punk bands like Blink 182. Pandora radio has also helped spruce up his playlist. All the training and preparation culminates to that one big day: Race Day, where all the hard work and sweat finally pay off. “Race days are, typically, a blast! The energy of a large number of people with a common goal plus crowds cheering along the course makes for a unique experience. I love it. The feeling I got at the end of my first marathon was true elation. I don’t know that I ever believed it was something I could accomplish, and I did. Great moment, euphoric even.” In addition to the personal gratification, philanthropy is an integral part of these events. For Carlo, “Half and full marathons are good opportunities for altruism. I’m raising money for Make a Wish Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association.”
I asked Carlo what advice he would give to someone just starting out on a running regimen. “If you plan on running any serious distances, I suggest you going to Road Runner Sports or a similarly outfitted specialty, running store, have your stride analyzed, and get fitted for shoes that work best for you. I went that route and experienced no problems my first couple of marathons. Also, if you are running a half-marathon or marathon, there are many excellent training programs available online for you to ramp up properly. Don’t increase your mileage too quickly or you risk injury.” He is a classic “heel-toe” runner, so his shoe of choice is Nike Air Vomero 7s.
Diet is a bit of a sore spot for Mr. Cecchetto. He admits he should eat smaller portions, try new foods, and mix in a better variety of veggies. He is making conscious dietary changes such as eliminating empty carbohydrates. He does enjoy healthy salads, chicken, and broccoli. “Nutrition is not something I’m great at. I try to get some variety in my diet. Eat more vegetables and fruits. I’m just not overly conscious of it moment-by-moment. I think focusing on a better diet and nutrition will be the next big phase in my fitness pursuits.” So what is his guilty pleasure? “Shrimp Curry Burrito at Bull Taco…so after a long run, I treat myself to an awesome burrito at the end.”
Aside from fitness and diet, how does Carlo maintain perspective being a news Anchorman? Carlo has been a field reporter and an anchorman for fourteen years. Anchoring the weekly news is more than just reading a prompter and looking pretty. It is about reporting accurate, balanced, and engaging reporting. It doesn’t hurt to have a commanding yet approachable presence, the ability to think on your toes and have a comfort level to deliver both good and bad news seconds apart. There are some people who feel anxiety when they watch the news. So how does reporting news day in and day out affect one’s psyche? According to Carlo, “You learn to detach yourself from some stories because they are simply too difficult to tell if you allow yourself to be fully involved. At the same time, it is important not to be so detached that you don’t communicate with your voice and express just how horrible a story is. You have to maintain your humanity.” Both male and female anchors understand that when they enter into that business they need to maintain an unbiased view, detach from the stories they report on, and not bring the work home. According to Carlo, “The good thing about the news, both as a reporter and anchor, is that you typically leave the days works behind at the end of the day. You perform to a deadline and your day’s over.”
Balancing work/life stress is a part of life. We all need to determine what works best for us in our own lives. Whether it is training for a marathon, meditation, yoga, or simply taking a walk outside. Stress is a silent killer, and we all need to find whatever coping mechanisms are right for us. How does Carlo alleviate stress in his life? “I think the battle with stress is less about a specific outlet for me and more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Being well rested, eating well, and a good exercise routine helps me keep stress down to a manageable level.” Mental and spiritual health also play a vital role in learning how to deal with stress. For Carlo, “Learning to pay more attention to my mental and spiritual health is also key in avoiding too much stress. I’ve learned that much like exercise keeps your body healthy, there are things you can work at to improve your mental and spiritual health. When I’m taking care of all aspects of my health, stress does not seem to be an issue.”
Focusing on overall health, fulfilling personal fitness or dietary goals, and the euphoria you feel once you reach those goals are unparalleled. In addition to Carlo sharing his positive approach to fitness, diet and overall wellness, I asked him one more personal question. What is his number one accomplishment? Instead of one, he shared two great answers. “My most fulfilling physical accomplishment was completing my first San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in 2010. It was awesome. My number one personal accomplishment, my greatest one, is a work in progress. I have two incredible daughters, and I’m just trying to be a great father and help them fulfill their potential as young ladies.”
Catch Carlo on KFMB-TV News 8 Weeknights, 5PM, 6:30PM & 11PM.