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Alyssa Elizabeth joins Captain Brien on the #naplescaptainslog to discuss bullying and what you can be doing to help reduce bullying!
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Captain Brien: Yeah, so you can scroll. Hey guys, welcome back. My guest Alyssa Tombazzi.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes.
Captain Brien: Is that right?
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes.
Captain Brien: Wow , I got it right. That’s the hardest part of my day, just so you know. But, so you’re a personal trainer at the gym I go to, Naples Family Fitness.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes.
Captain Brien: And we started talking, and you have a great story about how you’ve become a personal trainer because you were bullied as a child.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Correct.
Captain Brien: And I think that’s really important, because there’s so many people out there that are actually facing the same situation, and you’ve been able to not only overcome that, but, you’re thriving on it.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes.
Captain Brien: And, I wanna know why and how. How we can help other people as well who have faced this type of situation as a child, or even during, you know, their adult life. People do it all the time, right?
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes, it happened, bullying definitely happens as a child and goes into adulthood if you don’t know how to deal with it when you’re young. And I found it when I was 16, I started weight training religiously. I was in the gym every day. And slowly my confidence started to go up–
Captain Brien: I’m gonna share this on your page, or did you?
Alyssa Tombazzi: I did not yet.
Captain Brien: You didn’t, okay, we’re gonna share it. We’re gonna share it on her page too because we want to know all your little fans out there to watch it.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Hi fans.
Captain Brien: Yes, yes. All right, there you go. So yeah, so tell me how basically, how it happened, what you were going through, and how you fed off of that to turn your life into, you know, an occupation and a lifestyle of fitness.
Alyssa Tombazzi: It definitely is a lifestyle. I was bullied so bad as a kid to the point where if I hadn’t found fitness, I would not be here talking to you today and I’m very open and honest about that and I think a lot of people struggle with that and they keep it very private and they don’t wanna discuss it because it’s a taboo subject or it’s something that we just can’t be open about. And I’ve shared my story with a lot of people recently and they’ve all suffered from the same types of things so it’s really amazing to hear that. So I was 16 and I was in a gym class and they made us do weight training for a week and believe it or not I sat out in gym all the time.
Captain Brien: You didn’t go?
Alyssa Tombazzi: I didn’t go.
Captain Brien: Because you felt so inadequate because of the bullying? Insecure from the bullying. So tell me before we get into like more of the story, did you know you were being bullied all the time, like or you just knew that you hated certain people? How was that?
Alyssa Tombazzi: I never hated anyone. I personally think I’m super easy to get along with, I’m nice, I have my opinions, but I can always put those aside. I knew I was being bullied. I’d have it face to face, I’d have it on social media which was AIM instant messenger back in the day. So it was even back then and I had it behind my back and I’d hear stories and I you know, I heard it all the time. And I didn’t really know how to deal with it. I didn’t know how to deal with those people that would say cruel things to me and when I found fitness it just built my confidence up slowly.
Captain Brien: Was there a pivot point? Was there like one incident that really bothered you that said okay, I’m like, I’m done with this. I’m not going to continue to have these feelings. People aren’t gonna treat me like this.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes, I think it was when I was at a fair in my home town and I had these jeans on that supposedly made me look fat and right after that I got some nasty messages on Instant Messenger saying that I was really fat and they wanted to see my pants size and it just, it crushed me.
Captain Brien: Yeah, I mean that’s, so for anybody to go through that, I think it’s awful. I have two kids right now, a 12 year old daughter and a 13 year old son and I see some of the messages between Snapchat and Instagram and like, it’s every other week where I’m like, okay that apps gone because I just saw like a message that was completely outrageous and nobody should talk to anybody like that.
Alyssa Tombazzi: That’s terrible.
Captain Brien: And they do it in group chats. So it’s even worse now, like, I can’t imagine any of it being good, but now I think the level of how easily it is spread and how much you could hurt somebody’s feelings and this is not something that happens just in the moment, like this lasted with you still to this day.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Oh yes, I still can go back to those feelings and still feel them, but I know I’ve overcome it, but I mean there’s adult bullies, let’s be honest. I mean, I deal with it every day. And at this point I have thicker skin and I know how to handle it, but I’ve I can’t tell you how many rumors I’ve heard about myself in this town that aren’t true. And I go back and I’m like do you believe what you’re telling me?
Captain Brien: Right, why is that something? The thing that gets me is that, is that why is that the most important thing of their day or life at the time that they have to be so driven to talk about other people.
Alyssa Tombazzi: ‘Cause they have nothing else important in their life.
Captain Brien: Right, so those are the negative people. You have to just tune those out, tell them goodbye, I’m not interested, you’re not part of my life anymore. I have nothing to do with you, you don’t exist. That’s how I deal with it.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Focus on the positive people in your life and that’s the whole reason I’m here is I wanna talk about finding an outlet. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be fitness like, obviously that’s what I preach, that’s my lifestyle, but there’s so many other things out there. It could be music, it could be art, it could volunteering with animals, I mean it could literally be anything that you find as your outlet that separates your mind from that stuff that’s negative.
Captain Brien: Absolutely, so you were 16, you wore jeans, you thought they looked hot, someone said you were you were fat in the jeans which is outrageous, but as kids in that age group, I mean I see it from even when my kids were 10, and they’re 12 and 13 now. It’s gonna last all the way, you know, as long as I’ll be a dad having to manage a social media. Hopefully after 18 they’re old enough to tell somebody off, but they do have to deal with it. So you dealt with it in a way where, was that like, so after that you woke up the next day and you said you know what I kinda like working out, or how did it work?
Alyssa Tombazzi: Oh I instantly fell in love with it because as I mentioned I was terrible at sports. I have no hand eye coordination whatsoever and I’m very honest about that. So as I picked up those weights in that gym it just, something clicked and I felt at home and I felt like this is where I belong and it took me a long time to figure out that I wanted to make a career out of it. I went back and forth a lot and wasn’t really sure, tried a lot of different careers, but as soon as I did that weight training class in gym, I joined my rack like within a week and again I felt like I was at home. It’s just always been my go to place when I’m feeling down or sad or whatever it is.
Captain Brien: So I played baseball in college and I always was driven by like wanting to win, wanting to be the best, wanting to be on the team no matter which level I played on, wanted to start, yeah I was very competitive. So did that come like, you have to have that. When you’re in the gym you may not have that that like killer instinct 24/7, but you have to have like a commitment to wanna do this every single day. And you teach that now based on what you’ve been through?
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes, based on everything that I’ve been through. I like to show people my before and after pictures so they know that and I hae them on my Instagram so they’re all on there.
Captain Brien: You totally transformed, I mean you’re literally a picture of fitness right now and when you were 16 I mean, you weren’t in this kind of shape.
Alyssa Tombazzi: No, definitely not. I look better today than I did as a teenager.
Captain Brien: Yeah, yeah, and you look younger. It’s amazing like do you–
Alyssa Tombazzi: I’ll take that.
Captain Brien: Every day, is it a healthy option, is it the working out? Tell me like what your regimen is and then how you, how people can find you as well because they may wanna use you as their trainer as well.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes, I think it’s just a combination of everything. I’m not perfect, I still have a lot of things and goals that I wanna accomplish. I don’t eat perfect, but I definitely watch what I eat. A lot of, obviously a lot of dedication in the gym. Probably there five to six days a week so it’s definitely religiously for me. I’m there all the time.
Captain Brien: And I wanna interrupt because I realized that when we started talking, not only do you work out at a gym and you’re a personal trainer, but you also have another job. So anybody who says that they can’t do this because they don’t have time, right? I mean you don’t need that much time. We talked about it even. Even myself like, I don’t have to ride 30, 40 minutes a day on bike before I go to the gym, I go to the gym for 25 to 40 minutes a day, so I could do everything in 25 minutes if I wanted to.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Oh yeah, there’s no excuses. I’m not a person that listens to excuses because I have a lot on my plate. I’m always doing something, I’m always busy, there’s a lot going on and what’s 30 minutes out of your day? It’s nothing.
Captain Brien: Yeah.
Alyssa Tombazzi: And if you set that time, and I teach my clients that, like I tell them, I’m very honest, if you train with me two days a week you will not see results. It’s not realistic, it can’t happen. And I put them on a very strict regimen. I’m like, I’m constantly texting and calling them. Hey did you workout today? You know what’s your diet been like? I’m reviewing their diet, I’m looking into digging deeper than just training them two days a week because that’s not gonna get them anywhere.
Captain Brien: Right, you really wanna see results. You push for results and give them your Instagram handle ’cause I think that’s one of your most popular social media is on Instagram. You are?
Alyssa Tombazzi: It’s l-y-s-s 818 and underscore.
Captain Brien: Okay and so you can find Alyssa, you can also look at the comments because we’ll put her at in there as well and that’s where they can find you and you’re at Naples Family Fitness so you can ask for Alyssa and Kelsey, what’s going on? Raphael how are you buddy? Jen, Grant, everybody’s on today. Sorry I didn’t get to shout out some of the other people, the names are coming up fast and we’re driving and talking and sometimes the sunlight sees the camera here so it’s hard to read all of them, but thanks guys for watching. We’re talking today about being bullied at actually all ages really, right? So when you had those feelings, what did your family say? Did you tell people about them or how?
Alyssa Tombazzi: Yes, I usually did. I went home crying a lot, I’m not gonna lie. And my family was all bullied, they all suffered from the same thing so it kinda runs in the family and they never really taught me how to deal with it. They kinda just, they felt bad. So I think in a way you have to, if you have kids or you have people that are being bullied around you, you need to teach them ways to cope with it, not just feel bad because the sympathy it doesn’t really help that much. It helps a little bit, but you need to teach them skills and how to deal with those people because they’re gonna be in your life forever.
Captain Brien: And so what, give me a couple good good bit of advice that you do right now even at your adult age when you’re feeling like somebody’s doing that.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Honestly it’s just in the moment. You just have to know how to handle that person in the moment, sometimes you just have to walk away, sometimes you have to say something that catches them off guard. There’s always gonna be people that say cruel things to you and have their opinions. Like I said I hear a lot of rumors about myself come back around, and I’ll say do you believe that? And then that’s it. And then they kinda just give me that look and I’m like okay, well, that kinda answers that questions.
Captain Brien: Yeah a lot of times they say kinda facing you know the fact that like, I’m not gonna be pushed around, right, by you just because you think that you’re entitled to do so.
Alyssa Tombazzi: Exactly and it’s because they’re insecure. They have their insecurities and they wanna bring other people down with them. And that’s what people have to remember if you are being bullied, remember that those people are very insecure, they’re hurting. One of my bullies committed suicide. If that doesn’t tell you anything, I mean that’s huge right there.
Captain Brien: Of course.
Alyssa Tombazzi: It happens, and they’re suffering from things that we don’t understand so a lot of times I go back to that old saying hurt people, hurt people.
Captain Brien: That’ true.
Alyssa Tombazzi: It sounds very cliche but it’s very true.
Captain Brien: It is true, it is true. And you know, it’s a topic that I think most of the people out there have faced I’m sure, whether it’s someone in their family, themselves, or their kids or anybody and it’s just really something that I wish you could snap your fingers and put a stop to it because I have paid when I see my kids, you know, having to deal with these messages or it’s the worst on Snapchat. They’ll do private groups and then they can’t, oh they’re not allowed in that group or they’ll let somebody in the group who they don’t want in the group and they just let them in the group to make fun of them. It’s like why do you guys continue to do this? Like this is not healthy for anybody. So I feel the pain for all of that as well. And it’s like, it’s almost addictive for the children these days where if they’re not somehow knowing what’s goin on in all these circles, they feel like oh okay, well I’m left out now.
Alyssa Tombazzi: It’s faux mall, they’re missing out a hundred percent. They feel like they have to know everything, even if they’re getting bullied, it’s almost, it almost becomes an addiction like well what are these people saying about me and sometimes it’s better not to know. Because if it’s not nice things, you don’t need to know it.
Captain Brien: Yeah, I mean I’ll take the phone away, I’ll just delete all the apps and I have it locked up so she can’t get to the app store because I just delete that too, they can’t even use it. And then she’s like, it’ll be a few weeks will go by and she’s like okay can I have snapchat back? Or can I have Instagram back? And I’ll be like yeah, but if I see another thing on there, we’re gonna have a big problem again. And then it’s just done. So she’s, like she understands that you know that, dad’s always watching you, but–
Alyssa Tombazzi: But that’s awesome you monitor her.
Captain Brien: I think that I’m one of the you know, the only dads that’s really into social media that these kids like they all know that I’m on social media all the time, so they’ll follow me or whatever, but like I don’t think their parents know a lot about what they’re doing and how it’s affecting them.
Alyssa Tombazzi: If you ‘re not monitoring it, you’re just, you’re just as guilty as your kids and I really, I wanna say it starts with the parents or the teachers, I mean, where do kids learn bullying from? They learn it from the adults that they’re around. The don’t just randomly start picking on people for no reason. They’re learning it so I think it just comes down to being aware of what you’re saying when you have children around or have young people that are very, you know, they pick up they absorb everything that you say and you have to be so careful because, it definitely comes from the adults. I hundred percent think it starts there. If we don’t stop that, then it will never stop in schools.
Captain Brien: I agree, I agree totally about some of these things at school, and the schools they seem a little clueless, they go after certain situations that to me are so minuscule and they should focus on like the big picture of the whole scenario and not just an individual that made a post, or somebody whose doing something. Like they should teach them like, nonstop about this instead of you know like, they kinda harbor on certain just, events individually. And I think that that sometimes draws more attention ’cause then the curiosity the kids wanna know, well what did he say? How did he do it? What’s going on? Right right, yeah.
Alyssa Tombazzi: That feeds into it, and there honestly, there could be teachers that are bullies, and I’m not calling anyone out.
Captain Brien: No, no the teachers’ doing a great job. But I think the school system needs to develop a way that they can help with this for sure, yeah.
Alyssa Tombazzi: And I think even having people that have, and I think everybody can relate. Every one’s been bullied at least once or twice in their life and if they haven’t they probably weren’t aware of it. And I think it would start with people like me and other people that have been bullied going to schools and talking about it openly and telling these kids like the words that you say today can effect that person for the rest of their life. It’s not gonna just be today. That carries over the rest of their life and it’s something that you really have to think carefully about. There’s a difference between saying something hurtful and joking around with someone. You could easily just joke around with someone but you have to know your limits with people especially when they’re extremely sensitive. And some people are and I’m a lot better now. I was a lot more sensitive as a child, but like I said those carry through and they effect everything you do with your life. Everything.
Captain Brien: Well we appreciate you coming on. It’s obviously a topic that still to this day it haunts you like you’re driven by this and it takes a lot of courage to come on and tell people that yeah, I was bullied, and I want to change other people’s lives. So go see Alyssa, go workout with her. She is super motivated and super talented. She’s gonna get you, whip your butt in shape out there. I see Charles is on there, he used to be at the gym. I know he’s moved now, but I wanna say hi, what’s going on? And Jade, how are you? Guys, listen this is the Captain’s Log. I’ll be live tomorrow with Doctor Dollar, we’re gonna teach you how to make your brain healthy. Healthy brains, healthy lives, me and Doctor Dollar tomorrow. Tune in 2:30 live. Thank you for your time, I appreciate it Alyssa. Guys we’re gonna be out.