We know the importance of wellness here at 42Yogis, but we don’t know how to achieve it as well as Valerie Orsoni. Valerie is a wellness coach, health expert, and founder of the wildly popular weight loss sensation LeBootCamp.

A survivor of both a brain tumor and cancer, Valerie successfully channeled the energy and knowledge she discovered through her own health battles into a unique coaching method that can help anyone achieve their personal goals.

Valerie shares a new approach to healthy living without deprivation, bringing the ease and sophistication of the French joie de vivre to the American lifestyle. In this exclusive interview, Valerie discusses the importance of wellness, and provides actionable tips for how to achieve it.

How did you get into wellness?

I am a woman like many others. I had been battling with weight issues and frustrating fad diets for a long time. After years of yoyo dieting I decided that that was that, I would no longer live a life of frustration and deprivation but one of health and abundance. I then set off to find out how I could create a lifestyle that would keep me slim and still provide me with the pleasures of life.

I had lived through more than 40 diets – solo (Cabbage Soup, The Prehistoric), with my family (pineapple, low-calorie, hyper-protein), or alongside friends (dissociated diet, fasting, high protein diet). I had lost weight to regain it, and some, bursting my jeans at the seam. Taunted by the many failures and demoralized when I looked at myself in the mirror, I woke up one morning and decided that I had simply had enough!

I decided to educate myself in order to better understand my excess weight and attack it intelligently. I joined forces with my father, who was also overweight at the time. Together, we committed to maintain a gourmet approach no matter what (we are French after all, or Corsican rather).

This may seem straight out of the dinosaur era, but our research led us to the library as this was well before the Internet had made its appearance in our homes. There we devoured books on nutrition, fitness, and psychology! Gradually, we began to compile and put to the test those concepts which seemed logical and health-sound into our lives. Along the way we came to terms with the fact that if we had taken years to gain our weight, it would be unreasonable to attempt losing it all in two weeks via tasteless meals and mono diets.

After one year of a patchwork approach which incorporated what was effective in each aspect of our research, we had achieved our ideal weight, without any suffering or deprivation.

Tell us a little bit about your bootcamp. How did you start it, and what was your inspiration?

My friends began asking for my help to get healthy and slim like I had. I was burning out in a fast-paced corporate job at the time. I felt a need to give greater meaning to my life. Sharing this knowledge with millions of women who were, like once was, on the verge of giving up was a natural answer. LeBootCamp.com was born.

Not being a doctor myself, I was soon facing criticism from those medical professionals who promoted diet pills and supplements. Despite my ability to explain without fail the concepts I had proven, the program’s clear success appeared to mean little when not dressed in medical jargon. Clearly it was too late in life to go to medical school, so I surrounded myself with dozens of experts who knew more than me: physicians, dietitians, scientists, Olympic athletes, nutritionists, and psychologists in order to bring you what works best.

We are diligent in our work and require that any concept integrated to The LeBootCamp Diet be supported by at least 5 double-blind medical studies on a representative sample (a sample of 5 people is not valid!), according to serious and verifiable protocols.

Keeping up to date with the latest research in healthy living and weight loss, my approach evolves continuously. Unlike the typical “miracle diets” which have remained unchanged since the 70’s, the LeBootCamp Diet regularly embraces new medical and scientific discoveries, ensuring that its techniques remain effective over the long term. My Scientific Advisory Board enables me to continuously explore new research and new methods revising my judgment only once enough serious studies have proven their validity. I can thus constantly update my program with relevant verified new strategies.

Taking care of yourself can be a challenge. What are some quick and easy things people can start doing *now* that will have a lasting impact?

(1) start your day with a freshly squeezed lemon with room temperature water

(2) then drink a sobacha (roasted buckwheat infused for 5 min)

(3) then 15 min minimum of yoga (with 2 full hour sessions per week)

(3.5) 30 min walk on an empty stomach

(4) Integrate 5 25th Hour® exercises per day: contracting your glutes at red lights, doing the Brazilian move while brushing your teeth, 50 wall push ups each time you go to the bathroom, walk when you talk on the phone, tuck in your tummy each time you go through a door

(5) walk 12,000 steps per day

That’s a good start!

OK, we’re dying to know. How can you possibly lose weight without carb counting, dealing with points, and depriving yourself of things you love?

Just follow the LeBootCamp program. I won’t lie to you, you will need make a few changes to the way you eat and you will need to move. But this you must have known already 🙂

Some eat to live. I live to eat, and I am convinced that there a few things worse than a life governed by deprivation and tasteless meals. Yes, I promise you, you can live a healthy and long life AND enjoy delicious foods from all food groups. Back when I was a child growing up in France, my dad was a chef and I had the privilege of being introduced to the cuisine rich in diversity that shaped my taste buds – though I must admit, there are foods I cannot even imagine myself eating anymore (think snails or tripe).

I summon you to go back to the roots – to our roots, when we truly enjoyed everything that nature has to offer. As such, there are no forbidden foods in my program! And we don’t count points, calories, grams, or anything else. We educate ourselves, we learn about how to intelligently control portions without feeling deprived.

We learn about how to stay motivated every single day!

And, let’s face it, we all have busy lives and rarely use our gym membership (that is, if we can afford one in the first place). We need to reclaim our birthright, what our bodies were designed to do, when, although gyms didn’t exist we were fit and trim. There is in fact a direct correlation between the advent of gyms, food labels, new diets, and obesity, and it is not what we think: no, the obesity epidemic did not give rise to those three elements. Shockingly, it is the reverse.

By infantilizing society, those lifestyle cataclysms have only worsened the problem. In truth, in our most natural state, we shouldn’t have to suffer military-style to get in shape, or force ourselves to break a sweat for hours on end at the gym. This is precisely what the fitness aspect of my program is about: getting your heart pumping, your blood flowing, and your muscles moving without too much effort. This is what I call my “in-shape-no-sweat” approach making exercise an integral part of our daily life with literally hundreds of easy-to-squeeze-in mini drills I created as the 25th hour.

What’s next for you?

I have a book coming out in Jan 2015 in the UK, and hopefully in the U.S. too. Also we are revamping our website [LeBootCamp.com]. It is Spring after all, so what better time for some sprucing up there too!