Dr. Terri Widdick’s Road to the Pros
The pandemic has been a huge adjustment for us all. Many of us work from home now, meaning we’re less active. Until now, I didn’t realize how many calories I burned walking and standing around as a comedian. Now I spend more time on my desk, and I’m feeling the effects.
Dr. Terri Widdick, a licensed physical therapist and certified nutrition coach, had invaluable advice when she came to the podcast. She recommends investing in a great chair and desk setup if you work from home. “A better desk setup is going to change your posture, whereas a bad setup can lead to neck and shoulder pain,” she advises.
While this may seem like a small adjustment, it could make a huge difference in your health, especially coupled with regular movement. Dr. Widdick suggests getting up every two hours for a walk around your house or some fresh air. You could also use a foam roller to ease neck and shoulder pain. Terri has a great foam roller video right here
Becoming an IFBB Bikini Pro
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, Terri practices what she preaches. She became an IFBB Bikini Pro in 2019 and has authored a 10-page eBook that debunks nutrition myths.
Preparing for IFBB competitions requires discipline. “I would go to the gym and prep my food, and that was my life. I prepped for seven months before my first show. I measured my food and water intake, and didn’t have a single drop of alcohol,” she reminisces. And that’s what it takes to succeed in this world – discipline, and commitment to your craft.
The self-proclaimed introvert went pro after competing in a class of 27 girls in Pittsburgh. If you’re unfamiliar with the wonderful world of bodybuilding, going pro is like entering the Super Bowl.
While this journey has been nothing short of amazing for Terri, it started from a place of loss. “I went through a divorce, and I needed something to keep me afloat,” she says. Competing in bodybuilding competitions became that.
Getting into business
With her work ethic, Terri has taken “put your money where your mouth is” to new heights. In 2020, she left her job as a physical therapist to start her company, Next Level Health, She’s passionate about educating and helping others. However, being an outpatient physical therapist limited the scope of service she hoped to offer her patients.
She tells me, “[health] insurance limits what you can do, the amount of time you have with patients, and the amount of information you can give them. It’s heartbreaking when you send somebody away knowing that they’re still going to have knee pain because you couldn’t help with the root cause of their problem.” And so, her company was born.
For the first six months, she ran the business AND worked full time as a senior clinic manager in a multi-site clinic. She finally made the jump out of her full-time job, and she hasn’t looked back since. Since leaving her job, she makes six or seven times the profit. Her business has expanded beyond her Jacksonville home, serving people from all over the United States.
“Honestly, I just want to get this in front of many people. So many people need more advice and outreach with their health and fitness to get their lives back,” she says.
Dr. Widdick hopes to share information about injury prevention because chronic injuries are harder to treat and can affect every aspect of your life. It’s for this reason that she also posts her workout videos and advice on Instagram and YouTube.
Terri is not just an educated fitness pro and businesswoman; she may as well be a modern-day Leonardo da Vinci. She dabbles in painting as a form of self-expression. She has even sold one of her paintings. “I’m never really good at expressing my feelings. I didn’t realize this about myself, but I would start painting and feel better. I realized that I release my emotions better through painting,” she says.
Her take on mentorship
As a comedian, I’ve come to value mentorship because a great mentor can show you aspects of your career that need improvement. It may not even be “formal” mentorship. I remember working with a headlining comedian when I was starting, and they would say or do something that would send me down a completely different path.
Even the most successful people have mentors or coaches, and Terri is no different. She values the mentors she has had throughout her life – from the middle school basketball coach who recommended that she focus on soccer, to her physical therapist boss who encouraged her to go to PT school. She continues to build a strong support system, which also includes a business coach, family, and friends.
Terri’s fitness pearls of wisdom
People go to extreme lengths to lose weight. They change too many things at once and set themselves up for failure. Dr. Widdick recommends changing little things over time to see drastic changes. She says the biggest part is your diet. Staying active is also essential and can be achieved from the comfort of your home.
“People think you need a gym. But you can use household items for your workouts, whether it’s a gallon of milk, a tennis ball, or a belt. Many people don’t realize this, but you can do some crazy muscle releases with a tennis ball,” she says.
Terri has free Zoom consults for people who have health questions or want to join her programs. You can find her on Instagram (@Dr.TerriWiddick), Facebook (Terri Widdick or Next Level Health and Fitness), and her website (nlhealth.net).
Update Since The Dr. Terri Widdick Interview
I messaged Dr. Terri Widdick and told her I was writing about the episode. Looking back I enjoyed having her on the show and I felt like it was so eye-opening. So I asked, “What is new since the episode?” Of course, I was excited to hear about her business is growing and she is in a new relationship with someone that seems to be business savvy much like her and they are now a great power couple! We chatted about life changes. At some point, I would love to have her back on the podcast or work with her on other projects. Also, she showed me a photo of her cute new puppy!