Teddi Mellencamp on being an accountability coach (and how to be accountable yourself)


Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ newbie Teddi Mellencamp talks accountability, lifestyle changes, and the importance of taking action to make a change.

Teddi Mellencamp, a new face on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is here to both motivate and offer honest advice when it comes to health and fitness. The RHOBH star and accountability coach spoke with Culturess about her program, All In by Teddi Mellencamp.

She’s a daughter to a famous father, John Mellencamp, and now a part of the iconic Housewives’ franchise. Despite being in multiple spotlights and having a busy schedule, Teddi’s found a method that works to keep herself and others accountable when it comes to living a healthy life.

Having learned from her own wellness journey, and created a successful business from it, Teddi offers useful and relatable tips on how you can define goals and actually stick to them.

What inspired you to become an accountability coach?

It started out just about me. After I had my son, I had started working out and trying to change my patterns after I had become a mom. I just kind of felt a little stuck. I kept looking for motivation. I kept looking for something that was going to trigger me.

I told my husband, ‘I don’t know why I am going to do this but I’m going to start an Instagram account and every day, I am going to post my workouts.’ That’s how it started.

I used social media as my accountability. My social media started growing the more that I started having an emotional and physical change… The more that started growing, the more people in my life started noticing.

It sounds so silly. I started out with 36 people and they were like my best friends that I begged to follow me. It was very small. I just said, ‘Hey, can I try to do this. What I’ve been doing on social media, can I just do as your coach? Will you just text me your morning weight and then I am going to give you things to eat. Will you text me if you’re eating them and then text me proof of your workout. And let’s just do it for two weeks. And see what happens.’ And all five of them had amazing transformation photos.

I just posted those five photos on social media. And then it was like a business was born. People started reaching out, some that I knew, friends of friends. People that had seen me and seen the shift. People that had seen my friends and seen the shift. It was all just kind of word of mouth.

It just started out as me, and then it got up to about 40 girls. I would manage about 40 women at a time… It was a place where I was loving it and feeling good. And then I started doing Real Housewives and I realized I can’t be on my phone as much. There are times when you’re filming scenes and you can’t be texting ‘Good job’ after somebody’s lunch.

That was right around the time that I had had an excellent client kind of like change herself and change her lifestyle and I was like, ‘Do you want to come work with me.’ And she became a coach.

And then all of a sudden, I had my 40 clients and she took on 20 more girls. Now, we have 16 coaches and over 500 clients. If we have a really strong graduate that has fully changed their life and they realize it’s not a diet, then we’ll talk to them about becoming a coach as well.

Essentially, you started out yourself on this journey and now you have a whole accountability community.

Correct. It’s really about having somebody that you check in with. Let’s say I was working with you, and you said, ‘Oh, I just had a long day at the office. I’m not going to get to my workout. I’m just tired.’

I’d send you the text message you sent me at 7 a.m. telling me, ‘You know I was too rushed this morning. I’m going to definitely do it tonight.’ And I’d send you a screenshot of that and say ‘Remember this text. Remember why you wanted to do this. You can do this.’

And then all of a sudden you’re going to do it.

Definitely been there! I think so many women can relate to how busy our lives can be. You yourself are a mom and have a lot of projects going on. How has that influenced the way you approach the program and guide others through it?

I will say you know 100 percent when I first had my kid, I wasn’t telling Edwin what I needed. I had felt a big shift in our life. I was used to having a fulltime job, riding horses, traveling around the United States… After I had kids, and I couldn’t travel and I couldn’t ride as much, and all this shifted, I wasn’t telling him I need this hour for myself a day. And I don’t care if I have to get up at 5 a.m. to do it and you stay with the kids. I need this for me, to be the best wife, to be the best mom. It was learning that I needed to have a voice. It wasn’t about nagging. It wasn’t about waiting until he came home from work and complaining to him that, ‘Yea the kids are good but I feel tired and disgusting.’ Once I realized I just had to be vulnerable with him and honest with him, everything shifted for us.

Now, there are some people that are moms that don’t have somebody else to lean on. But then I’ll give them alternatives. I’ll say, ‘Okay, set that alarm for an hour earlier. And there are these videos online that you can do.’ And I’ll give them links and I’ll tell them ‘Do these. Give me proof of this. You’ve got this.’

I know things are challenging but there are ways to work around it. Whether if you have a job or not, you get home at 6 p.m., do dinner with your child and put them in a stroller and go on a walk. I am not saying you have to run a marathon. But be active.

What can a potential client expect from the program as it is set up now?

We want to set up people to succeed, not to fail. So if somebody says, ‘I’ve never worked out a day in my life. I sit on the couch eight hours a day’ — We may say before you can sign up for the program, we need you to go on some walks and make sure you’re going to be able to do these things that we’re going to require of you. Talk to your doctor, those kinds of things.

But if we have somebody that says they work out three times a week, they don’t eat that well, they’re unhappy with their body, they’re just not motivated. For me, that’s great — this is somebody that can easily make some lifestyle changes.

So what I require is an hour of activity a day That could be a walk, that could be a fitness class, that could be yoga. That is a non-negotiable for me. Another requirement is you can’t drink for two weeks, which honestly a lot of people say no because of that.

That’s surprising but also not. It’s such a short period of time, but if people are stuck in a habit, then they think it is too hard to give up.

It is a habit. You get to that point where you finish work and you’re like I deserve this glass of wine and there’s that thinking of nobody is going to tell me I can’t. Those are the two things that weed out a lot of people because they’re not ready to commit to those two things.

[In the program] you send photos of your food throughout the day. There’s photo evidence with everything. You have to meet timelines. Breakfast is due by 10 a.m. Lunch is due by 2 p.m. Dinner is due by 8 p.m.

If you’re unable to fit it into those timelines, then you have to let us know. Like you could text saying, ‘Hey, I have this meeting.’ or ‘Hey, I have to go to a doctor’s appointment.’ Whatever it is, you have to be communicative. If not, you’re removed from the program. Our job is to hold you accountable to what you committed to do.

What are common goals new clients come to your program with?

I think it always starts off weight related, and it always ends up life-related. I have so many clients, and myself personally, when you’re not feeling good about yourself, you’re not reaching for all that you deserve. I have clients that reach out and say ‘I have three kids. I let myself go. I feel tired and exhausted. I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror.’

It starts with that. Then all of a sudden, we get into it, we’re six weeks into the program, and they shed a bunch of weight, they’re feeling good from working out, and they say, ‘You know what, I am going to ask for that raise or that promotion.’ It’s all of these different things because you’re feeling confident and you’re feeling worthy.

And it is not because of lost weight. It is because you feel good. When you’re accomplishing goals, you feel like you can do anything because you can. The starting point is so different from where they are when they finish. From the beginning, they start calling it a diet. Immediately, I’m like this is not a diet. It is a lifestyle change. You look at it like it is a diet, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

On that note, what have been some conflicts or challenges clients discuss while a part of this program that you and other coaches help with?

For me, the big thing is confronting the issue. So what about it scares you. For me, things that scare me are the unknown. I want to know so that I can attack something, so that I can get after it. It is not about a number on the scale. If you’re living in denial, you’re not able to put one step in front of the other to complete your goal.

The scale, for example, is there to hold us all a little bit accountable. It is not there for punishment. It is also you realizing it is not about motivation. I am not motivated every single day of my life. I would be lying if I said that I was. When you change the way you think about yourself — thinking ‘I am committed to being the best that I can be’ — you are making an effort to making yourself feel good.

When it comes to workouts, people are like ‘I’ve never jogged. I want to, but I’m scared.’ or ‘I am tired today, I do not feel like it.’ I always have the same conversation with myself on days I feel like that. ‘Teddi, just go out there and just walk. Walk as slow as you need to.’ And then if you feel like it, you can push yourself a little bit more.

So that constant rotation in your mind of, ‘I can do it. I’m just going to start here.’ Once you’re just doing something, like once I’m walking, I decide to jog for a little bit. Once I start jogging, I’ll decide to push myself a little bit more. You have to get yourself to start; you can’t go from 0 to 1000.

Having come on the show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, what have you learned from the experience?

Now no matter how busy a client is, I know I’m busy too. I stay on my own program while living a very active social lifestyle. I went out to more dinners with more alcohol that I’ve ever had probably in my whole life when I filmed Real Housewives. I maintained my weight, I maintained my workouts. When we were in Berlin, you would see us, we would have these late, late dinners and we’d be filming again that morning at 9 a.m. I’d have my alarm set at 6 a.m with the time change, running.

I can do it, so can you, you are worth it. Being on the show, it was a test for me. In my circle, it was pretty easy to maintain. Once my circle became bigger, and my life became larger, I was still able to do it. It gave me more of an outlook on, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what kind of lifestyle you have, you can manage this.

Of the RHOBH cast, are there any women, in particular, you enjoy doing workouts with, and have any asked to be a part of the program?

Kyle and Lisa Rinna, I work out with. I see Lisa Rinna all the time in the same workout class. I go hiking a lot with Kyle. We all love being active. That’s a common ground for us. But I try not to over discuss my work. Unless somebody asks a specific question, then of course, I’ll share my thoughts on something.

Anything else you want to say about your program?

If you are feeling like you want to make a change, regardless if it’s my program or something else, whatever it is — be vulnerable, be honest and take action. If you’re feeling anything, take action. Because sitting there and thinking about it does absolutely nothing.

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Learn more about Teddi Mellencamp’s accountability coaching program here.