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February 2011

Body Image Boosters from Reality TV Psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser

Written on February 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm , by

How do you feel about what you see in the mirror? (Image by Stephanie Rausser)

Who among us hasn’t spent a few too many minutes scrutinizing our bodies in the mirror? Or spent an excessive amount of time in the gym because a beach day or class reunion is on the horizon and we don’t look “good enough” yet?

We all want to look our best, but it’s so easy for normal, healthy attention on appearance to turn into a body image issue that can impact many other areas of your life. So we turned to psychotherapist, lifestyle coach and author Stacy Kaiser, who you may have seen counseling contestants on the reality shows DietTribe and Celebrity Fit Club, to share her tips to get over body hang-ups.

Can you pinpoint the main influences on someone’s body image?

Two main factors play a role:

  1. Your upbringing: family, peers and community. Were they active, supporting and encouraging?
  2. Your personal belief system: values, beliefs and desires. What is most important for you and your happiness levels?

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Face of Fitness Weekly Winners (So Far!)

Written on February 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm , by

Want to be on the cover of FITNESS Magazine? Apparently, hundreds of you do! And with our Face of Fitness Cover Contest off to a smashing start, we’re so excited about the first two weekly winners, aka semi-finalists. Take a look at who you’ve chosen so far!

Face of Fitness Week #1 Winner

Face of Fitness Week #1 Winner

Week #1 Winner: Shonnery Pettit

Shonnery’s story is about “Something to Call My Own,” and for her, that thing is fitness-slash-dance. Despite being a married happy mother to two children, she wrote that she felt like “I’d lost my identity somewhere along the way.” So she got back into the gym, started dancing again, and even tried out to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, at age 35! Now, she’s training for her first half-marathon and just completed her first “mud run” with some of her gym friends.

FITNESS says: Heck yeah! You go girl!

What Shonnery says about winning Week 1: “The support my friends and family gave throughout the contest was something I will treasure.  Thank you so much for providing the platform that allowed for such wonderful things to come my way!”

Face of Fitness Week #2 Winner

Face of Fitness Week #2 Winner

Week #2 Winner: Liz Scott

When Liz’s mom was diagnosed with meningitis and encephalitis, she lost the ability to walk, talk, write, and other functions. Determined to help her mom get out of her wheelchair and have a healthy lifestyle, Liz started going on walks with her. Little by little, Liz and her mom built up from just a few steps to entire miles. Eventually, Liz’s mom was able to walk a half-marathon! Despite that Liz is a self-proclaimed “crazy-fit, exercise lover,” she says that inspiring her mom is actually her proudest fitness accomplishment.

FITNESS says: Awww! Warm fuzzies.

What Liz says about winning Week 2: “I am so excited about this contest!  I entered on a total whim and all my friends and family jumped on board, majorly.”

Congrats, Shonnery and Liz!

So, who will win Week #3? Don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

And most importantly, make sure to submit your photo and story to our Face of Fitness Cover Contest! Five finalists will be flown to NYC for photo shoots, with one Grand Prize Winner scoring the cover of an upcoming FITNESS issue—and a 5-night vacation for two to an amazing Hawaiian resort! What are you waiting for?

Editors’ Picks: The 7 Best Oscar Looks of 2011

Written on February 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm , by

Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Academy Awards. Screenshot courtesy of YouTube, E! News.

There has been a lot of buzz here today at FITNESS about last night’s Academy Awards show. But what seems to be on everyone’s minds more than anything are the glamourous red carpet looks…so let’s talk fashion! After chatting with some of the editors in the office, the ladies of the fashion department have compiled a list of our 7 favorite red carpet beauties:

Let’s start with Weight Watchers spokeswoman, Jennifer Hudson. How gorgeous did she look in that tangerine Atelier Versace gown? After losing 80 pounds and looking that fabulous, we think Jennifer could have rocked the Oscars in anything. You go girl!

The Jennifer’s were stealing the show last night, because we thought Jennifer Lawrence looked visionary in a red Calvin Klein column dress. The simplicity of the dress, with the va-va-voom of her luscious blonde locks made her a bombshell in our eyes.

Helen Mirren’s classic and sophisticated style totally stole our votes as one of the best dressed last night. The pewter Vivienne Westwood dress that she wore fit her perfectly, and with just the right amount of sparkling jewels, we think she set the bar high. Take notes, ladies, take notes!

Adding some sparkle to the red carpet was Mandy Moore, in a stunning Monique Lhuillier gown. The sheer bodice and tulle skirt accentuated Mandy in all of the right places, showing off her long and lean limbs. And those beads! How gorgeous?!

On the more fashion-forward end, we thought Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett took the cake. Gwyneth donned a beautiful Calvin Klein column dress with a tasteful plunging neck-line and a Louis Vuitton broach, which made her look statuesque, yet effortless. Cate’s lavender Givenchy gown with structured shoulders was soft and romantic, but with a little hit of unexpected yellow beading, she was able to score our vote for best dressed!

There seems to be a general conscious though, that Camila Alves was the show-stopper in a black Kaufman Franco gown, paired with understated, yet glamorous jewels. Come on now, who wouldn’t want to wear that stunning dress? And to stand next to Matthew McConaughey? What a lucky lady!

We would love to know what you think of our list! Share you thoughts and tell us who you thought rocked the red carpet at the 2011 Academy Awards!

Skinny vs. Sex: Which Would You Give Up?

Written on February 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm , by

For our March issue (on newsstands right now!), we polled thousands of women about their diet habits. A few things we learned: 39% of women have used diet pills to lose weight, 27% have dieted so often they can’t keep track, and the shocker: 51% would give up sex for a year if it meant they’d be skinny.

Watch the clip below for more about these shocking diet stats:

What do you think? Would you give up sex to lose weight?

Fit Links: The Sportiest Cities in America — Do You Live in One?

Written on February 25, 2011 at 11:30 am , by

Photo by Denise Crew

Photo by Denise Crew

A few fit links from around the web:

Fit Bloggers We Love: The Fit Bottomed Girls

Written on February 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm , by

Great friends are hard to come by, so when we came across The Fit Bottomed Girls, we were wowed by how they managed to make their friendship work for their — and their readers’ — fitness. This dynamic duo believes that fitness should be fun, a mantra that we at FITNESS live by. Here’s what they had to say about embarassing workout songs, fitness icons and what really motivates them.

The Fit Bottomed Girls

The Fit Bottomed Girls

On my fit life list:
Jenn Walters: I’d like to run a triathlon, backpack in the Tetons, work out with one of my fitness icons (like Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels or Gwen Stefani), run a sub 7-minute mile, write a series of books based on the Fit Bottomed Girls’ mindset and lifestyle, and be a healthy mother. 
Erin Whitehead: Two activities I want to do but haven’t had the guts yet: Try a rock-climbing wall and take a trapeze class! I’d also love to hike Half Dome in Yosemite.

My biggest indulgence:
Jenn: Wine and chocolate — preferably together.
Erin: A margarita! And the occasional Snickers Ice Cream bar or a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to:
Jenn: Oh, there are so many. Lately, “Piece of Me” by Britney Spears.
Erin: I’ll admit: “The Call” by Backstreet Boys. You said embarrassing.

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Sample Spies: 6 Snacks We’re Testing Now

Written on February 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm , by


Here at FITNESS, we have a shelf where editors place all the samples people send to our offices once we are done reviewing them. Frequent items include books, spandex, sports drinks and snacks. Snacks! Today’s table is inundated with tasty treats of a bizarre assortment. In no particular order, we have:

Muscle Milk Light, Cafe Latte flavor. At 160 calories, this drinks packs 20 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbs. This stuff is no joke. My advice: Do not, I repeat, do NOT, drink the entire bottle before a hard workout if you are not used to it. Things will end…badly.

RW Garcia’s Flaxseed Tortilla Chips. They’re organic, wheat and gluten free and contain no trans fats. They’re also nearly 1000 calories in one bag (7 servings) which makes this a good choice for someone else to keep on their desk!

Mann’s Sugar Snap Peas. Pre-washed, ready for crisp crunching right at your desk. Directions on the back of the package suggest spraying snap peas with cooking spray, adding BBQ seasoning, shaking them around and “you’ll think you’re crunching on your favorite flavored chips—without the calories!” Can’t vouch for that, as  have neither cooking spray nor BBQ seasoning at my desk. (Anyone else want to try it? Report back in the comments!)

Reddi Whip Fat-Free Whip Cream. Five calories a serving. Wish they’d sent it with a sundae to squirt it on.

Alo Exposed Original Aloe Drink. Name kind of says it all. No preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. There are, however, some unusual opaque things floating around in the bottle, slivers of aloe, perhaps? 120 calories in the bottle and a big dose of aloe vera in case you’re missing any in your diet.

Michael Season’s Reduced-Fat Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. Tangy, crunchy and satisfying. Probably why there was a case of them on the table a minute ago, and now there are just two bags.

So there you have it – this morning’s goodies. With all that distraction, it’s a wonder we get any work done around here!

New Proof: Zinc Does Shorten a Cold

Written on February 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm , by

Image courtesy of Flickr user incurable_hippie

Image courtesy of Flickr user incurable_hippie

I woke up with a sore throat this a.m., so I’ve been sucking on zinc lozenges. Taking zinc within 24 hours of the first signs of a common cold really does help shorten its duration by about a day, according to a new Cochrane Review of studies on the topic. However, people taking zinc lozenges (as opposed to tablets or syrups) are more likely experience side effects like bad taste and nausea, the report notes, so I’m being careful not to go overboard!

(Psssst…Not into lozenges? Try these six foods that fight off colds and flu!)

Image via.

Why You Should Stop Faking It (Your Smile, That Is)

Written on February 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm , by

Photo by Fernando Milani

Photo by Fernando Milani

While previous studies have recommended smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, to cheer yourself up, new research suggests that putting on a fake smile might actually make you feel worse.

Scientists followed a group of bus drivers for two weeks and found that the those who forced smiles felt worse and did not perform well at work while those who smiled genuinely felt better and were more productive.

So if faking a cheerful disposition won’t do, what are your go-to pick-me-ups? (Treating myself to a soy latte always works!) Share your guaranteed mood-boosters in the comments below!

Time to Talk About Eating Disorders

Written on February 21, 2011 at 11:28 am , by

How important is your clothing size? (Image via Flickr user außerirdische sind gesund)

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week kicks off today, and this year’s theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It.” So we are! Here are five need-to-know facts:

  • As many as 7 percent of American females have battled with bulimia at some point during their lives.
  • Among teenage women, anorexia is the third most common chronic illness.
  • More than 10 million women and 1 million men in the U.S. are struggling with anorexia or bulimia.
  • One to four percent of the U.S. population is affected by binge eating disorder, recent studies have found.
  • Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating aren’t the only eating disorders. While not officially recognized disorders yet, orthorexia (an extreme focus on eating healthfully and the “right” foods) and diabulimia (when diabetics alter insulin levels to try to lose weight) have been noticed more and more in recent years.

Here at FITNESS, we strive to be healthy from the inside out. If you or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder, click here for more resources and support.

More from FITNESS: Confessions of a Borderline Binge Eater

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