When we hop over to Amy’s Quest, one word comes to mind: real. Amy has maintained a 100-pound weight loss for nearly seven years, but that doesn’t mean every day is full of sunshine and butterflies. And she never tries to make us believe it’s always easy, which is what we love about her. Some posts may be short and loaded with emotional impact; others might be fun and full of zest and energy, giving us the boost we needed to lace up our sneaks for a quick run or clip in our shoes for a Spin class. Either way, popping over to her blog isn’t a bad idea if you’re in need of some inspiration from someone who’s gone through a major lifestyle change. We thought she seemed friendly enough, so we reached out to hear a bit more about the blogger behind the screen. Here’s what she had to say:
My favorite way to work out: Spinning! Ever since I strained my shoulder in a bike accident last summer, I’ve decided to keep things safe and bike indoors instead. I love the intensity!
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I have a pretty eclectic mix of music on my workout playlists, but one song that always makes me smile is “Night Moves,” by Bob Seger.
My fitness mantra: You are stronger than you think.
My fave fit snack: Turkey breast and Laughing Cow cheese wrapped around pickled asparagus spears.
My biggest indulgence: After a night of playing baseball, the thing I look forward to most is post-game chicken wings with the team.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com
By Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern
Today, two organizations that campaign against the obesity epidemic in America have released statistics that point to a dark and unhealthy future. According to the Associated Press, this new report predicts that by 2030, the obesity (not just overweight) rate in 39 states will be over 50 percent. Let that sink in. The two organizations, Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation used data collected by the CDC and other governmental sources and examined trends to make these predictions.
What’s even more stunning is that the obesity rate in the other 11 states and the capitol will be just under 50 percent, with Colorado coming in as the lightest state at 45 percent, and Washington, D.C. coming in at a cool 33 percent by 2030. Mississippi tops the list with a 67 percent obesity rate by 2030. According to the report by Trust for America’s Health, the national cost of treating the diseases stemming from this level of obesity will be a staggering $66 billion per year.
One-third of Americans are currently obese, and the CDC predicts that as a nation, a full 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030. The question is how can Americans turn the tide on this catastrophic number?
Now you tell us: What do you think is the most important factor in slowing America’s rising obesity rates?
Even health pros struggle with making smart diet choices all the time. FITNESS advisory board member Pam Peeke, MD, admits that she “turned to food for comfort” after a family illness when she was a teen. “Bridge Mix was my ‘crack’ and seemed to numb my pain,” she says.
Peeke learned to avoid her trigger foods, and says that we can all learn to bypass temptation or emotional eating by doing the same. According to Peeke, it’s sometimes necessary to “reclaim your hijacked reward system in your brain” to conquer this issue (for example, going for a walk rather than scooping up a bowl of ice cream when you are stressing out about your upcoming performance review).
Easier said than done, though. So we asked Peeke to share tips from her new book The Hunger Fix, on sale today, for some examples of how to overcome life’s most stressful situations and still be able to slide into our skinny jeans afterward.
Struggling with a work deadline…
- False fix: Staying up too late, using caffeine as a crutch, stress eating
- Healthy fix: Eating nutritious foods every three to four hours, sipping green tea, standing up every 30 minutes to stretch
We might need to step on our scales before setting up the next doctor’s visit. A Massachusetts primary care physician has implemented a policy of refusing patients who are over 200 pounds, citing concern for her employees. Dr. Helen Carter of Shrewsbury, MA says that she decided to stop seeing overweight patients after her staff suffered injuries trying to accommodate people over 250 pounds. We didn’t think this was legal, but according to the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs, doctors have the freedom to determine what kind of patient-physician relationships to pursue, as this WCVB.com story points out. One of her former patients, Ida Davidson, who was turned away because of her weight, thinks this policy is just the doctor’s way of avoiding “too much work.”
Tell us: Whose side are you on? Do you think Dr. Carter is being fair or discriminatory?
Ali Landry has been kicking it up a notch at the gym. As a mother of two (daughter Estela was born in 2007 and her son Marcelo 10 months ago), she and hubby Alejandro Monteverde are planning a little getaway to Hawaii. “I have 7 pounds of baby weight left, and I’m on a mission to get them off!” she told us when chatting recently about her latest partnership with Hershey’s Simple Pleasures. Read on to see Landry’s baby weight plan of attack, her diet and why she’d never give up her chocolate. (That’s out kind of gal!)
As a mom of two, you must have a routine you use to lose the baby weight. What is it?
While I was pregnant both times, I worked out through the pregnancy. It really helped not only physically but mentally as well. But once I had the kids, I made sure to not feel pressured to drop the baby weight immediately. Our society is a little crazy with that, with all the magazine covers of celebrities getting back into a bikini three weeks after giving birth–I am just not one of those people! It’s a little unrealistic, and the average person does not bounce back that quickly. People also claim you lose weight nursing, but I nursed both of my kids and felt like a linebacker! I just made sure to eat healthy and drink water constantly. Even with that, once I finished nursing Estela, I had 10 pounds left to lose. With Marcelo, I have 7. I think that’s just the way my body is built.
What kind of exercises did you do while pregnant?
I did mostly the same workouts I normally do, just less intense. I ran in the beginning and then switched to the elliptical for cardio. For strength training I did a lot on the BOSU ball which was great because it worked more than one muscle at a time. Read more
Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern
Maria Menounos is always challenging herself in new ways. She danced her way through painful injuries on season 14 of Dancing with the Stars, and runs her own charity, Take Action Hollywood!, which raises awareness for causes like diabetes and AIDS. If that isn’t enough, she often travels from L.A. to New York for her role as host on popular entertainment show EXTRA!, and produces AfterBuzz TV, a network devoted to giving “post-game” wrap-ups of the most popular shows.
Now, as a longtime fan of Crocs, she helped them celebrate their 10-year anniversary by ringing the opening bell for NASDAQ on July 31. We caught up with her right before to find out how she stays fit and keeps her energy up through the long work hours.
How did you get involved with Crocs?
I’ve been a fan for a while. I’m actually sporting the Carlisa style right now and got a ton of compliments! I like them a lot because they’re comfy and cute, and I can fit in my orthotics.
Tell me about your injuries on Dancing with the Stars.
I had multiple stress fractures in my feet. I was looking back at a video of our doble paso, and though I remember being in so much pain, I’m not showing it. I never complained! I just kept doing it. I was kind of impressed with myself, I have to say! Now I’m just trying to heal from the show.
What was your favorite part about competing?
It didn’t feel like a competition. I was having way too much fun to compete with anybody. We set the tone by being friendly and helping each other. I made so many good friends, like instructors Derek Hough and Peta Murgatroyd. We all still keep in touch.
In our July/August issue, we shared Weng Funn Chen’s amazing Fitness Fix story (you can also find it here), highlighting her journey to gain energy and find more balance in her hectic life as a mom. One key to her success: A strong relationship with her motivating trainer, Sylwia Wiesenberg, who also happened to be a neighbor. There’s no slacking off when your trainer might catch you walking from the convenience store with a pint of ice cream!
When Chen had so much success following Wiesenberg’s signature Tonique Fitness method, we wanted to learn more about it. Here are three tips from Weisenberg so you can try out Tonique (a name that is a mash-up of toning and unique) at home.
Take the first step. Wiesenberg isn’t picky about how you get moving at first, she just wants you to start. “It’s less important what you do, as long as you move,” she says. Something like climbing the stairs to your office or to your apartment, like Chen did, can make a big impact.
Don’t forget about your behind. “I love squats and lunges, plenty of them, and in every direction. By building strong glutes you’re building a strong core, which can help you run and bike faster and push yourself harder at the gym,” Wiesenberg says. She prefers doing high repetitions with body weight to build endurance, strength and balance. Click here to learn how to try three of her favorite lower body moves that helped Chen score a stronger backside!
Build on a good thing. One of Wiesenberg’s goals is to motivate her clients to try new activities, whether that means running a race or going for a hike. “I want them to get inspired to add new sports and fitness methods beyond Tonique—my goal is to help them want to move,” she says. “Once you experience the unique feeling of truly being fit, you will never want to go back to where you came from.”
Find out more about Tonique at toniquefitness.com and find YouTube videos of signature moves at toniquewoman.com. And stay tuned: Expect two new DVDs this fall, plus, Wiesenberg has a book and a TV show in the works!
More from FITNESS:
- 9 Moves for a Gravity-Defying Butt
- Lose the Baby Weight: Get a Better Body After Baby
- How to Get Fit Without the Gym
Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern
With so many studies on the consequences of excess fat making the news, it’s no wonder obesity has become a hot button issue. After all, no one wants an increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. And to make matters worse, experts predict 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030!
To combat what looks like a very gloomy forecast, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has proposed that all adults be examined for obesity during routine checkups. Our height and weight are already taken, but the USPSTF recommends doctors also calculate BMI; then discuss weight loss plans with patients who have a BMI over 30.
The upside? It may help patients realize potential lifestyle changes are needed, and help is available. In fact, the new proposal could lead to reimbursement for weight loss treatments, such as counseling.
However, it seems a bit shortsighted to make the conversation just about weight loss. There are some health problems that contribute to excess weight, and taking such a quick-fix approach may do more harm then good. After all, many of us know people who “look” healthy, but still engage in very unhealthy activities.
Now you tell us: How would you feel if your doctor started taking BMI measurements?
Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern
In America, growing waistlines have become a big problem. With nearly 70 percent of the population being overweight or obese, it seems like it’ll take a village to solve the dilemma — or maybe a country.
The HBO documentary series The Weight of the Nation stresses that, between ads for unhealthy foods, the expense of buying more nutritious options, the lack of workout spaces and a national shortage of produce (according to one of the experts, there’s not enough available for everyone to eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies), losing excess fat is more than a matter of willpower. But dropping the extra weight is important: the hosts argue that obesity leads to five of the main causes of death —diabetes and kidney disease included— and costs businesses billions of dollars in health care costs each year.
The three-disc DVD set, which hits shelves today, may be a wake up call for some. The creators, in association with Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health, look at the issue from multiple different angles by consulting with various experts, discuss the consequences and possible solutions, and interview people who successfully lost weight and kept it off to give you an arsenal of information.
Now you tell us: What do you know about the obesity epidemic, and do you think documentaries like this can be useful?
If you’re looking for someone who lays everything out on the line, regardless of what other people are going to think of her, then you need to immediately click over to One Twenty Five. Liz, the writer behind this weight-loss blog, shares her uncensored thoughts, which is exactly what we love about her. Now if we could just pack up and visit her in Melbourne, life would be pretty swell, don’t you think?
On my fit life list: Drum roll please…an Ironman. I know it sounds ridiculous to say as, um, I’ve never biked more than a 5K or swam more than one kilometer. But (and this is a big but), I once dreamed of doing a full marathon when I was over 200 pounds and the mere thought of a 5K made my heart skip a beat. And guess what? I ran that full marathon. So I know it’s possible to dream big and accomplish something once deemed impossible.
I’m happiest when I’m: doing CrossFit or running. Wait, what? Did you really believe me? Let’s clarify that: I’m happiest when I just finished a CrossFit session or a run. The moment I stop my watch after a run I didn’t want to do, or the moment I fall to the ground to get my breath back after a CrossFit WOD (workout of the day), is always my favorite. They’re my happy, self high-five moments. It’s always a battle to get out there, but always so worth it when I’m done.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to is: Are you ready for this? I don’t actually listen to music when I run. Nope, I listen to super-duper-steamy-trashy romance novels. I found out when I get into peak training for a marathon, I can’t download music quick enough, so instead I listen to, “she felt his burning eyes…” They’re entertaining, cheap on iTunes and so silly that it’s easy to distract myself from the pain of a long run.
My “I Did It” moment: Since I decided not to be a couch potato and actually knock off some of my “bucket list” tasks, I have to admit I’ve managed to accomplish some pretty awesome things. Three full marathons, a month-long hike to Mt. Everest’s Base Camp, and a move to Melbourne, Australia, to name a few. But my favorite “I Did It moment” was, without a doubt, when I was running the last 50 meters of the Chicago Marathon. Going from obese to running a full marathon within a year is very emotional, and seeing that finish line was just incredibly overwhelming.
My motivation comes from: Knowing I am capable of more than I’ve done. Which yeah, I know sounds really corny, but I’ve decided I am no better or worse than anyone in this world, so why can’t I do all the awesome things out there? Exactly – I can.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.