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Best Friends Michelle and Alison's Weight-Loss Journey

Grab a workout buddy to get more motivated. Here's how two best friends got back on track.

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Michelle and Alison working out
Sarah Kehoe
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Michelle & Alison's Weight-Loss Plan

"We're tired of the extra pounds we've put on in the last few years. We need a boost of motivation to get up, go to the gym, and cut out the snacking!"

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Michelle and Alison's Diet Plan

"Alison and Michelle had different diet challenges but they both needed to make similar tweaks to lose weight: eating more vegetables to stay full and having a meal or snack every four hours to avoid getting too hungry."
-- Patricia Davidson, RD

Sample Diet Menu

2 slices whole-grain bread, 1 tablespoon peanut butter

1/2 turkey sandwich, mixed salad with olive oil and vinegar, apple or peach

1 cup of Greek yogurt, 6-8 almonds

3 ounces grilled chicken, 1 cup green vegetable, 2/3 cup long-grain rice

8 sourdough pretzels, hummus

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Michelle and Alison's Workouts

"We've been sweating hard -- we can finally get through circuits without stopping and we're starting to see results!"

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Michelle and Alison's Workout Plan

"I pushed Michelle and Alison to get out of their comfort zone in the gym. Don't be afraid to get your heart rate up."
-- Jeff Marmelstein, trainer

Sample Workout Routine

Circuit Routine
15 seconds rest between each exercise, rest 1-2 minutes before repeating circuit.

  • Kettlebell swings: 40 seconds (Grab kettlebell with both hands, slightly bend knees, swinging kettlebell between legs and up to shoulder height in front of you, arms extended.)
  • Push-ups: 40 seconds
  • Walking lunges, holding either kettlebells or dumbbells: 1 minute
  • Plank: hold for 45 seconds
  • Jump rope: 1 minute
  • Single-arm swings with kettlebell: 25 seconds each side
  • Dumbbell shoulder press: 45 seconds
  • Jump squats: 40 seconds
  • Medicine ball slam: 30 seconds (In squat position, hold 4- to 8-pound medicine ball in both hands, raising over head. Throw ball down to the floor a foot or so in front of you and catch as it bounces back up.)
  • Mountain climbers: 30 seconds
  • Bent-over barbell rows: 45 seconds
  • Stability ball leg curls: 45 seconds (Lie down, back to the floor, bend knees, and place heels onto a stability ball. Pushing heels into ball and bending knees, curl ball toward butt and extend back to starting position.)
  • Crunches on a stability ball: 1 minute
  • Step-ups, using either a 12- or 18-inch step: 1 minute
  • Alternating dumbbell arm curls: 45 seconds
  • Diamond push-ups: 30 seconds (Palms on floor, pointer finger and thumbs touching to form a diamond shape below chest.)
  • Russian twist: 45 seconds (Crunch, twisting upper body to the left, back to center, then to the right.)
  • Jump rope: 1 minute

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Ready for the Race

"We're so proud of how strong we've gotten in just a few months! We really encouraged each other, so we're thinking about running a half-marathon together next year."

Originally published on, October 2010.

Read more about Michelle and Alison's Weight-Loss Journey

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