Author Archives: Dani Stone

Nike+ Running is the App that Loves You Back: Why the Cheers from the Sidelines, and Facebook, Actually Matter

interactive apps nike

Talk to anyone who’s ever run a marathon, a 5K, or any of the other Ks and they will tell you the best motivation is the crowd on the sidelines. The applause, and shouts of “come on, you can do it” are sometimes all the push they need to hoof it another mile.

Now, thanks to apps like Nike+ Running that sync with Facebook, runners can experience the same race-day rush during their daily trek through the neighborhood or park.

Angela VanBuskirk is an avid runner who participates in several races per year. She competes because they make her feel strong, alive, and also, she admits to being a medal hoarder – the bigger the better. The best thing by far, she says, are the cheering crowds.

“It’s a thing where your body is working so, so hard,” VanBuskirk explained. “You push harder than you ever knew you could and then seeing that finish line, hearing people who have never met screaming ‘YOU GOT THIS! GO! FINISH STRONG!’ It’s better than anything.”

“Out of nowhere you will hear the roar of a crowd, then another, it’s friggin awesome.” 

She was introduced to the Nike+ Running app by her buddies in the Ozark Mountain Ridge Running Club. It offers the option to sync with your Facebook account and each time you run, the following message is delivered to your followers: Angela is out on a run with Nike -Send me cheers along the way by liking or commenting on this post.

Angela says it was a surreal but wonderful experience to hear the applause and cheering noises through her ear buds as each like and comment came in.

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Ginnie Wade Lost 55 Pounds When She Stopped Looking for the Quick Fix

After years of looking for the weight loss “quick fix,” Ginnie Wade realized there was no shortcut, just hard work. Instead of joining an expensive gym or eating pricey organic food, her journey to a healthier life started with a ten dollar DVD. Now, 55 pounds lighter, Ginnie says she’s learned a lot and “really enjoyed the journey – mostly.”

ginnie wade

Tell me when your weight struggles began. I started to put on weight when I was working as a dog groomer in my early 20’s. I didn’t get much exercise and would go home exhausted and eat whatever I could find or stop and get fast food. Then I had my first child and gained about 60 pounds. I stayed home with her and found myself around food all day. When I was bored, I would eat.

I was able to lose most of the weight at a local gym, but not long after I got to my goal weight, I started putting the weight back on. I only changed temporary things and went right back to my old lifestyle.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? One day my sister and I went shopping for a dress and nothing fit. I couldn’t understand why. That day my sister gave me painful but needed advice, “You’re fat and you need to do something about it.” I had been hearing the same thing from my doctor. After hearing it from my sister I knew I finally needed to make some changes.

How did you lose the weight? I purchased a 9.99 fitness DVD at Walmart. Even though the DVD had been there collecting dust for a year, I brushed it off and popped it in the VCR. I started slow and did what I could, aiming for three days a week. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. That helped me stay on track eating real food.

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Kristy Brock Lost 93 Pounds after She was Diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and Started Running

Kristy Brock remembers the day she saw the scale hit 300 pounds. “I felt like I had hit bottom,” she admitted. “I had no where to look but up, and I came to a place where I realized I had to surrender. I let go of the food issues. I wanted to be an example of self-control, love and life, not loss of control and laziness.”

Kristy Brock used a combination of “real food” and running to lose an amazing 93 pounds.

kristy brock before after

More from Kristy  –

Tell me when your weight struggles began. Weight has been a personal struggle for me for as long as I can remember. I joined “Diet Workshop” in 4th grade and went from 90 pounds to 70. In high school I struggled with anorexia and bulimia. After high school I married someone who struggled with drug addiction, and I dealt with the stress of that by seeking comfort in food. I also had three children and gained weight with each of them.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I didn’t have any control over portion size, or what I was eating. I ate foods that tasted good and made me feel good. I felt like the food controlled me. I ate when I was bored, when I was tired, when I was stressed

What caused you to realize you needed to change? When the scale hit 300 pounds, it scared me. I had little to no energy, and had four active kids (two of whom are on the autism spectrum) to take care of. I started to feel like the “fat mom”, and was embarrassed for my kids. I kept thinking of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and how they felt about their obese mom.

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Your Bad Personal Trainer is Ruining Your Fitness Goals and What You Should Do About it

bad personal trainer at gym

Personal trainers are supposed to be the cheerleaders of the gym. Their role is to guide us through our weight loss journey by challenging us to work harder, demonstrating proper technique, answering questions, and giving the all-important pep talk. Unfortunately, they can also be overzealous, insensitive, inappropriate, and downright rude.

If you have a bad experience with a personal trainer but love your gym, it can seem like an inequitable fitness divorce. The personal trainer gets to keep the house (gym) with the pool while you sulk away with your bag of funky sweaty towels and workout clothes.

The Bored Trainer

After the birth of my second daughter I joined a local YMCA to get back in shape and eliminate my “bingo wings.” I was a tired mama looking for a beacon of weight loss hope. Instead, I was introduced to my personal trainer, the apathetic chubby lady babysitter. I talked about my goals. He yawned. I didn’t know how to turn on a stair climbing machine. He told me to get on, pushed all the buttons for me, and then watched Judge Judy on the gym TV while I tried not to pass out. (more…)

Cynthia Arnold Lost 76 Pounds by Taking One Year to Focus On Her Health

“I was always considered the big girl with a pretty face my entire life. From the age of 20 to 30 I gained over 100 pounds dealing with low self-esteem, taking care of two children and not taking care of me.” Cynthia Arnold says her weight never really bothered her, but as a diabetic with high blood pressure, she knew the extra pounds were taking a toll on her body.

cynthia arnold

One day, the woman who put everyone else first decided she needed to take top priority. “On May 6, 2013 I started to love me,” she admitted. “I dedicated one year to a journey of self-discovery and made a vow to get healthy.” After losing 76 pounds, Cynthia is declaring the journey a complete success, in more ways than one.

More from Cynthia in her own words –

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Binge eating. I would go days without eating and then eat until I was sick. I didn’t know portion control and used food as a comfort zone. When I was sad, angry or depressed, food was my best friend.

How did you lose the weight? I realized that it was going to take discipline to get the rewards I was looking for, so I started out with NO white carbs at all for about a week so my body could detox from the sugar. After that I did no carbs after noon and tried to eat clean. I made sure I shopped the outer edges of the store, didn’t eat too much processed food and did lots of research. 

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Pamela Arias Lost 150 Pounds When She Walked Away from Her Sugar Addiction

Pamela Arias lost over 150 pounds. After being overweight for most of her life, Pamela admits she weighs 24 pounds more right now than she did in the 6th grade. “And to think that I lived my entire life this way until I was 38 years old,” she said. “I’m so glad I made the decision two years ago to change my life.”

pamela arias

More from Pamela in her own words –

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate fast food, processed foods and fried foods. This was the only lifestyle I’d ever known.

What made you realize you needed to change? I was miserable every day. I had horrible sciatica, lower back pain, and my knees would give out going up and down stairs in my own home. One day I had taken the kids to the local races. You had to walk an incline to get into the event, but not very far. I couldn’t catch my breath. My husband had to go get the car and come pick me up.

How did you lose the weight? Through lots of hard work, dedication and research. I do both cardio and heavy weight training. I eat a much more healthy diet now than I ever did. I stay away from processed, boxed, canned foods and only shop the outer edges of the grocery store. I count my calories and eat depending on what my goals are.

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Shelly Jones Lost 57 Pounds When She Refused to Fall Back on Old Habits After Knee Surgery

Shelly Jones lives by the motto, “Keep moving forward.” After losing 57 pounds, she was waylaid by knee surgery and other external forces beyond her control. Though she’s been frustrated by the lack of movement on the scale, she knows there are other methods to chart her success including the way her body feels, the healthy choices she makes and in the way her clothes fit.

When Shelly went swimsuit shopping this summer she said she almost started crying. “I realized how much smaller I looked in the mirror and how much better I feel.” Regarding the picture below, Shelly admitted, ” That girl in the first two pictures, while happy, was miserable.”

shelly jones swimsuit

More from Shelly in her own words:

Tell me when your weight struggles began. My weight struggles started when I was a child. Many of my fondest memories have food in them. I am not sure at what point I became fat, but I can recall being made fun of as early as 3rd grade.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? God created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare for drama and these emotions were handled with food. They still are to this day. As much as I showed my emotions, I covered them up inside, calorie after calorie.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I have always known I needed to change, I just had difficulty making it happen. I do not want to pass down a legacy of bad food choices, dependence on food, or an unhealthy body weight or image to my girls.

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Andrea Green Lost 136 Pounds by saying “You are Not a Dog. Do Not Reward Yourself with Food.”

“The kids used to say ‘Look out, Pudge is having a big mac attack, get out of her way.” Andrea Green can still recall the cruel taunts from her childhood. Considered almost morbidly obese from a young age. Andrea grew to be an adult who lived in her body, but didn’t live for it. Then, a scary health diagnosis for her husband and an inspiring chance encounter at a wedding convinced her to change her lifestyle.

Now, 136 pounds lighter, Andrea is doing things she never thought possible, like completing a short course triathlon.

andrea green 2

I lost 10 pounds the wrong way by under eating and over exercising, which damaged my metabolism.

Over the years, Andrea tried to lose weight on her own, but she pursued the quick fix instead of the long haul approach. By the time she married her husband, she’d gained another 90 pounds. “I used being busy as an excuse to eat takeout and convenience food,” she admitted. “I used to work two full-time jobs. I never packed meals so I ate out twice a day. Then when I got married, we ate a lot of pre-packaged foods.”

Before when I saw people succeed at this kind of weight loss, I thought they were somehow super human, had personal chefs or didn’t work. 

When Andrea’s husband was diagnosed with diabetes, she realized that both their diets needed a huge overhaul. To lose weight, she considered gastric bypass surgery, but then she remembered the friend she had seen recently at a wedding. He was also busy with work and famil, but still managed to lose 100 pounds just by changing his lifestyle.

Before having the surgery, Andrea decided to give herself five months to see progress on her own. In that time she lost 60 pounds! (more…)

Breaking Down the Barre Craze: Which Ballet-Inspired Workout is On Pointe for You?

Ballet dancers have flexible bodies conditioned from hours of training. Their specialized workouts create long and lean frames — think Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Their shapely legs, abs, thighs and buttocks come through hybrid weight training, Pilates and cardio workouts with some straight-up ballet pole (barre) stretching.

Their moves are spreading like wildfire, and barre-style workouts are popping up throughout the world with a variety of applications. From sweat-inducing cardio sessions that are hardly a dainty ballet class, to classes that stay true to their ballerina roots, there is a barre workout for you!

If you don’t want to dance in Swan Lake, but do want to get a more toned ballet-ready body, read on as we break down the different methods and tell you which celebrities are on pointe for this craze.

It doesn’t matter which class you choose — you are gonna WORK! 

beyond barre

BEYONDBARRE

Feel the burn and see the results in your core, arms and legs, and the glutes.

You’ll need a ballet barre, a handrail (or a counter top), and a super cool GlideBoard.

Inspired by ballet, ice skating, and intense cardio classes.

Differs from others because of an intense approach that incorporates cardio for fat burning and endurance.

Attend a class at one of a dozen studios in the U.S.

 

barre3

BARRE3

Described as “ballet meets yoga and Pilates”

Utilizes a 3-step method where poses are held for longer periods with focus on small muscle movements. Session ends with a cardio blast.

Celebrity fans include Madonna, who may be striking a pose beside you at your next Barre3 class.

Required accessories include a yoga mat, small “prop” ball, ballet barre or sturdy chair.

Classes popping up in over 30 US cities, Canada and even the Philippines with more coming soon. DVDs: Seven different workouts sold on the Barre3.com website.

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Susan Hanks Lost 118 Pounds with the Help of a Caring Personal Trainer and Flat-Out Determination!

Susan Hanks is the reason this True Weight Loss segment makes my heart happy. At one point, her weight exceeded 500 pounds. Instead of turning to fad diets or pills, she just dug deep and swapped bad habits for good ones. She admits it’s been a mental struggle, and she couldn’t have done it without the help of her fabulous personal trainer.

susan hanks collage crop

Now, 118 pounds down, this courageous woman knows how to lose weight and stay healthy, she just has to stay the course. “I take it one meal at a time,” she said.

Food was my comfort.

It’s a sentiment we hear so many times at DIR. People turn to food for celebration, comfort, boredom, and it’s rarely bell peppers that they’re mindlessly munching.  “I ate all the time, bad food was better, and I never ate healthy,” Susan admitted. “I was miserable. I had no friends and low self esteem. I knew I was eating myself to death. Finally I realized I wanted more out of life. I was tired of just existing.”

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