We stole Tony Dovolani off the dance floor for a little Q&A about the super cool world that is ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Not only
does did he have the uber fabulous job of being Betsey Johnson’s dance partner, but he also serves as the show’s dance and health expert. Portion control, his personal fitness regimen, and his personal secret to health were all up for grabs. Even cooler than that, he has a lot to say about how the sassy 72-year-old fashion icon got herself in what might be the best shape of her life. Despite what the judges may think — he scores perfect 10s with us!
Q: Congratulations on your success this season with Betsey Johnson, we were all sad to see you go!
A: Thank you! I feel like we were just hitting our stride. She was really improving and our journey was cut short. At least we ended on a high note and left people wanting more!
Q: What stood out to you this season as a dancer and wellness expert?
A: Betsey was a great example for me to show what I’m capable of: making them healthy and changing their life. She could do a cartwheel and splits when she came in, but would be out of breath right after. I was able to work with her on her diet and fitness to help her improve.
Q: DWTS seems to be one of the most beneficial weight loss methods for celebrities. Why do you think that is?
A: The #1 reason is because the body stays active. Dancing involves every single muscle in your body. When you start exercising that much, nutrition naturally falls into place. Your body starts asking for healthier things. You can’t dance when you over eat. It forces you to have a healthy life.
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We’ve all got our reasons for not being as physically active as we should. Typically, low energy level, time, and other lifestyle constraints affect our decision to hit the gym. But according to a study from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, there’s another reason women aren’t engaging in exercise as much as they’d like.
Seventeen percent of women reported that the breast was a barrier to physical activity participation. I can’t find the right sports bra and I am embarrassed by excessive breast movement were the most significant breast-related setbacks recorded by the study.
It’s no wonder women experience this obstacle when considering the unique nature of female breast tissue. According to this article from the New York Times, a recent study by the Research Group in Breast Health discovered that “unsupported female breasts — that is, those not contained within a bra — oscillate as much as eight inches in space when a woman runs, and not just up and down, but also side to side, forward and backward.” Wow. That’s a lot of motion!
This is no surprise to Renelle Braaten, founder and president of ENELL, a company whose purpose is to create state-of-the-art, high-quality performance sports bras for women C cup or above so that they have the opportunity to fully participate in an active lifestyle.
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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.”
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 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.
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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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.
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