“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.
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.
Portland houses the International Test Garden for roses, which basically means there are thousands of different varieties of the fragrant flower planted in a handful of large gardens around town. Thanks to our warmer than usual weather most of these are already in bloom, so earlier this week I decided to organize a picnic among the roses. To start I made a salad topped with strawberries straight out of my garden (those are already in season too!). For the main I made a tasty dish with campanelli noodles, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, goat cheese, and a little bacon. While I thought of this as a fancy pasta dish my boyfriend pointed out that it was really just fancy mac and cheese. Tom-a-toes Tom-ah-toes, people!
This dish was a hit and simple to make, but healthy it is not. For a 1/2 pound serving (which is a small bowl-full) this dish clocks in at 320 calories. Not awful at face value, but when you factor in the dish contains 7 grams of saturated fat and 850 mg of sodium—basically 35% of your recommended daily allowance of each—you can see why this was a meal I definitely needed to burn off, stat! (Here’s a healthy mac and cheese recipe to try, if the craving strikes.)
How could I melt away those 320 surplus calories? (more…)
I know what you’re thinking: Corn Dog? Who over the age of 12 eats those? But just imagine what a “gourmet corn dog” would taste like. Because that’s what they sell at various restaurants here in Portland: All-beef franks wrapped in some sort of locally-sourced corn batter and served with at least one type of fancy mustard. They’re delicious and are meant to be eaten with a fork and knife, because apparently these are upscale corn dogs.
Trust me: This fancy corn dog craze is going to hit restaurants near you soon, so it’s important to be prepared for the high caloric cost of this deep-fried meal-on-a-stick. CalorieCount.com estimates suggest a corn dog is around 250 calories, and while that number seems low to, I will stick with it for the sake of consistency (and to save myself even more guilt).
So what are a few of the ways I could have burned off this 250-calorie corn dog, which was my lunch one hot afternoon last week?
I could have played an afternoon game of croquet for 82 minutes.
I could have spent 70 minutes on a stand up paddle board.
I could have done 26 minutes of an outdoor boot camp class.
I wound up doing the boot camp class. Tis the season!
A Summer Food Bucket List: 5 Recipes from Calorie Count
How to Cook with Watermelon
Work it Off: 3 Ways to Zap a 169 Calorie Gelato Bar
Ray Allen knows how important it is to have the right mindset when you want to lose serious weight. After dropping almost 60 pounds during a company sponsored weight loss contest, he slowly gained almost all of it back. Now, 50 pounds lighter, Ray says his biggest obstacle was getting out of his own way.
More from Ray in his own words –
My weight struggle began after the Army when poor food choices and not exercising over the course of a few years got the best of me.
In Feb 2012 I realized I needed to make some permanent changes to my lifestyle. My father died of heart disease at age 44 from a massive heart attack. He didn’t take care of himself and one of the contributing factors was his weight. Getting closer to that age, I decided I wasn’t going to let that happen to me.
I lost 50 pounds in 5 months and now I’m slowly gaining weight in the form of muscle instead of fat.
How did you lose the weight? I knew I needed to eat less so I tracked my calories on the website (caloriecount.about.com) This was an invaluable tool. I kept my calories below 1500, but I knew that what I ate was just as important so I gave up sugar, besides what I put in my coffee, and then eliminated anything sweet including cake, donuts, pastries, etc. I also gave up bread, butter, peanut butter (I went through withdrawals) and cheese.
There’s a revolution happening in New York City and across the internet. CeCe Olisa of TheBigGirlBlog.com and self-declared “Plus Size Princess” is teaming up with nutritionist Abra Pappa and trainer Anthony Truly to bring a 6-week fitness and nutrition boot camp to any woman wanting to embrace her body while being healthy and fit.
“I hope that any woman who embraces her body while striving to achieve goals will join us, because that’s a hard balance to strike,” CeCe told us. The program was created after she began working with Abra personally.
“She (CeCe) wanted to be able to share the work that we are doing with her followers so we have launched a 6-week boot camp both live and virtual,” Abra said.
Having live and virtual options means women anywhere can participate in the boot camp. The women eligible for the live version are those in the New York City area who can attend meetings and sessions in person. Other women wanting to participate can do so online. CeCe filmed the workouts to watch online and she and Abra will be hosting Facebook group nutrition sessions where participants can engage and ask questions.
The boot camp is the physical manifestation of the #PSPfit movement. That movement started last November when CeCe was in a fitness and nutrition slump. (more…)
When you hear the term “bootcamp,” what comes to mind? An angry drill sergeant forcing you to do more push ups than you can count? Well, if you visited TeamFit bootcamp in Gilbert, Arizona you’d find quite a different scene. Yes, there are pushups, but owner and trainer Jeff Vukobratovich prides himself on offering up fun, innovative workouts that will get anyone motivated to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Vukobratovich made TeamFit easy for people to fit into their everyday lives. Each 45-minute workout is a fast-moving, cardio-driven, strength training session that incorporates agility drills, core strengthening, and more. It’s no surprise people are seeing results.
Cindy Fredette, 46, is one of those success stories. Fredette is a teacher and mom of three living in Gilbert. She weighed nearly 165 pounds and was a size 14 when she started TeamFit. Today she weighs just 125 pounds and feels more toned than ever at a size 5. In total, she’s lost more than 25 inches. It all started with a willingness to try something new for the sake of improving her health. (more…)
Kristin Cavallari is widely known by fans of her former show, The Hills. Cavallari has also recently become engaged to NFL Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. The upcoming wedding along with not being satisfied with how she looked on television motivated Cavallari to do something about her weight. In order to tone up and slim down for her special day, Cavallari started intense workouts and kickboxing sessions to get her body back into shape.
Cavallari admitted that she had gained around eight pounds since she started seeing Cutler and would “eat like a 6’4” guy” at the beginning of their relationship. One of the main things Cavallari cut from her diet was alcohol. She stated that cutting alcohol was important to her weight loss because, “when I’m hung over, I eat whatever I want.” In addition to cutting out alcohol, she also worked out with a trainer three times per week and then did cardio exercise for 40 minutes. By sticking with her plan, Cavallari has whittled her weight to 109 pounds for her 5’3” frame.
With summer vacation quickly approaching, many parents are trying to think of ways to keep their kids occupied throughout the day without breaking the bank. Keeping kids active is important to help them avoid boredom and keep them from becoming couch potatoes over the next couple of months. With a little planning, you can ensure your kids have their best summer ever, and they will stay active in the process. Below are some fun ways to keep kids active and occupied while they are on summer vacation:
Limit electronic consumption. Setting some boundaries about how long kids can watch TV will keep them from turning into couch potatoes. The same goes for playing video games and being on the computer. This will also allow them to branch into other activities that will get them moving. Encourage playing outside and go outside with them. This will teach kids to be creative with the games they come up with while getting them to exercise.
Guest blogger, Vicki L. VanArsdale is a freelance writer, certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. By adopting a healthy and active lifestyle, she has lost 100 lbs. Her mission is to motivate and inspire people through her actions and words. Get healthy from the inside, out is her motto. Learn more on Vicki’s blog.
Military-inspired boot camp classes have been around for a while and are growing in popularity. If you don’t like working out in gyms, bootcamp classes may be for you. Most classes are held outdoors in all types of weather. Classes usually last for one hour and include a warm-up and cool-down.
If you’ve never taken a bootcamp class expect to be sore and tired, but in a good way. Classes consist of running, calisthenics, aerobics and weight training. Some programs are held Monday through Friday, working different body parts or doing different activities each day. For example, you may do upper body and lower body two days a week plus one day of core work, long runs or hills. (more…)
The Biggest Loser is leaving their fancy gym and state-of-the-art fitness equipment at home when the contestants head to Camp Pendleton to live and train like some of the most fit and motivated people in this great country: the Marines.
Tonight’s episode, which is only one hour, wastes no time as two Marines pile the contestants into military trucks and the gang embarks on the fitness test of their lives at the largest Marine training facility on the west coast. The week’s workouts are led by a select group of Marines that takes the contestants, including Frado, a former Marine himself, on grueling hikes with loaded backpacks, forces them to complete early morning rifle exercises and intense obstacle courses that build their physical and mental strength and endurance. (more…)