Monthly Archives: May 2009

HOW MELISSA JOAN HART LOST 42 LBS

MELISSAJOANHARTAt the age of 33, after 2 pregnancies Melissa Joan Hart found herself having a difficult time taking off the extra 35 lbs she had gained during her second pregnancy. After some ultra-unflattering pictures taken of her in a bikini she knew she had to do something, but what? The former Clarissa Explains It All star started out by getting rid of her candy stash that she kept in the house, and then cut out no-no foods like pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. She admits that her willpower just wasn’t enough, and she still kept on slipping up.

MELISSAJOANHARTPREGNANT

“I kept losing my willpower, ” she remembers, “It’s hard for me to say “no” to something, whether it’s a cupcake at a party or popcorn at the movies” By January despite her half serious efforts, she still couldn’t fit into her pre-baby jeans. Deciding that it was finally time to get serious, she enlisted the help of a nutrutionist and trainer. She knew from her friend Jaime Pressly, and her own mother (a mother of 7 who Melissa reports is “tiny”) that being a Mom does not sentence you to a life of being overweight.

HER DIET

Hart uses a food journal to track all her choices to make sure that she is making healthy selections. Breakfast is often a protien shake with rice milk and flax seeds (offers important Omega 3’s), lunch might be a whole wheat turkey wrap with avocado, hummus and tomatoes and dinner is usually salmon or halibut. When she has cravings, she prefers unsalted almonds, a slice of prosciutto with feta cheese or has a piece of gum.

HER WORKOUT

Three times a week Melissa hits the gym with her trainer Mark Harari to do a 60 minute routine of interval training, mixing weights and resistance bands. She also takes two group classes such as spinning at Pulse Fitness Studio in Sherman Oaks. http://pulsefitnessstudio.com/

melissajoanhart bad picMELISSAJOANHARTBABY

Hart says that being a mother comes first, and did not want to put getting back into shape over spending time with her sons. A rigorous workout schedule was not in the cards for Melissa Joan Hart, who used to have daily 4:30 am workouts that kept her trim on Clarissa Explains it All. She admits that after having her sons, she never thought she would pose in a bikini again. With the help of trainer Mark Harari at Pulse Fitness Studio , her hard work is finally paying off. http://markharari.com/

 Hart admits that it’s hard work, and she will have to stay vigilant about her diet. Her biggest fear is that she will blow it again. She says that she is allowed frozen yogurt or chips and guacamole occasionally so that she doen’t feel deprived. She stays on top her any weight gain by aking sure she keeps short term goals in mind like “being able to fit into a pretty dress” If a few pounds do creep up, she says she is finally at peace with my body and grateful for her wonderful life, and really can’t complain about her thighs! Well, those thighs are really looking great Melissa, keep up the great work!!

MELISSAJOANHARTPEOPLECOVER

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Get Reese Witherspoon’s Hot Body

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Reese Witherspoon has an enviable figure. It seems to me that she is just getting better with age. But to keep her petite 5’2 frame looking toned and trim, Reese definitley has her work cut out for her. In addition to regular running jaunts and hiking, Reese tries to mix it up to keep things fresh. Seen recently in Santa Monica, Reese incorporates yoga, pilates and calisthetic moves to strenghten her core and increase flexibility and increase overall conditioning.reesewitherspoonfitness

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reeseworkoutThe image above is Reese in blue shorts entering Burn 60, a pilates gym in Brentwood also a fitness destination for post-baby Marcia Cross and Nicole Kidman.

Interval training is likely a technique Reese frequently uses. Jason Walsh, who has trained starlets such as Reese and Jessica Biel recommends intense interval training.

He calls it 30/30. Pick an exercise and go all out as hard as you can for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. Do this for 30 minutes. This is going to raise your metabolism and get a lot done in a short amount of time. Plus, you’ll work a lot harder than you normally would because the effort doesn’t seem as much when you can rest between intervals.

JASON WALSH is also a fan of Vitaforte, a powder that contains all the vitamins and minerals you need in one  superfood scoop. He also loves green tea.

Running the stairs is another favorite of Jason Walsh. Run the bleachers at a field or stadium at your local high school, or community college. Climb the stairs, and then run a lap to cool down. Jason is a big supporter of not training in a gym. He contends that people should get out and get more active outside.

 

reesewitherspoonsoftballReese is also a fan of softball, and has been spotted up to bat. This is great training for hand eye coordination,shoulder definition, cardio and working abdominals.

 

 

Another known favorite of Reese’s is a class offered in Santa Monica called YogaHop. This is a 90 minute class that sets yoga postures to hip hop, pop and rock for an intense, powerful and fun work out. If you are an L.A. local, check out this class in Santa Monica at 1612 Montana Ave, 2nd floor for just $18 a session or $250 for a series of 20. Fans include Gabrielle Anwar, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaalhttp://www.yogahop.com/index.asp

reesewitherspoonyogahop

 

Reese’s diet consists mainly of fruits, veggies and whole grains to keep her svelte new shape. Typical day might include a high fiber muffin, chicken and salad for lunch and salmoon with veggies for dinner. It seems Reese likes to keep her workouts fresh, fun and outdoors as frequently as possible.reeseyellowdressreesereesewitherspoon

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What Does It Take to Lose Weight?

mr.tAs I think about the week, visions of “Mr. T” come into my head. Yes, I pity the fool who don’t stick to his weight loss resolve…but I tell you, it is a lot of hard work. I feel very grateful that I am not having issues with my diet right now. Thanks to the amazing low glycemic diet, my cravings and hunger are under control, and have not been an issue since I hit the three week mark.

Sleep deprivation, however, has become an issue. For sure. I am a single Mom of a 3 year old, so after working my full time job, I do my other 40 hr a week job of caring for her, after which I head to the gym to do my cardio work for an hour or more, and then get home and make my meals for the next day, do my reading and meditations, and catch up with my social networking and side projects for work before going to bed. Yeah. Crazy talk!

spinningLast night I was at the gym til midnight running for an hour, and then got up before work this morning to get to a 5:45 spinning class (high intensity cycling) so I could do some cardio before I went home to get my daughter ready for school and then head off to work. Yeah, I think caffeine is the most important substance in my life right now. Not kidding. So, this gets me to thinking…why am I so dedicated? What is making me do this despite severe lack of sleep? What is pushing me? Am I crazy?

I guess the answer is simple. I am finally truly dedicated to losing the weight, no kidding. I have done enough visualizations and positive thinking to know that it’s going to work. I realize that all my excuses and procrastination of the last 2-3 years is not going to cut it, it’s time to make a firm resolve and hit my goal weight no matter what obstacle comes my way…so that means some days I am going to be tired.  Really tired. I’d rather be tired because I am healthy and fit than tired because I am overweight and on the blood sugar roller coaster. I am looking at this as my OTHER job. Just as important as my 9-5.

So, I am still excited to see my body changing at a rapid clip. I see my entire middle section slimming out, ,and my upper body losing fat. Those are some of my major trouble areas. Clothes that were tight are now fitting nicely. However, I did get on the scale, and as of this morning no change since I dropped 2 lbs on Saturday morning. That’s 5 days. I have not cheated on my diet, and I have been religious about my exercise, so I know it’s just a matter of time. I will check in on Saturday when I weigh in again, hopefully there will be a drop…but the weight drop is inevitable. I will kep the faith even when I don’t see immediate changes in the scale.

Here’s my tips for the week:

NO EXCUSES!! If I have plans to go to the gym for 2 hours a day and do cardio, that is what I do. No skipping workouts or putting things off and promising myself I will double up tomorrow (never happens). When it comes to my exercise, never put off tomorrow what I can do today.

WATER AND OOLONG TEA. Seriously, thank the good Lord for my portable tea packets. I am not kidding. The combo of fresh water and healthy tea is a lifesaver when I feel so tired that I cannot think straight. I can never say enough, I LOVE THIS STUFF!! Try it, you will not be sorry. Not to mention that people who drink this kind of tea are shown to lose more belly fat than those who diet and exercise without it. Anything I can do to lose my belly makes me happy. http://offer.wuyipixiepack.com

24 HOUR FITNESS. No matter what, I must have a routine that is possible for me to do regularly, so if that means going to the gym late at night, that is what I do. If that means I workout to DVD’s at home, that is what I must do. Crazy hours and hectic schedules are no excuse. I recommend scheduling workouts to suit your schedule and then sticking to it, no matter what. Being tired is no excuse. There are plenty of times when we are tired and still have to go to work or keep other commitments. Exercise is no exception. Being too tired to exercise is perhaps the luxury of thin people, but not me. I will march (or jog) towards my weight loss goal.

GET SUPPORT! Through this blog, and talking to my trainer, close family members, co-workers, and friends I have a large community of people who are supporting me, asking me about my progress and checking with me how I am doing on my diet and exercise. Everyone is super supportive, but it’s especially nice to hear people who are excited for me, those who tell me they see changes in my shape, and those who tell me that my progress has inspired them to try to reach their own goal. I love the company…Hillary Clinton always said it takes a village, right?

FUN! Uhhh, yeah…I am not some crazy goal oriented, masochistic freak. Well, maybe a little, but c’mon people, a girl has got to have some fun. All work and no play make Connie a dull girl.  I have a few gym buddies that I see and talk to during my workouts, classes I go to because the music is fun, and have recently incorporated dance classes on top of my regular workouts so that it doesn’t get boring and dull. I love dancing, so that is a special time for me to be creative and enjoy the aesthetic and physical challenge of dance. I particularly love my adult ballet class, and latin dance classes (Zumba!!). For other people that may mean taking nature walks, participating in a group sport or learning a new skill (like surfing or yoga)…but whatever way you do it, make sure you incorporate an active element into your life that’s not just for the sake of losing weight, but is actually FUN!!

For those of you who are curious about my specific diet, I will update my twitter status that streams on the blog, but here’s the gist:

8:30 am 4 egg white omlete with 1/8 cup cheese and salsa

11 am 1/4 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries are all good choices)

1 pm Mixed greens salad with grilled veggies and 4 oz. chicken, spray-able salad dressing, tossed and chopped

4 pm 1/2 cup berries and walnuts if I feel hungry

7 pm mixed greens salad drizzled with olive oil, or Miso Soup, 4-6 oz. fish and steamed vegetable

11 pm peanut butter balls (2 TBsp natural peanut butter, 1 scoop vanilla protien powder and 2 Tbsp Splenda…see recipes for info) and Peppermint Tea (2 bags, steeped for 5 minutes and lots of Splenda so that it is sweet and strong in flavor)

I mix up veggies, varieties of nuts and berries, dressings and types of fish so that it doesn’t get too boring. I am always satisfied, and the weight is coming of relativley quickly. Hurray! Please let me know if you have any questions about my diet and exercise routines. Love ya’ll.

xoxo

 

Connie

 

p.s. Anyone who would like to buy me a massage will be my new best friend.

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Gyminee

I recently started using Gyminee.com, it’s a weight loss tool and social networking site. It’s a similar concept as the bodybugg, just free. I love that. Check it out. I currently have a challenge on there if you are interested. I want to hear your success stories and feature you!!

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Gyminee is a fun and effective way to track your progress (inches and pounds lost), log your food and schedule and track workouts. Gyminee lets you log in your weight as frequently as you wish and will graph the changes for you. It’s a lot of fun to visually see your goals in action. The nutrition log has thousands of foods, and you can choose what you are eating, Gyminee.com will log it, and show you the calories for each food with a breakdown of the fat, carbs and protien in each. It’s super cool, plus it will make a pie chart of your nutritional breakdown, which is easy to see where your calories are going.

Follow this link to see my food log for the day and an example of the pie chart:

http://www.gyminee.com/foodsGyminee.com

 

Gyminee.com is a great tool, and also offers an online community. I am a big believer in support throughout this process. I know that on days like today (when I wake up tired and hungry and just want to say forget it to my diet and exercise) I need the support more than ever.weightloss1

Check out www.gyminee.com, you will like it!

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Jessica Alba’s Post Baby Body

OK, so I need to stop for a second here and say that Jessica Alba looks absolutely amazing for just having had a baby, my daughter is 3 and I am not anywhere near as fit as she is. She only gained 25 pounds total and since she exercised during her pregnancy, it was easier for her body to bounce back. I am always curious what celebs do to keep up their fitness level, and if they know any tricks that I am not aware of, so here’s the deal:

In an issue of US Weekly, her trainer Ramona Braganza sums up how this celeb got her body back in shape. Here are the highlights:

Her diet: Each day, Jessica eats between 1,700 and 2,000 calories, and her workouts help burn 550 calories. Nursing also burns an additional 500 calories a day.

Her workouts: Jessica works out for an hour, five or six days a week. She was big into the 12-week 3-2-1 Baby Bulge Be Gone workout since it kept her moving with 10-minute sets of cardio, circuit training, and core training. She also enjoys swimming, weight lifting, and using her treadmill at home.

Now that Jessica’s back to her pre-baby body, she feels proud and isn’t shy about showing off her body. It’s nice to hear that she wasn’t working out crazy hours or excessively restricting her diet. An hour a day for a workout may seem like a lot for a new mom, but as you can see, it really made a difference to this new mom. I say good for her. This program is something that is doable for anyone who makes it a priority.

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The Quest for The Seemingly Unattainable Goal Weight

Ladies and Gentlemen, it seems that for the umpteenth time in the last 20 some-odd years I am embarking upon a quest for my illusive goal weight. I was in the best shape of my life 4 years ago, but after having a baby, going through divorce, and licking my wounds in some unhealthy ways (i.e. eating like a pig and not exercising regularly) I find myself in a conundrum. I was tipping the scales at a horrifying 205, and seemed unable to lose a single pound, or inch, or ANYTHING!! What’s a chubby girl to do?

As a single Mom,  it’s sometimes hard to find the time and motivation to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and really make it stick. I mean, I really just wanted to get my hot body back, and be cute and comfortable in my own skin. However, faced with the fact that I was not getting any thinner, and that anything short of a very concerted effort was not working, I decided that I needed a serious overhaul.

This began about 6 weeks ago. I knew that I needed to look closely at what I was putting in my mouth and how much I was really exercising. It was time to get honest, to get real. After several weeks of tinkering with my food and exercise with no visible results or progress on the scale, I ran into a friend of mine who is a trainer at the gym. He gave me a few pointers,  and talked about how important diet was, and asked me if I wanted to train with him. Impulsively, I said yes. I am so glad I did!

Since I started working with him I have seen visible results and lost 6 lbs on the scale. My clothes are fitting again, and my figure is coming back slowly but surely. I am working very hard to get results. I have along way to go, but feel like I am have already made some huge progress by breaking through some barriers.  I want to share some of the secrets of my recent success with you!

TALK TO A PRO

I have been athletic all my life. I know how to eat healthy, and I know how to work out. However, there is something to be said for expert advice and help. After all, if I had cancer, would I try and cure it myself? Nope. So, I enlisted the help of a trainer. This has several benefits. I feel accountable to him and want to stay on track so that he will be happy with me. I also have made a financial commitment to him, so I feel the pinch in my pocketbook to take the training and diet seriously and not waste my money. Most importantly however, I have a trainer who knows what he is doing. He sees my specific build and body type and knows what is going to work to get me a long, sleek shape. It’s a good idea to try and find a highly qualified trainer who understands that every person needs a tailored routine, and if they understand diet, it’s even better. Otherwise, you may want to also consult with a nutritionist. Even if you only work with a trainer for a month to kick start an exercise routine or go to a dietitian a few times, it’s worth the time and investment.

WRITE IT DOWN

An invaluable tool for the last 4 weeks has been keeping a food journal. I was writing down what I was eating and bringing it to my trainer to show him my progress. The first 2-3 weeks I did not see a big change in my weight or in how I felt. Well, after looking at my food log I could see that  it was partly because I was eating protein bars (at least they weren’t cookies) whenever I felt I needed a sweet treat. So, even though my trainer had said protein bars were OK, too many calories is still too many calories…and at the end of the day a huge part of weight loss is simply the math…burn more calories than you consume and viola, you will lose weight.  By writing it down, I started to see the patterns that were keeping me stuck, the foods that were causing me to crave and binge (I call them TRIGGER FOODS). So, after 2 weeks of over indulging on certain trigger foods, I decided that I needed to eliminate protien bars from my diet. Since then I lost another 3 lbs, and the cravings have gone away.

TUPPERWARE AND BROWN BAG IT

Another huge help has been preparing all my meals the night before and planning them in advance. I eat basically the same thing every day with some slight variations. A huge help has been measuring, preparing and packaging all my meals the night before. When I am hungry in the morning and have no willpower, I just heat up the omelet I made the night before and enjoy some fresh fruit that was cut up, and don’t have to think about it. It saves me money on eating out, and ensures that I adhere to my diet. I had gotten into the habit of binging on sugar in the morning, which is the worst way to start out your day, and probably a huge factor in my weight gain. Preparing my meals the night before has put that madness to a stop, and resulted in weight loss and more even blood sugar levels throughout the day.

lowgipicLOW GLYCEMIC

My diet consists of only low-glycemic foods. This keeps my blood sugar levels in check. According to my trainer, a person who is overweight has become insulin sensitive. It takes 1-2 weeks off a sugar-y diet to get your blood sugar levels evened out, and your blood sugar levels need to even out before you can lose weight…so be patient, the weight will not come right off at first. Give it a few weeks.  Before I started this low glycemic diet (also known as a diabetic diet) I experienced energy level crashes, uncontrollable cravings, binge eating and the depression that comes with this unhealthy cycle. After eliminating all foods from my diet that are high sugar (this includes breads, certain fruit, sweets and many grains), I have experienced very few craving (and controllable at that),  sustained energy levels, better sleep, weight and inch loss. I feel really good emotionally and physically.

DRINK GREEN

I have a secret addiction. It’s green tea. Green tea is an anti-oxidant, known to aide in blood sugar regulation and weight loss, and when sweetened is just plain lovely. Yummy in fact. I have portable packets that I use called ULTRA LEAN GREEN. It’s tasty, staves of hunger, and forces me to drink more water and put down sodas that bloat and have no redeeming nutritional value. I love Ultra Lean Green (or ULG). Using it, I was able to quit my morning cup of coffee, which gave me a yucky waaaaay up and waaaaaay down kind of feeling. I like being able to integrate elements into my lifestyle that enhance my overall health. It increases my chances of losing weight and keeping it off long term.

OLD SCHOOL

I fancy myself a student of life, and my quest for a whittled waist is no different. As soon as I made the decision to start on my weight loss journey in earnest, I started reading about others who has achieved similar success. I read about the people who did Body For Life, picked up Fitness magazines and looked for their “success story” section where they feature readers who has lost weight and kept it off long term. I love reading tips from top trainers like Jillian Michaels, or her success stories from The Biggest Loser series. They are inspirational. I adopt their attitudes, diet and work out routines into my life and see what works for me. It’s been invaluable and I find that I feel supported just knowing that there are others out there who are on the same path, or who have lost a large amount of weight and kept it off. Inspiration is awesome.jillian michaels

MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH

I have become very busy with work, and spending more time at the gym. I am not as social as I was a few months ago, because this goal is a high priority in my life right now. I will never apologize for making health a top priority in my life. One thing I do not skip is my prayer, mediation and reading uplifting literature. Regardless of your religious or spiritual views, I belive these kind of practices are universally beneficial.  I have found meditation and introspection centers me and gives me renewed commitment to my weight loss and health goals. I also use visualization to forecast how I will look and feel when I reach my goals as a form of meditation to propel me further into having the healthiest body that I can have. Mediation for me is just simply a time where I stop, am quiet and take an internal temperature, refocuse and re-energize. Yoga, prayer or mediation are all good ways to fit a little bit of serenity into a busy day.

GOOD PR

I am excited about my recent success, and I know a lot of other women and men who are trying to lose weight or just feel healthier. I really believe that anything that works should be shared! Hey, good PR is everything, right?  I share my diet tips with anyone who wants them, I give out my trainers number and I try and encourage those who I know are on the same path to keep on moving forward. I like to share my success because I know how hard it can be to lose weight, and how emotionally devastating it can be to not have the body you want. At least it has been for me.  I hope this blog help others in the same position to be encouraged, enlightened and uplifted! Please ask me any questions you have so that we can all get healthier together!

 

Much Love,

 

xoxo

 

Connie

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