Friday, April 27, 2007
Fit Buddies update
As Dr. Sanjay Gupta's 2007 Fit Nation Tour heads to New Orleans, Louisiana, for weekend events, the CNN Fit Buddies are working to improve their eating and workout habits. Here's an update from the second week of the weight-loss challenge. Read about their successes and pitfalls every Friday here on the Paging Dr. Gupta blog. (More Info)

CNN correspondent Ed Lavandera
The staggered drumbeat of basketballs bouncing off the court echoes through the gym. I'm standing at the three-point line. The leather ball in my hands feels just as it did when I played pick-up basketball games regularly. The voice in my head says "I've still got the touch. I can feel it." The ball leaves my fingertips, floats through the air and miserably graces the bottom of the net. AIRBALL!

Is this how far I've fallen? So out of shape that tossing a basketball is a chore. Well, not exactly, but close enough. (The next shot hit the rim.)

This moment inspired me to really focus on the weight training. I always thought lifting weights right now would do more harm than good. Not the case. You just have to do it the right way.

And I'm already seeing the positive effects. At the end of the week, I went back to the basketball court and made three three-pointers in a row. The touch is coming back!

CNN Domestic director of coverage Stacia Deshishku
This week we decided to put our food diaries to the ultimate test - we e-mailed them to each other and to Robert.

Having to keep track of every item that goes in your mouth is a powerful tool. It certainly made me a lot more aware of my choices. One night I struggled with myself over eating a fudgesicle. I quickly e-mailed my buddies. The response was to "back away from the freezer!" Ed reminded me of the wasted calories and the fact that I would be giving them up for a temporary high. It worked! I was proud of myself and thankful for the support.

The food diary also got me into the habit of checking the calories, proteins, fats, sugars and carbs in each of my meals. I can't believe how many are hidden in seemingly innocent foods. Robert woke me up to the fact that each glass of wine has the same sugar count as a donut! So biggest lesson of the week: Wine=donut. Bad!

CNN Medical News producer Matt Sloane
I've found myself eating things I never would have eaten before. Oatmeal is a good example.

I'm not much for gooey, mushy foods, but my girlfriend convinced me to try her oatmeal concoction - oats, milk, fresh fruit and honey. It looked more like brick mortar with strawberries, but I gave it a shot...

Was it good? No, but I ate it because it's good for me. Do I like working out? No, but I do it because it's good for me.

I never quite understood that whole "no pain, no gain" saying. I always said "no pain, no pain - it's that simple."

My arms hurt, my legs hurt, I ate oatmeal and even salmon (the one fish I don't like) - but it's working. I don't know if I've lost weight yet, but I can feel my body changing for the better.

I'm learning that to really make a change in my health, my appearance and my lifestyle, there is going to be a little pain along the way, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

Fitness trainer Robert Dothard
Training clients for the last 20 years has been my labor of love for many reasons, and many of them have surfaced over the last couple of weeks.

First, being part of a team. It was great to see firsthand how the CNN Fit Nation team puts on a production, as they did in Atlanta, Georgia, last weekend. From the visual aids - a plastic yellow lump of a pound of fake fat and a mirror that shows people what they would look like 10 pounds lighter - to one of the best visual and speaking aids - CNN's own Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the event was a great awareness-builder.

Second, getting information you can actually use. I was a fan of the CNN show "House Call," long before joining the Fit Nation team, because the show takes complicated topics and gives me the resources to do my favorite thing, TAKE ACTION! So if you are following along, logging your nutritional habits and making "modest" changes like portion control, or simply making better food choices, it is indeed easier if SOMEONE ELSE is looking at it1 You may want to pick someone you will actually listen to, and who has solid nutritional habits of his or her own.

Exercise is the other bookend to positive results, but as we have seen through the new food pyramid, walking a few times a week for even as little as 10 or 15 minutes can improve your health. (I suggest 30 minutes at a "brisk" walking pace.)

Lastly, go with your strength. Ed is an ACTION guy, I think his goal is to out-work everyone else. Stacia is the "alpha" and she has me doing my homework, because whether it is the latest nutritional software, or shaking up her workouts, her attitude is "bring it!" And Matt has the Apollo 13 attitude - failure is not an option. Although he may not excel in any one area of his workout or nutrition, his program is balanced, and one I feel he can continue in one form or another for the rest of his life.

I don't know your motivation (your health, the way you look or feel), and I don't know why you have not been able to reach your fitness goals (time or money restrictions, or lack of motivation). What I DO KNOW is if you will join the Fit Nation TEAM, and start taking ACTION... we WILL over the next several weeks, inspire you and give you information on nutrition and exercise you can use NOW, TODAY, and as the old saying goes... what do you have to lose, but the weight!
I eat relatively healthy by limiting sweets to once a week and I try to eat at least 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I eat more chicken then I do beef even though I love beef. I exercise with weights twice a week and cardio 5 times (cardio consists of step class, elliptical machine, treadmill or the stair climber). Unfortunately I've plateaued with my weight (need to lose the stubborn 10-15 pounds). I discovered when I was taking a cardio kickboxing class, I had lost those 10 pounds effortlessly but since I moved and there has been no other class similar to it, I've gained it back even though I eat the same and exercise regularly. I'd like to see tips on how to jumpstart the body so that it doesn't get use to the exercises that I've been doing.
I'm thrilled to read these posts about what you guys are going through as you become fit, and I'm looking forward to the updates every Friday!

Ed- If I used basketball to determine how healthy I am, I'd be classified as "dead".

Stacia- I agree, it's rather sobering to see a list of every time you ate a huge piece of cheesecake instead of those carrot sticks you put prominently in front of yourself (and ignored). Wine=donut, bad! That made me laugh. Although, wine has anti-oxidant properties, doesn't it? So if you were going to choose one over the other...

Matt- Oatmeal is great for your cholesterol levels, keep it up. If you don't like it all mushy, make it al dente- it tastes way better that way. Also you have to get used to the difference in sweetness that honey has over sugar- you'll like it eventually, I promise! And you'll also like how much better you feel after a while of being on a good diet. (That goes for everyone, actually!)

Keep it up! I'm cheering for you over here!
more than a century after the invention of dieting, there is still no evidence that any of them work! producer sloan thinks he is improving his life by eating foods he doesn't like and engaging in activities that leave him sore?--how counter-intuitive. "overweight" and "obese" are just lines on a graph. most people cannot lose weight without adopting unhealthy lifestyles. 5 years from now ed, stacia, and matt will almost certainly be exactly the same as they are today.
I'm not 100% sure, but , i don't think wine = donut. Can someone elaborate.

thanks
Ed, Stacia and Matt, I share your pain and your goals. Keep up the good work. I'll be watching and rooting for you, hoping you can inspire me also.

I was shocked to learn a glass of wine has the same sugar count as a donut. Robert, can you recommend websites or software that would give the average person access to this type of information? I think many of us would find that helpful.
Ed, Stacia and Matt - I applaud each of you for not just talking about what so many of us need to do, but actually DOING it! Thank you for being courageous enough to share your stories with us. I think the key is setting reasonable goals, and sticking with those goals even after Fit Nation is over. I wish you great success!
It really hurts me that even with WIC the food is still unhealthy and full of additives such as high fructose corn syrup, which is highly refined sugar. The next time you go to the grocery store look at the labels and see how many ingredients you and read on it and see if you want those things in your body OR if it would be worth your while to get some organic things in your fridge.
I have one word of advice for everybody who is FAT. Eat ORGANIC FOODS oh and stay away from fast food.
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