Friday, May 11, 2007
Fit Buddies update
Editors Note: When posting replies, please include your name, city and state.

The CNN Fit Buddies have made it through Week 4 of our weight-loss and fitness challenge. Here's an update on their efforts to eat better and exercise more. Read about their successes and frustrations every Friday here on the Paging Dr. Gupta blog.


CNN correspondent Ed Lavandera
As I look at the next year of trying to lose a lot of weight and get healthy, I worry most about staying motivated and positive. It's so easy to get down on yourself if you have a bad week or you don't seem to lose weight fast enough. I won't claim to have the answer to overcoming this psychological hurdle, but I think you need short-term and long-term rewards to celebrate your successes.

I keep the big-picture goal in the back of my mind but I've attached a prize to it. I've always dreamed of seeing U2 perform in Ireland. So when I reach my goal, I hope to celebrate with a special trip.

But what I think about most often are short-term goals. In a month, my sister is getting married and she's asked me to walk her down the aisle. So now when I don't want to lift weights or go on a bike ride or eat the right food, I remind myself that a tuxedo is waiting for me and I want to look the best I can for her special day. After the wedding, I'll be looking for my next short-term reward.

CNN Domestic director of coverage Stacia Deshishku
I never saw the film "Super Size Me" - but I think I "get it" now. This past week I have had to eat out every night and I have been stunned by the portions. Even a lunch portion is too much for someone trying to eat sensibly! (Of course these are the same portions I had no problem consuming a mere six weeks ago!!!)

But now that I have become acutely aware of my food intake, I feel like I've had an epiphany. Stop the madness - reduce the portions. Now! In self-defense, I've begun ordering my food and a to-go box - simultaneously. I immediately pack up half of the meal. No more lingering dinners that end in a clean plate with very little memory of what all I ate. I am now going to make two or three meals out of one! I'll save money AND unnecessary calories.

CNN Medical News producer Matt Sloane
It feels so good to be back on the wagon. Rewind... when I say it "feels good," I mean figuratively. Physically, I'm not feeling so good. I had a workout last night that I thought would paralyze me for life, but after I walked out the door, I had a great sense of accomplishment!

Now comes another big test: my girlfriend's graduation. Family is coming into town, parties are planned, and then we're heading out on a family vacation, so these are certainly going to be challenges to my new-found glory. But after working as hard as I have this week at my own personal Fit Nation challenge, I see no reason to mess it up now.

One other thing has really helped me this week: The Nintendo Wii! What I love about this system is it's not your typical "sit on the couch and play" device. I was up, moving around, swinging the remote as if I were playing baseball - not as good for me as playing these sports in real life, but I definitely broke a sweat!

Fitness trainer Robert Dothard
I think the training relationship is like many other relationships, professional and personal. We started with "excitement." The Fit Nation was going to be looking on during the process and it was a challenge.

It did not take long for "life" to happen with missed workouts and food logs better suited for a Jay Leno monologue. Can you say "New Orleans?"

Now, we have hit our stride, and the workouts and the nutrition are in a "zone."

Matt is back in town and kicking some butt! Sure, he is using terms like "holy hell" to describe his workouts, but I can already see a change in his physique!

Ed continues to be the "absolute STUD" when it comes to consistency. He has been doing live shots in knee-deep water for CNN all week, but much to everyone's surprise, he found a way to get his workouts in, and to eat healthily on the road.

Last but certainly not least, Stacia AND her husband have become regulars at my training studio. Stacia has also done a computerized nutritional program to turn up the "heat" on Matt and Ed. If you want to give yourself winning odds in a fitness program, bring your family along!

But as all of us who are married know, even when things are going well in a relationship, it still requires work - so until next week, best of luck, and best of health.
Yay! Another update. I would like fresh photos, though, apparently Matt now has muscles :)

To Ed: My brother will envy you, should you get that special trip. But the little goals are a great idea, just don't do that reward most dieters do: I ate great so now I'm having ice cream, lol. As for staying motivated and positive, ok, well I'm rooting for you so there you go.

To Stacia: Computerized nutrition program? Oooh, I have one too. They're awesome. You can either put in what you ate (and scare yourself) or plan out a bunch of meals properly and then eat it! And the portions at fast food places are WAY too big, definitely. I personally think they're THREE times the size they should be. I do the exact same thing- I dump half of it off my plate immediately. I also try to chew slowly and pay attention to my food. Then after 20 minutes, my brain gets that all important message that it's full, which it doesn't if you just sit down and stuff it in!

And Matt, really I want to see the muscles. And... stop paralyzing yourself with the workouts. You don't need to KILL yourself when you work out!! But that Wii thing, yes, one of my friends lost 30 pounds with that thing! Wow. Fun AND lose weight. That's the way it should be.
Hi Matt~
I know what you mean. I while back I blew my thyroid. I could not understand why I gained weight. But I got on medication, kicked up the exercise. Ok~I arobic walk over 6 miles a day and have a personal trainer, who is also a female wresler. Anyway, I got the weight off. I plan to keep it off.
Have you read Dr.Gupta's book? I basically eat a plant based diet with a little salmon and turkey.
Good for you in you physical success. I wish you good health!
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