Friday, May 25, 2007
Fit Buddies update
Editor's Note: When posting replies, please include your name, city and state.

The CNN Fit Buddies have made it through Week 5 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.

The Fit Buddies enjoy their successes
Matt Sloane, Medical News Producer

"Look directly at a fixed point on the wall, and breathe deeply," said the hypnotist. What was I doing here, I thought? The answer: trying to lose weight! I think I was in middle school at the time - struggling with my weight of course - and my mom found this hypnotist who claimed he could help you lose weight.

He asked me to picture something in my mind that scared me about being overweight. The first image that came to mind: me in the operating room getting heart surgery! If anything was going to get me to lose weight, it would be that image, or so he told me.

Ten years later, I'm still struggling, but the thought of my own mortality has not escaped me. I was excited to find out about the study that is the basis for our Fit Nation Challenge. It showed that for each hour of exercise you do, you could add two hours to your life later on. I prefer to use this positive reinforcement to get motivated, and really, with Robert's guidance and constant reflection on everything I eat, I feel like I'm finally starting to make a dent in my weight problem.

The producer in me is excited to tell you that we surpassed our goal in the Fit Nation Challenge last weekend! 1 million hours added to the lives of Americans in just over a month!

We could never have expected such a huge commitment from you all, and I think it really shows that America, too, is ready to take on its weight problem. Keep pledging and let’s get to 2 million!

Ed Lavandera, CNN Correspondent

"You've got to shock the body every time you work out!"

That was one of the most important lessons I learned the first time I worked out with Robert back in April. I've always kept those words in the back of my mind as a reminder to always freshen up and intensify my workouts. But every once in a while you need a good system shock. That's what I experienced last week in my second workout with Robert.

We changed up all the weight exercises I was doing (still working the back, chest, shoulder, biceps and triceps muscle groups.) And instead of resting between each weight set, I added a minute of cardio exercise. I ran in place, jumped over a line on the ground and did mountain climbers. My body couldn't figure out what was going on. And my legs and upper body were burning.

Now I feel like I'm back at Stage One starting a brand new exercise routine for the first time.

That's just the way Robert says the weight will burn off. His version of "shock and awe."

Stacia Deshishku, Director of Coverage CNNUS

Yes! I'm doing it! I'm getting there! I had my mid-term assessment yesterday. Though I have only lost 7 pounds, I have lost tons of inches. 4.5 inches in my thigh. 4.5 inches in my hips. 3 inches in my waist.. it goes on and on! My body fat is also down 6 percent, and my resting heart rate dropped 24 beats per minute. My 10 push-ups jumped to 25. I'm actually running. OK, not long, but I AM running!

I'm stronger, leaner and have a LOT more energy than I ever thought possible. This is what I wanted -- to be fit enough to chase down my boys! And I'm getting there. Imagine where I will be in another 6 weeks? We are spending a week at the beach this summer and I can't wait to get active with the kids.

This "win" has me more energized than ever. I'm ready to step up my workouts. I have realized that the greatest weight resistance training I can do is using my own body weight! Whether it is push-ups, sit-ups, planks, walking, running -- none of them require a gym or a weight -- just me and my determination and tenacity. What a gift I can continue to give myself -- for free!

Robert Dothard, Fitness Trainer

I think the major areas of a training program are: client assessment, the exercise and lifestyle prescription, re-assessment, and the changing of the program to address areas of concern.

Now that we have passed the half-way mark, Ed, Stacia, and Matt's assessments came as both a celebration, and a "wake-up" call. To me, it is always an opportunity to help them and to help YOU build a healthy lifestyle for you and YOUR FAMILY!

When you join the "Fit Nation" or any program to improve your health, one of two things will happen: You will either have success, or you will have failure...either way YOU WIN!

Allow me to explain.

You have faced many challenges, from school to personal finance, but with ALL of the "issues" we've had in these categories, two things are constant: Some sort of "assessment" has to be done, and then a NEW ACTION needs to be taken. So, just as better study habits help the student, and proper money management helps produce a sound financial future, exercise and proper nutrition WILL improve your health! If you have taken action as part of Fit Nation, I celebrate with you today, and if you have only thought about it, I challenge you to start today! Move more and eat less, as the first step to a journey that will change YOUR life, and change (for the better) the health of your FAMILY.

Good Luck, and good health.
Matt,Ed, Stacia,& Robert,
I love it! I really admire you all for doing this AND making it public! What fortitude!
I would like to hear from each of you about what your daily diet consist of. Do you have any great recipes or tips for us?
I make yogurt parfaits for a delicious healthy dessert. Fresh berries mashed (with artificial sweetener if you like) layered in a parfait glass with oatmeal, and plain non fat yogurt. YUM! It taste like pie!
You all keep up the good hard work and remember, you're not halfway through, you at the beginning of your new long and healthy lifestyle!
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends -- info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.