Friday, June 29, 2007
Fit Buddies finale!
Stacia Deshishku, Director of coverage, CNN/US:

Wow. It's been 12 weeks since we embarked on this journey. At the outset I was hoping for significant weight loss - though I've lost only 10 pounds - but look at these AMAZING stats:

- My body fat has been reduced by 10 percent

- My chest is down 4.25 inches - my hips down 5.75 inches!

- My thigh is down a whopping 6 inches - multiply that by two legs and we are talking a foot smaller!

- My waist is 4.5 inches smaller (I'm still aiming for that 35-25-36 I had in high school! - it's good to have "stretch goals")

- My resting heart rate has gone from 84 beats per minute to 60. My heart rate while working out has dropped dramatically from 140 bpm to 90!

- I started out only able to do 10 push-ups. This time I completed 50! (In fact, I doubled that. My trainer said I did only 40 - I swore I had done 50. So the only way to solve it was to do the 50 again - which I did!!!)

- The wins just go on and on

I'm so proud of myself. I simply feel better - physically and psychologically. I've come to understand that I really can do this. I can balance my eating habits with my exercise routine without changing my life so much that I no longer recognize me or set myself up to attempt to maintain unrealistic goals. This is soooo livable and reasonable!

Robert asked me this afternoon whether I now love working out. Truthfully, the answer is no. But I do like the way it makes me feel. Sure, I like the way my clothes are literally hanging off of me. But I really like that I know I can run a mile - the idea of a half-marathon isn't so out of the realm of possibility these days. In fact, who knows what I can do. The sky is the limit. Thank you, Sanjay. Thank you, Fit Nation. Thank you, Robert. Most importantly, thank you to my Fit Buddies - Eddie and Matt - for giving me such unflagging support and motivation throughout this journey.

Ed Lavandera. CNN Correspondent:

When we started this Fit Nation adventure back in April, I said my goal was to learn new habits and some techniques that would get me on the right weight-loss track. Not only have I reached those goals but I've also lost 30 pounds along the way.

Some new eating habits I try to stick to each day:

-- A good dose of protein in the morning sticks with me longer and helps me eat more sensible meals later in the day.

-- I look to eat my carbs for breakfast or lunch and try to avoid them at dinner.

-- All this has helped me cut down on snacking too much between meals.

New workout habits I think about each day:

-- Mix up the exercise as much as possible. I ride my bike; I use weights now; I'm on the elliptical machine.

-- Get outside and surround yourself with other people who want to exercise.

-- Break a sweat every day.

The formula to losing weight is simple: Eat Less, Move More = Weight Loss. Unfortunately, there is no simple formula for developing good habits and staying motivated. That's the struggle, but I've never felt better about overcoming this challenge.

Matt Sloane, CNN Medical producer:

Its been a turbulent ride! The first few weeks, I was very comitted. Then, I suffered a bit.

Missed several workouts, some because of work, some because of a cold, but each missed workout and bite of bad food in the past would have derailed me.

Robert said in an earlier blog that I was not a superstar in either the gym or with my eating but that I was following a moderate plan I could adopt for the long term. I truly believe that to be the case, and I've never been this thrilled to be mediocre.

The truth is, if I had adopted an extreme exercise regimen with Robert, and then stopped being able to go, I would have quit completely without his encouragement. If I had adopted a strict eating regimen and then had a string or barbecues or special events, I would have derailed.

Instead, I eat pretty well but allow myself things I want when I REALLY want them. Turns out I don't REALLY want them that often. I may not workout as much as Eddie, but I do enjoy going to the gym now. I know my way around, I learned some exercises I can do at home, and now I even own some small at-home fitness tools.

Either way, I've lost about 15 pounds, and gained two really great friends! Fit Buddies might be over, but my weight-loss journey has just begun.

Stay tuned to the blog... The four of us might just surprise you with updates now and then. I wish you success in your Fit Nation.

Robert Dothard, trainer:

The health and fitness industry is full of promises, from pills and shakes that promise weight loss with little or no effort, to drugs that cause horrific side effects and can put your health at risk. I can proudly state that it is also an industry with a passionate group of professionals all over the world who stand ready to help you, at whatever level of health and fitness you find yourself. That's even if you don't have a Stacia-like "bring it on" attitude, or if you are not the "McGyver" of fitness, like Ed, who can be in a town covered in floodwaters, yet still find a way somehow to get his workout on, or even if you are not like Matt, with every reason to train, like the start of a brand new life with his fiancee, not to mention, at his young age, there is almost nothing he cannot accomplish, if he is truly committed!

The Fit Buddies' stories are not unique. It can be YOUR story as well, if you are truly committed to the process. If you have been following as part of Fit Nation, congratulations. You have taken the first step, getting information, from an established and trusted source.

Now YOU have to take ACTION!

I would encourage you to keep trusting CNN Medical News. If taking action stops you, contact the nationally certified trainer in your area.

Good luck, and good health
Congrats to all of you! I hope your experiences motivates more people to become active and eat better.
If you have a busy schedule and you would like to see similar results, don't get discouraged. The toning effects for a block of exercise time and divided segments of exercise throughout the day are about the same. Your heart and muscles will benefit from fitting in exercise when you can. Keep up the good work!
Rob Tworek, PT
My doctor prescribed Zostavax the vaccine for shingles.I did have chicken pox when i was a child.I wanted to know if there are any side effects from this shot.
Al Stewart
Applause, Applause, Applause!!!!
Great performance guys, have loved reading about it. CNN Medical News really is helpful.

What I think Fit Buddies has taught me is that you need to log your weight to keep on top of it and to make sure you don't let it get out of hand. So what I would recommend folks do is to go to or and start recording their weight for future reference. It is such an important part of one's health that it should almost be mandatory.

Best, Chris
Hi Stacia- that is the most impressive set of stats I have seen in a really long time. I am really impressed!! REALLY! Wow.

Ed! I think that your eating habits are fantastic. I am a great believer that how you eat can affect so many things: weight, energy, mental health... keep it up. 30 pounds is incredible!

Aw, Matt! Slow and steady is the best way to go at something like this. Never get down on yourself... and lean on those two friends of yours!

Good luck to all of you and your continued success!
Dr. Gupta,
I developed a trigger thumb due to my arthritic wrist swelling. My physician recommended a joint doctor, but was told that I would have to wait 8 weeks for an appointment. I finally found a doctor that saw me in two days. Amercians often have to wait a long time to see a specialist and I can only see the waits getting longer becuase of an overloaded system and shortgage of medical staffing. You are not telling the truth. I am a Brit and have never had to wait for very long for treatment or to see a doctor. It is better to wait to see someone and get seen than to not have treatment at all. People lose their houses here and go into bankruptcy because of medical bills. This can never happen in the UK, Canada or a lot of Europe.
The interview was nit-picked a few point that were insignificant when you take the film wholly as a wake up call to Americans and the health services industry. To sugget that CNNs listeners could not understand the free services are paid by the government through taxes is pretty arrogant IMO, most of us "got that"!
I think it's funny to see how uneasy you were during that interview sir! And it's becuase you and your fellow geniuses at CNN are wrong as always!
I just saw Ed Lavandera on air for the first time in a few weeks -- what a difference! He looks wonderful.

Congratulations to Ed and to all the CNN'ers who particpated in Sanjay's program.

Shira Kavon, CNN NY
Excellent! My sister is considering a "selective vagotomy" as a shortcut, but I'm sending her your blog post: It can be done without shortcuts, and I'm sure it feels so much better!
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.
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