Friday, June 08, 2007
Fit Buddies update
The CNN Fit Buddies have made it through another week in their 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. And join the Fit Buddies by accepting the Fit Nation Challenge (details here).

Ed Lavandera, CNN Correspondent

I pull into the parking lot of the Denver hospital where TB patient Andrew Speaker is in isolation. We've come straight from the airport and we're racing to get our first live report on the air. I rip my suitcase out of the rental car and grab my blue sports coat. I haven't worn this jacket in several weeks. When I put it on it hangs like a clown suit. The only thing missing from this outfit are big red shoes. My producer just laughs and says, "Wow, you have lost a lot of weight!"

I've written a lot about motivation and the importance of finding fresh ways to keep myself focused on losing weight. This might sound weird, but even though I knew in the back of my mind that if I lost a lot of weight I would need a new wardrobe, I never suspected to get such a rush out of seeing it happen.

Right now, I have no suits that fit me properly. (Some creative photography made that blue sports coat in Denver look presentable on television.) I've had to poke new holes in some belts. Pants and shirts are oversized now.

So if you need some motivation just remember that when you lose weight, you get to go shopping!

Stacia Deshishku, Director of Coverage CNNUS

This week has been another struggle -- getting back on track after a week off. My workout on Monday was a KILLER! My thighs, five days later, still are screaming at me. Just goes to show that a few days off often feels like starting all over again.

One thing I have started this week -- brace yourself -- is running. Yes, me, running. I can't believe it. It started out as one minute of running and one minute of walking - back and forth. Then two minutes, with a one minute break in between. Then three and so on and so on. I can't believe it. I'm strong enough to run! For years I have given myself 100+ reasons not to run: I have flat feet. It gives me shin splints. I don't have the "wind" for running. My chest double bounces, as does my backside! The list goes on and on. Additionally, back in the recesses of my memory are those horrible days in junior high when we would have to run around the track as discipline. I hated it. Therefore I hated running. Period. That feeling has stayed with me for more than 20 years.

When I see a woman in really great shape, the odds are that she is a runner. It makes the body look long and lean. Though I'm only 5 feet 2 (barely) my muscles can still look longer and less bulky. I'm hoping running will do this for me. I'm just starting out so I’m not running long or far, but I am running. Most importantly it is something I can do anytime, anywhere. No gym membership needed. No trainer. No special tools. Just me and my running shoes. Wish me luck!

Robert Dothard, Fitness Trainer

What's your motivation for starting an exercise program? For the Fit Buddies, the incentives have changed a bit since the program began. I once heard a motivational speaker say, "People will do more to avoid pain than they will to seek pleasure.' In my line of work, I always have people responding to a negative, the client is out of shape,,or even worse, a medical condition has brought them to me.

Whatever your reason for joining the Fit Nation, remember "AAA": Assess your health, which should always include an annual physical; Accept the results of the assessment, even if it is as simple as 10 extra pounds, or a comment from a concerned loved one; and then Act. It's great to have programs like this one with CNN, but let's get real - a lot of times we need something negative to get us to do something positive!

I hope like Stacia, you have strong family support and a spouse who is now a workout "machine," or maybe you are like Ed, who had no choice because of his family medical history. The fact that he has young children means he has needed almost no motivation from me. And finally Matt, who has a whole life that he is starting with someone else. I don't think motivation will be his issue for a while. Well if she says "yes," that is!

I wish you good luck, and good health.

Matt Sloane, Medical News Producer

It's vacation time (finally!!) and I'm headed to the islands. Sounds great, but I'm a little concerned about how I'll behave while I'm there. I've already made one commitment to myself: exercise! My dad will be there, and he's been on a diet as well, so he suggested that we all take long walks into town and play tennis whenever the weather is not too hot . Thanks, Dad!

My other enemy here is food! Luckily, Bermuda doesn't really have any must-have native foods, though they do have some great drinks. The plan is to cook as much as we can, and eat out only a few times in the hopes that by having more control, we'll eat more healthy stuff.

I'll have a lot to report when I get back - I hope all good news! As Robert alluded to, there's another big thing in the works, but more on that later... after I get her answer! (Ed told me that if she says no, I have his permission to eat whatever I want!! Thanks, bud, but let's hope I'm still on a diet when I get back!)

Ed that is so awesome about your clothes not fitting! What an odd thing to say....

Stacia: I'm a runner and honestly I would not recommend it. I used to run on the street (5-8 miles, depending) and the after three stress fractures had to switch to a lower impact version- the elliptical trainer. It's sort of humorous how the thing says I just ran 16 miles. Yes, sure- I don't think that would translate onto the street!! My advice? Get some VERY GOOD SHOES.

Matt!! Have fun in Bermuda (cool!) When you get back, I think she'll say yes, even though I've never met either of you! You seem like a really nice guy :)
Hey guys!
I hope you stay motivated!!! Do you know what my motivation is? I'll tell you. I am in MX and have had a little unhealty tequilla so I hope this makes sense.
My motivation is that you have a brand new body every few months! You have a new skeleton every three months, new skin every few days, so forth and so on! Just think, if I had a diet deficient in calcium for three months, my skeleton would be like chalk!
Because your body is constantly making a NEW you AND fighting disease, it seems only appropriate that we should be consumed with correct diet and exercise! We REALLY are what we eat! ( and drink)
Keep it up and cheers (raising my glass) to your good health!
I know , I know, back on the wagon next week. . .
I've been to Bermuda, on my honeymoon, and came back 3 pounds lighter after 8 days. I have two words for you: Fish and fruit! If you make those foods a staple of your diet while on the island, you'll be a winner! Flying fish is the national dish, and I ate it at least six different ways...all delicious!
Ian Duncan,16 years old--after an attack of Crohn's disease/hospitalization--made into TRACK TEAM.Physical fitness and mindset is key to beating many illnesses.The example of Ian Duncan was written up in KC Chronicle on 6/12/2007.What a great story?
Dear Friends,
The only people I know who can run for long are small people. Bigger people always seem to injure knees or ankles.
For big people, biking is better, although you have to bike pretty fast to get much out of it, and you're probably (make that certainly) going to have a sore butt at first.
Walking up hills will give you a better workout in less time with less stress and strain on the body.
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