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New You Revolution

Aired March 13, 2005 - 08:30   ET


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, HOST: Good morning and welcome to a very special edition of "HOUSE CALL." We're more than two months into the new year and the question is this. Are your resolutions going strong or have you resolved to give up?
Many of us started this year with a list of promises, but experts say about 30 percent of people making resolutions don't even make it until February. So here we are in March and CNN decided to help five people break their bad heath habits in what we're calling, "The New You Revolution."

A team of producers and cameras followed our participants for eight weeks of the year, as they dedicated themselves to improving their health.

LEIGH ANN RAYNOR, NEW YOU REVOLUTION: If you think that I'm going to be on CNN and have Doctor Gupta say, "Dr. Raynor gain 12 pounds."

GUPTA: Leigh Ann Raynor's "New You Revolution" has been a success. She's given up fast food. She's learning how to cook.

RAYNOR: I cook, you know, on average of about four times a week now, which is up by four times a week.

GUPTA: And with regular workouts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bring it down. There you go. There you go.

GUPTA: ...she seemed to like.

RAYNOR: Oh my gosh. I lost two pounds since Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Way to go. Good job.

GUPTA: Actually she's lost a total of 14 pounds so far.

RAYNOR: The hardest part is making up my mind understanding that this is something I'm going to do for the rest of my life

SANDRA GARTH, NEW YOU REVOLUTION: I like everything that's not good for me. I eat greasy foods, fatty foods, sweet foods, salty foods.

GUPTA: Lack of exercise and her love of food got Sandra Garth into the New You Revolution. Having to care for her grandson because both of his parents were fighting the war in Iraq also motivated her to make the necessary sacrifices to get healthy. So she's working out every day and eating better.

GARTH: This time last year if you had asked me to eat that I would have insisted that I have either some butter or some gravy on it. I'm learning. I dropped that bad habit.

GUPTA: And she's dropping weight.


GARTH: Yes, 19 pounds?

GARTH: 19.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Good. Congratulations. Give me a kiss.

GUPTA: So Sandra is treating herself with a necessary shopping spree because he old clothes don't fit any more. Best of all, her son Casey (ph) has finally left Iraq, and her daughter-in-law, Teresa (ph) is back in Michigan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She does so much for us as it is so for her to want to lose weight that makes me even more proud.

GUPTA: When we first introduced you to Jonathan Karp and his bad habit, nail biting, it was a bit of a challenge for us, because his nails were kind of hard to look at. But that was then, this is now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your thumbs are looking better.

GUPTA: How did he do it?

JONATHAN KARP, NEW YOU REVOLUTION: I just kind of stopped cold turkey.

GUPTA: And he works out a lot to relieve stress.

KARP: It was easier than I thought I have to say, but I did have a lot of health and I was constantly just being monitored. So there was no room for failure.

GUPTA: His nails look great now. But does he still have the urge to bite?

KARP: If there is something that's annoying me, that's a snag or catch I'll just file it down and that will be the end of it.

I feel like I'm done, you know. I feel like I'm ready to enjoy. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). That's my style.

GUPTA: Thekla Fischer wants to get pregnant soon, but she didn't feel like she was mentally and physically fit for motherhood so she asked us to help her by way of "The New You Revolution." THEKLA FISCHER, NEW YOU REVOLUTION: We managed to break some bad habits here and I think we've also sort of started steering things in the right direction.

GUPTA: She's met a lot of parents and children. She's eating better.

FISCHER: I talked to a nutritionist.

GUPTA: She's exercising more.

FISCHER: Instead of doing the late night eating, I've been doing the late night yoga class.

GUPTA: And she's finally taking prenatal vitamins. And in preparation for future parenthood April and her husband also got a financial check up.

Now all that's left is go make a baby.

Harold Fricker's New You Revolution began when his kids signed him up. They were worried about their dad. The former fit Harold was 100 pounds overweight. And even though he was running every day with dogs and cat in tow, he wasn't losing weight.

HAROLD FRICKER, NEW YOU REVOLUTION: He had to learn how to train smarter and not harder.

GUPTA: And it seems to be working for Harold.

FRICKER: I lost approximately 30 pounds and I'm losing two to three pounds a week.

GUPTA: He's not running anymore. His trainer makes him walk instead. And his five workouts a week include cardio and weight training. Plus the occasional workout with his kids too, and he's eating healthier.

He's also trying to get more sleep with the help of this c-pack mask, which helps control his sleep apnea.

So, are his kids proud of their dad.



FRICKER: I wish I could just flash six months forward because I'm absolutely sure I'm going to be at least very close to the 100- pound weight loss that I'm after.

GUPTA: Well, our revolutionary eight week challenge has ended and our fab-5 are here in New York City to tell us how they did.

First let's go around the couch and introduce everyone once again. Leigh Raynor. She's from Georgia. Harold Fricker comes from Colorado. Sandra Garth is from Michigan. Thekla Fischer lives here in New York City, as does Jonathan Karp.

You guys did great. Congratulations to all of you. It has been two months. You stuck with it. A quick question to all of you though. Viewers watching very patiently trying to figure out if you're going to make it or not. What's one thing you could share with our viewers? Let's start with you Leigh Ann.

RAYNOR: I think the most important thing that I've learned and that I would like to share is that it's never too late to start being healthier.

I think that what kind of older person I'm going to be is determined by what kind of person I am right now and how much I'm doing. I used to look in the mirror and think, why bother? I'm almost 50, I'm fat, I've got 45, 50, 60 pounds to lose I'll never be able to do it. And I've learned that it's never too late. And what I've taken away from this more than anything is some self esteem.

GUPTA: A lot of people listening to that it's never too late comment. That's going to be -- we want to talk more about that. Harold really interesting with you. You were actually a big runner. There are pictures of you that everyone remembers where you look really buff. You gained some weight, but you were still running.

HAROLD: Right.

GUPTA: The advice was actually run less. Why?

HAROLD: Well, you know, I guess I just hit a plateau. My body got so used to those miles and it was really the only exercise I was doing. I've always been told and thought all those years that if you're going to do one thing that's really the best thing for burning calories and so on. But it just didn't matter how many miles I ran. I just plateaued. Even by eating the same level of food, it just didn't matter if I ran another five miles a day. My weight stayed identical.

So, you know, my trainer said, cut that out. He got me in the gym, resistance exercise...

GUPTA: We're going to talk more about your specific training program and how people can lose weight.

Thekla, you came to us with a very specific challenge, get you ready to have a baby.


GUPTA: How did you do?

FISCHER: I think we did great. I think this whole process has sparked a lot of great conversations between me and my husband about everything from our finances to, you know, what we should be eating in the next couple of months and other things that we need to be doing to get ready for this. So it helped us along in the process.

GUPTA: We're going to talk about some of the specifics everything from nutrition to organization, as you mentioned.

Sandra, they said 60 pounds, lose 60 pounds is what your doctors challenged us. We got you a third of the way there, 20 pounds in eight weeks. Not bad.

GARTH: That's not bad at all.

GUPTA: Worth a lot of applause from all of us. How are you going to do for the next bit? How are you going to lose that other 40 pounds?

GARTH: Pretty much doing what I'm doing now. I may have to change my work out pattern a little bit. I've talked with my M-fit (ph) team down at U of M (ph), and I think we're going to go to some interval training and just do a little bit more resistance training and stay with those 1,200 calories a day.

GUPTA: Good for you. And Jonathan, we put you through the ringer. We did everything including cold turkey to hypnosis. A lot of people bite their nails. They won't admit it. What's the one thing you can tell them to get them to stop?

KARP: I guess get support. Get support. One thing that really helped out really was quantifying how many times I bite a day, and aiming for that magic number zero. Try not to bite your nails at all, all day. Keep a journal every day. Write down if you bite 10 times, write down 10, if you bite two -- get that number down to zero and you can see it's easier. It's easier...

GUPTA: We'll take a look at those nails a little later on in the show as well. The fab-five are here in New York. They're going to be answering your e-mails questions coming up after the break.


ANNOUNCER: Before the break we asked what resolution can help you lose about 20 ponds and save about $500 in one year. The answer, switching from a fancy high fat coffee on the week days to a take it black basic coffee.

GUPTA: There's yet another reason to get healthy. You may save some money, but even with all the incentives, losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a resolution many people make and then break year after year.

For three of our participants losing weight was the major goal of this challenge, like so many other Americans. Harold, Leigh Ann and Sandra I hear you guys have been e-mailing a lot back and forth to try and inspire each other.

Sandra how did that work out for you? Was that helpful?

GARTH: It was very helpful. It -- in the sense that it kept us connected to each other. And once we lost a few pounds or lost a few inches or stuck to a plan or change a plan we kind of, you know, put that idea out to our e-mail buddies and get some response from us and it kept us going. It was good to check that e-mail and hear from them.

GUPTA: And speaking of response, you all got lots of response from our viewers at CNN. Let's start with some e-mails. I just want you guys to hear these. There's some questions and then we're going to react to them.

Leigh Ann, let's start with you. Denise from Pennsylvania is looking for some advice from you. She writes, "Like you, I'm overweight, have a heart condition and smoke. I've lost 50 pounds and cut way down on smoking, but just can't quit. I'm not giving up and will continue to try. Do you have any advice on how to give up cigarettes?"

We should point out as well that smoking was not part of your New You Revolution. We sort of made it a part. What advice do you give Denise?

RAYNOR: I think she gave herself the advice. She said she's going to keep trying. I preached a sermon not too long ago that asked the question, "Are you a failure?" And one of the answers was that every time that we do something that we call failure, it's really just preparation for future success.

So any time that we try something, we learn something about ourselves, we learn something about the process. I bet she's learned a lot about herself already through trying to quit. And one day she'll take, and I will also, she'll take whatever strength and whatever determination and whatever character it took to lose those 50 pounds and she'll take those same characteristics and she'll apply it to not -- to becoming a non-smoker, and so will I.

GUPTA: And we're all rooting for you on that one.

Jonathan Karp is here as well. Listen, many people wrote in about struggling with their nail biting. Jonathan's nails are looking great. That's leaving a lot of people asking how did he do it, like Wendy in Utah. She says, "I read your journal and wanted to know how you made it on a day to day hour to hour basis. I bite my nails and made it a few weeks at a time before, but fall off the wagon soon."

Jonathan you stopped before. I mean, you've tried to do this several times before. What was different this time?

KARP: I think what was different was, you know, I had fun working with CNN. That really, you know, I think that helps in any situation.

GUPTA: Good.

KARP: I also realized two major things. One, don't put any polish on your nails because then you'll usually want to take it off, you know.

GUPTA: Interesting.

KARP: And the other was I guess always keep on filing. Keep a file.

GUPTA: All right. We've got lots more e-mail questions coming up. The fab-5 are here in New York City. We're going to get to Harold, Sandra and Thekla coming up after the break.


GUPTA: We're back with "HOUSE CALL." It's the final week of our New You Revolution series and our five participants are here in studio to tell us how the last eight weeks have been.

And Thekla we haven't talked to you yet this morning. I want to hear about how things went for you. You're a busy attorney. Obviously you had some questions about organization and you wanted to get ready to have a baby. How did you do overall?

FISCHER: I think we did really well. I think that the whole process sparked some great conversations between Jason and I where we discussed our finances, we discussed what we're going to do over the next two months or so.

GUPTA: Is there one specific piece of advice you'd give to any mom to be out there who's thinking about it?

FISCHER: Oh, gosh, there's so much because it's such a -- it's a broad process. I mean, you know, you've got to get your finances in order. I think that's probably the most important thing if I had to signal something out.

GUPTA: Prenatal vitamins too, right?

FISCHER: Prenatal vitamins are huge, especially you need the folic acid as well as iron and calcium. Get your teeth cleaned because you probably will not be able to get your cavities fixed while you're pregnant. And plus, you know, apparently there's something about the plaque. It could cause some birth defects. So those were all...

GUPTA: I think we did well.

FISCHER: ... little (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that I didn't know.

GUPTA: Good for you.

Sandra Garth is here in the studio as well. She turned the big 50. She said, fabulous at 50. That was a challenge she gave us. She's been acting mom to her 2-year-old grandson, Shannon, while her son and daughter-in-law have been stationed in Iraq.

How's that going to work? Is that better that they're back in the country in terms of your exercise and eating program?

GARTH: It won't change anything. It's better in the fact that I won't have that stress of worrying about them, you know, how are they doing? Are they coming back? When are they coming back? It's really because I had the problem with stressful eating. So now I won't stress out about that. It's going to be a lot better.

GUPTA: You shared something with us about half way through the program about your depression. A lot of people struggle with this, as you know Sandra. We've talked about this. How has it affecting you and how has your life changed since you've gone ahead and talked openly about depression?

GARTH: It felt like I was hiding something before I knew that taking the medication and just having that disease had contributed to the weight gain. And once I got it out in the open it was much easier to deal with and I knew that exercise was a good stress reliever, that it helped with depression. So it just made it a lot easier to come clean about it.

GUPTA: Medications, good idea, bad idea in your opinion? You were on them for a while.

GARTH: Bad idea in my opinion.

GUPTA: Caused your weigh gain?

GARTH: It contributed to it.

GUPTA: Harold Fricker is also here. Harold had a surprise halfway through the New You Revolution. He underwent a sleep test and his doctor found that he had sleep apnea, something that can affect weight loss, since lack of sleep actually causes weight gain.

Harold told our producers that he normally only slept about three hours a night. That's changed though with the new device. How is it working out for you, Harold?

FRICKER: It's amazing. On the nights that I have been able to make it through the night, there's sort of an adjustment period with that mask, having that contraption. It doesn't leave you very free to move. So to be in a single position throughout the night, the nights that I have made it through, it has been absolutely amazing.

Now luckily I have not suffered how some people have throughout the day. I've never gotten tired and so on. So my energy level has never been bad.

GUPTA: Right.

FRICKER: However, this has increased it significantly more. It's just amazing when I make it through six or seven hours with that device on.

GUPTA: Your energy level has never been bad, Harold? Come on. Just looking at you. Listen, that device, it's a huge contraption. Easy to sleep with, though?

FRICKER: Well, no. That's the problem. I mean, I am getting used to it now so -- I can make it through. But there are nights, you know, where you just want to tear that thing off your face. GUPTA: Yes. This is a special edition of HOUSE CALL. We're here with the fab-5 from inspiration to facts you can use. What's the one piece of advice the fab-5 have for you? That's coming up after the break.


GUPTA: We only have about a minute left, but I wanted to ask all of you one final thing. The cameras are gone away. All the stuff is gone away. How are you going to stick with the program?

Leigh Ann?

RAYNOR: I'm going to stick with it just because I'm excited about being able to exercise without just chest pain, without shortness of breath, without any dizziness. And a lot of my church members go to the Y at six in the morning and if I'm not there they'll be calling me.

GUPTA: All right. Good luck. Harold.

FRICKER: This week I signed up for the Pikes Peak Marathon, regarded as the toughest marathon in the country. Unless I drop quite a few more pounds I'm not getting up that hill. So I'm ready to roll. I'm going to do it.

GUPTA: Good luck to you.

FRICKER: Thank you.

GUPTA: Thekla.

FISCHER: I've got Jason. He's been there so far and I think our future together is really the motivator here.

GUPTA: Good luck. Jonathan.

KARP: My motivation from the start has been my wedding on June 25th. We'll see how it goes after that. But I think I've quit the habit altogether.

GUPTA: Good luck.

And Sandra, finally.

GARTH: Good health is going to be the factor that's going to keep me going. I like feeling better and having more energy. So I'll keep it up.

GUPTA: The fab-5 is here in New York City. We're out of time for today, but good luck again to all of you. We'll be checking in with the fab-5 over the next year to see if they continue their New You Revolution.

Thanks for watching everybody. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Stay tuned now for more news on CNN. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT

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