I've struggled with obesity since childhood, but three years ago I took a hard look at my 250+ pound body and decided it was time to make a change. Now 90 pounds lighter, I'm obsessed with superfoods, running, and experimenting with workouts from fitness magazines. When I'm not poring over nutrition labels or attempting to tone my triceps, I'm writing for magazines like NJ Monthly, Parent & Child, and NJ Family. I work the 5:30 a.m. shift at my local YMCA -- where I draw inspiration from fellow gym rats -- and blog about my weight loss journey at thefinalforty.com.
It's officially New Year's Resolution time, and most of us are promising our skinny jeans a long overdue reunion in 2011. Or, if you're anything like me, you'd be happy squeezing back into the ones you wore before candy corn, pumpkin pie, and Christmas cookies began infiltrating your home two months ago.
But like many of the most common New Year's resolutions, the vague vow to "lose weight" is one that hardly ever sticks. "Get out of debt" is also an admirable goal, but how many of us succeed at turning these lofty annual resolutions into cold, hard results?
Instead, we kick off the new year with an abundance of leafy salads and bland grilled chicken, only to get bored and return to our old ways come February 1st. You may still want to lose 50 pounds or drop three dress sizes, but this year, consider resolutions that put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle -- and even help you shed pesky holiday weight -- without the compulsive need to hop on the scale every six minutes.
By now, most fellow Biggest Loser junkies know that next season, the show's 11th, will be Jillian Michaels' last. She apparently wants to go raise kids or save the world or something. Well, good for her. No, really.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. Sure, the show serves as a source of inspiration (and motivation) -- my own story is disturbingly similar to many of the contestants who have found themselves on the ranch.
But it's amazing how personal trainers like Bob and Jillian use the science of calories in vs. calories out to make weight loss happen throughout each season ... yet still claw their way into these people's heads enough to change the course of their lives forever.
Needless to say, these two new trainers have some pretty big shoes to fill ... and yet the finale on Tuesday left us hanging. Who the heck are they?
First, a happy dance: Ada was the "overwhelming winner" in the vote against Elizabeth to determine who would compete with Patrick and Frado for the $250,000 grand prize on last night's finale of The Biggest Loser.
I wasn't surprised by the vote results; the finale is about celebrating transformation, and Ada's was one of the biggest -- both physically and mentally.
Then came the not-so-good news: trainer Jillian Michaels is leaving the show after next season. Reality junkies (and anyone who can Google) have known for days, and yet they tiptoed around the subject on the show -- focusing instead on the two new trainers (a martial arts expert and boxing champion) who will "join" Bob and Jillian next season. Jillian fan or not ... the woman knows how to get results.
That much is clear: this season's contestants looked absolutely incredible (notwithstanding some of their outfits).
These days, when kids play popular video games for systems like the Nintendo Wii, they strap a remote to their wrist and move their lookalike avatar on the screen by getting up and moving their bodies.
It came as no surprise when fitness-inspired Wii games targeted toward adults started hitting the market. These video games promise to help you slim down, tone up, and lose weight, all in the comfort of your own home ... and in your jammies, if you wish.
That's why when I got my Wii, I invested in some exercise games and stocked up on balance boards, wrist weights, jump ropes, and other Wii-compatible fitness accessories. But I had to wonder: are video game workouts really as effective as old-fashioned gym sessions?
So I put them the comparison to the test. Read on and I'll tell you how Wii exercise games matched up against gym workouts ...
Last night on The Biggest Loser, thefour remaining contestants returned home to have their new leaner bodies ogled by their families ... and to do some good hard thinking about the reasons they got to be 100-plus pounds overweight in the first place.
It seemed some of the contestants were doing more reflecting than others. The still unemployed Patrick vowed to make claiming the $250,000 prize "his job," and Ada set a goal to crush season seven contestant Tara's time (4:56) in the final and ultimate Biggest Loser challenge: running a full marathon.
Meanwhile, trainer Jillian Michaels barged in on Elizabeth at home and called her out on immediately moving in with her boyfriend ... presumably to avoid standing on her own two feet. An impromptu inspection of Elizabeth's freezer, stocked with nothing but processed meats and ice cream, led to a confession that her gym sessions had become intermittent, and she was having a hard time balancing life with weight loss (join the club).