Tag Archive | weight loss

New Year’s Resolutions Slowing Down, Get Cast on Extreme Weight Loss


In a unique, non-competitive show about weight loss, “Extreme Weight Loss” documents the amazing makeover of courageous, obese people who, in an unprecedented 365 days, set out to safely lose around half of their body weight, ultimately revealing an amazing metamorphosis.

Trainer and transformation specialists Chris and Heidi Powell guide each of the participants through their transformation process. By assuring that they have the proper nourishment and exercise movement, Chris and Heidi will provide a fresh perspective to individuals whose lives have become unmanageable because of their weight.

In each of the two-hour episodes, the participants undergo a transformation not only of their bodies, but of who they are as individuals. “Extreme Weight Loss” will chronicle each participant’s journey in a stand-alone episode as they go about reclaiming his or her life.

Eyeworks USA is beginning a nationwide tour to 10 cities across the country in search of participants for season six of the show. Candidates are asked to either attend an open call in one of the following cities or send in a home audition video. Information about how to apply and casting call specifics can be found on the official casting website at http://www.extremeweightlosscasting.com.

Saturday, February 14th, 2015



Saturday, February 21st, 2015



Saturday, February 28th, 2015




**Casting Team Media Relations**
Holland Weathers, Sr. Casting Director 818-929-2278

*Those who cannot attend a casting call can submit a video for consideration. Must be 18 years old by April 12, 2015 to apply. Must be a legal U.S. resident. For additional eligibility requirements please view the “Eligibility” tab on our website.

Seeing a Therapist is the Best Thing and Tips for Blue Monday

Recently I started seeing a therapist after a recommendation from my doctor, who is a naturopath.  For the last three years I have been struggling with ever more complicated and painful gut issues, as well as body pain.  I had succumbed to elimination diets, gut healing diets, you name it and while they worked short term, they never worked for long regardless of how strict I adhered.  After numerous blood, stool and you name it tests,  I mentioned my navel was distended to my doctor – she thought a hernia may be the problem and surgery a solution.  This is when I admitted that I was suffering with anxiety and panic attacks – that there was no way I could undergo surgery of any kind.  She recommended a talk to the practice’s therapist.  Within two sessions I was able to start eating all of the wonderful foods that had been giving me pain.  Those two sessions, and many more, have included hours of crying, coming to terms with my past and learning how to cope in the present.  So when I was contacted with an amazing opportunity to ask some questions of Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers about how to beat Blue Monday – I jumped at the opportunity.

Many of us have fallen victim to the wrath of winter and already have let our cold weather blues bust our goals for the New Year. The first ever Blue Monday – January 24, 2005 – was established as a marketing idea for a travel company to boost sales during the winter. Psychologist Cliff Arnall produced a formula based on factors such as weather conditions, debt level, time since Christmas, time since giving up on our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. Some argue that there’s no such thing, but there’s no doubt that this is a tough time of year and –  this year’s Blue Monday –  January 26 – is a great time to talk about the things that get us down and how to get back on track.

If you are among the millions who started 2015 with a goal to be healthier, Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers, will be available to help you beat your cold weather blues, so you can achieve your winter goals. Dr. Foster will discuss:

  • How your mood affects your commitment to winter goals
  • The reasons why your brain gravitates towards food for comfort
  • Tips to keep you on track for your winter goals

About Dr. Gary Foster, Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers
Dr. Foster is a psychologist, obesity investigator and behavior change expert with more than 160 scientific publications and three books on the etiology and treatment of obesity to his name. Dr. Foster’s research interests include the prevention, behavioral determinants, treatments, and effects of obesity in adults and children. He was previously the Director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia and served as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In his role as Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Foster oversees Weight Watchers science-based program, all clinical research initiatives, and continued program advances.

Not all of my questions were chosen to be answered but have a look at a few that Dr. Foster tackled:



The Firm Will Firmly Kick Your Butt Into Shape

I had a chance to review the FIRM Calorie Explosion before it goes on Sale September 7th and I image love it so much I use some of the combos with my clients.  Anyone who was an avid aerobics fan in the 90s will appreciate the simple, aerobic drills that torch calories.  Nothing hard – a V-Step here, a side to side hop there – but don’t let the simplicity fool you – this workout is a killer.

I barely break a sweat these days in my cardio classes – but I pour buckets with the cardio squat variations in this workout.  You will need some 5-10 lbs weights to get the most benefit out of this workout DVD, but starting in December you will be able to purchase Cardio Weight Glove and Core Toner Kits.

What do I love most? 12 minute routines.  Dive right in and be done in imageas little as 12 minutes, vary your workout with customizable menu and burn longer!  The set and outfits are very modest – but I like modesty in my workout videos.  I don’t need to see some toothpick sized instructor with unrealistic cleavage hopping around. The ladies on this video were very professional, the set was low key, just a relaxing blue room, and the music was upbeat and real synced with the routines. The lead instructor had amazing energy and I appreciate when DVDs aren’t stop and go shooting.  I like to see the instructor work up a sweat, be challenged and out of breath a little.  Then you know that the workout is tough!

Segments include:

· Kick-butt Athletic Drills – Get your whole body in motion with these athletic moves mixed with low intensity sculpting

· Explosive Power Moves – Total body moves using light dumbbells to get your heart rate up

· Cardio Kickboxing – Blast your legs, arms and core with this high energy kickboxing routine designed to kick calories to the curb

· High-Intensity Moves – A blend of cardio and sculpting for maximum calorie burning

I highly recommend this video for anyone looking to burn some calories.  Many of the weighted moves have a kettlebell feel to them (since I just reviewed a Kettlebell book) which again will torch those calories. I am s ure these will be available for purchase at major big box retailers but you can order from Gaiam directly.  For over 30 years, The FIRM has had an impact on the fitness industry, researching and creating superior fitness techniques and products, inspiring women nationwide to feel and look their best. The FIRM Calorie Explosion continues to provide exercisers with opportunities to strengthen and tone at maximum efficiency.

The FIRM® DVD will be available in retail stores on September 7, 2010 and at www.gaiam.com, followed by The FIRM Weighted Cardio Gloves Kit and The FIRM CoreToner Plus Kit in December.

Vegan Mock Tuna Salad Recipe

I have been eating poorly lately, and by poorly I don’t mean chugging down sugary sodas or gorging on chocolates.  I’ve been eating the same salads and veggie burgers as always, just not in a balanced or regular way which has stalled my weight loss at 167 lbs – roughly 40 lbs since the baby was born 11 weeks ago (assuming 20 lbs alone were lost during the birth process of a 9 lb baby that means only 20 lbs total of true weight has been lost).

I am getting back on the meal plan that I lauded earlier in the blog, and to kick start my efforts I have made my life easier by pre-measuring and pre-making everything possible.  From small ziplocs full of cereal (and let me tattle on Kashi by saying their box of cereal was 3 servings short of their estimate) to pre-made Mock Chicken salad and small plastic ware full of grapes.  I froze some and kept some in the fridge. Here is the recipe I made up for my Vegan Mock Chicken Salad which made 5 servings.

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans drained and washedlunch
  • 3 scallions (green onions) chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes cut in halves
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Fat Free Nayonaise or any Vegan Mayo substitute
  • 1 tsp dried Dill
  • 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
  • pinch salt and pepper to taste

I  mash the garbanzos, add all other ingredients and then mix – really simple and delicious on a piece of toasted 9 grain, or a top a bed of greens.

Getting Ready to Rid Myself of the Weight

I am currently 10 days post-partum and starting to feel better.  December 24th I took a trip to the local Target that wiped me out completely I couldn’t walk. On December 25th I hosted dinner for my parents and us in the house, again I conked out after dinner and didn’t get to say goodnight.  December 26th I went to the mall for 6 hours and paid the price at night, again not being able to walk and being very sore in the psoas and transverse abdominals.  Yesterday I went shopping because I hosted the last night of Chanukah for my family after the morning bris of my son and had a relapse of edema in my legs pretty badly. I have not been foolish enough like I was with the birth of my first son to try and do sit ups or workout.  Why you may ask? Well for starters it is recommended women give themselves 6 weeks to recoup from vaginal delivery birth (longer for C-sections) – so is this necessary – I would say after hemorrhaging the last time from attempting crunches at 14 days PP, yes – yes it is definitely best to listen to the advice of the professionals on this one.

So instead of full swing meal rehabbing and exercising I am taking this time to focus my energy – and I have very little right now, getting only 5 hours sleep every two days and a crazy erratic eating schedule. I am deciding what to do about work – I have had several new job offers, most I have turned down because they start too soon for me – and I also have several jobs to go back to – the earliest starting at the Naperville Park District for Hatha Yoga on Jan 5th. I wanted to also get certified in Thai Massage and finish another yoga teacher certification – but I am balking at the massage training due to finances and the fact that it starts Jan 22nd and requires Thur-Sun once a month all day classes – not something that I normally would mind – but in order to accomplish this I would need for Chris and both our sons to be in the city for me to breast feed – something that the school is happy to accommodate but I am not sure the interruption will help my learning.

Either way here is my plan to get back in shape.  I am going to share all of the nitty-gritty details too because why be ashamed? I birthed a 9 lb baby at home and he is super healthy.

  • My final weight before the immense swelling set in was 191 lbs (200 lbs a day later when I took the dented leg photo right before baby was born).
  • My weight prior to pregnancy was 147-149 lbs roughly.
  • The lowest weight I have achieved since my 21st birthday was 135 lbs prior to my first pregnancy so that is my goal 135-140 lbs.
  • I am 5’5 so this is an achievable weight for me I believe, though I am not too concerned with the numbers themselves since I prefer a lot of strength training and the look of muscle.
  • I will only weigh myself once a month since scales and I have a tumultuous past.
  • I will not be counting my calories because again, this is something I did religiously during my active eating disorder stage and I have found it is best not to mimic this behaviors.
  • I will however be recording my meals and basing my meals on the Muscle and Fitness Weight Loss Challenge meal plan from several years ago – very easy to follow and I had great results after my first son was born.

As for the exercise – this will be harder than I thought since the gym does not take newborns and I really don’t want him getting sick anyway.

  • Most likely I will work on learning new choreography for my cardio portion by going through the back log of Zumba ZIN DVDs that came while I was pregnant, and work with the stability ball and some light dumbbells I have in the house.
  • I will be posting daily about this so please feel free to comment on what works for you, or if you need a workout buddy, I promise to reply to all related posts – support and accountability are the keys to success in life.
  • I will be starting Monday Jan 5th, approximately  week 4 post partum, with the meal plan and very light exercise such as walking. I am still interested in hosting a mom’s support group, if you are in the Westerb Burbs of Illinois.

The Fallacy of Fitness Adverts

Let me preface this by stating first that I do believe exercise and diet can lead to weight loss, that there are some wonderful programs and videos out there to help you burn calories and that I am sure some people honestly loose weight with these systems; however, I am skeptical because I have met and read about how some Before and After photos work. Companies hire fitness models to take an “after” photo when they are at the height of their training and it is in all actuality a “before” photo for them.  Then they take a photo of the same model in their off season, or after taking some time off, or after allowing a little weight gain as a “before” photo – which in all reality should be titled the “after” photo. 

Not to mention there is airbrushing, flagrant use of different models (the best example is a hair recovery system billboard on the way to Chicago which clearly depicts two different men – one has blue eyes and the other brown – but supposedly is the same man after hair care help).

The most imperceptible fallacy I would have never noticed – but my husband brought it to my attention.  We were in a hotel workout room on some cardio equipment when an advert came on the TV for a weight loss video system (I truly can not remember which one – but it was cardio and strength together I believe) what made it memorable was one of the believers in the system who had lost 70 or so lbs was the mother of 5-7 kids – two sets of twins – and was giving a testimonial to how this system helped her loose all the weight and look great.  I was about 2 months pregnant with the scary possibility of twins which is why she stuck out to me (runs in my husband’s family) and my husband said -“Hey, look there is hope”.  Well, I finished my training and went on to a resource web site that I use to find work, etc. which also has testimonials about a certain cardio system (again it is a great workout I do it myself) and lo and behold here is a photo of the exact woman, exact story and almost verbatim the exact testimonial.  Maybe she used both programs to loose weight, lord knows it takes more than one way to stay engaged in fitness, but if you saw either video/testimonial you would believe that “The System XYZ” was the only way to go.

What in the world is my point? Take everything with a grain of salt.   Exercise is a wonderful way to help weight loss, but more importantly a wonderful way to condition yourself for improvement in: cardiovascular, strength, flexibility,  or more importantly emotion and mental health.

As the holidays approach and the ever tedious New Years Resolution Lists looms before us, remember that weight loss is nice, but being healthier is even better.