Archive for » March 8th, 2012«

Losing weight and finding oneself means defining success

Editor’s note: This is another installment in a series tracing the writer’s weight-loss journey and her discovery of the relationship between avoirdupois and spiritual well-being.

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Losing weight, for me, has been far more than a reduction in the number
of pounds on the scale. It has been an emotional, deeply spiritual
journey that has taught me more about myself than I expected to learn
when I began the process last spring.

My initial goal to lose my first 30 pounds in three months was an attempt to convince myself that I was serious about getting fit after many years of being overweight. I accomplished that goal and then proceeded to drop another 10 pounds with the help of my life coaches Charles Taylor and Shakira Clemetson of Charles and Shakira Unlimited.

I intend to continue losing weight, even though the total lost several months later stands at 40. When it came time to give readers an update, I felt compelled to examine my weight loss and to face the truth. I am disappointed that I have lost only 40 pounds. I could have been much lighter by now, yada, yada, yada.

I was well on my way to beating myself up when I stopped mid-sentence and made a conscious decision to shift from loathing to loving. And because I am now a CESE (certified excuse spotting expert) who is able to spot those boogers a mile away, I asked myself whether I was engaging in that all too human process once again. To a certain extent, I was, but when I looked at the bigger picture, the answer became, “Not so fast, sister.”

One of the things that I know for sure is that the human body is resilient but I’m not always pleased when it takes over to heal and protect. For instance, when swelling follows a sprain, the body knows that the tender area needs protection while it heals but we impatiently try to rush the healing process.

In my weight loss journey, my body knew that, as I experienced the biggest change in my adult life, the end of a 26-year marriage, the cutting of some slack was certainly in order. I am grateful that this transition in my life was buffered by prayer and has occurred with as much love and dignity that a change of this sort can have. And although the way that I eat has improved and I exercise far more than I had done in a very long time, the strong focus on dropping pounds eased up as my focus on my family’s well-being took center stage.

Because I know that everything happens for a reason, I have no regrets. My work with Shakira on “meaning making” also helped me to define my success according to my own standards.

Sure, I would love to have dropped an additional 30 or so pounds but I haven’t and, as Maya Angelou said in her book of the same title, “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”  When I look at the past several months objectively, I firmly but lovingly tell my self-critic to take a seat. I’m actually OK with where I am. And in the name of loving what is, instead of regretting what isn’t, I have changed my tune from the blues-inspired “I only lost 40 pounds,” to the more upbeat and soulful “I’ve lost 40 pounds and kept it off, changed my relationship with food, made exercise a part of my life and I love myself far more than I ever have.”

With that as a foundation, I move on to Phase 2 of this blessed journey. Stay tuned.

Renee Michelle Hollinger may be contacted at
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Charles and Shakira Unlimited is a comprehensive, spirituality-based life coaching program that inspires clients to live H.I.P. — Healthy, Inspired and Purposeful – lives. They may be contacted at 954-591-8542 or via Twitter at Their website is

Photo: Renee Michelle Hollinger  


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Which Fad Diet Is Right for You?

Though The New York Post is sticking by the Manhattan Girl diet, many media outlets have decided gluten-free is the diet du jour. But is it only a flash in the proverbial pan? And which fad diet is right for you?
We took a look at some of the media’s recent dietary darlings —
“Manhattan Girl,” “Gay Food,” and “Paleo” — to see how they compare to
the current gluten-free blitz. 

Gluten-Free: Cut out grains like wheat, barley, and
rye. This also means saying no to certain types of flours, which
probably means you will have to say goodbye to breads, cakes, pies,
cookies, and crackers, unless they’re marked “gluten-free.” You can
definitely partake in delicious things like hominy and, as the Mayo clinic notes, arrowroot. The Mayo Clinic also says that the diet is primarily used to treat celiac disease, but it’s also found some mainstream legs.

Manhattan Girl: According to The Post
and Eileen Daspin’s new book, this one come from Daspin’s skinniest
Manhattan friends. “Daspin reveals that Manhattan women don’t starve
themselves — they eat good quality food and the occasional treat,”
according to the Post. This means reducing Chinese food into
“string beans and rice,” turning Tootsie Roll pops or 3.5 Twizzlers into
a “cheat,” making sure there’s something to throw away on your plate,
and eating lots of quinoa, spelt, Kamut, and rye. Oh, and diluting
alcoholic drinks with ice, water, and seltzer. On the health benefits, Daspin argues, “I think it’s unhealthy to deprive yourself of stuff.” Jezebel’s Madeleine Davies has her own snarky take on the Manhattan Girl diet in which one of the integral components means never being able to afford more than a side salad.

Gay Food: “Gay food is lighter and brighter. It feels
art-directed, not just tossed together and deep-fried, with an attention
to aesthetic and dietary detail,” wrote The New York Times‘ Jeff Gordinier
on a lunch date with Gay Food chieftain Simon Doonan. This
tongue-in-cheek approach means incorporating meaty, fatty “straight”
foods with lighter “gay” foods like sushi, salads, and greens. 

Rihanna’s dad told her to diet

Wednesday, 7 March 2012



Rihanna’s father Ronald Fenty once advised his superstar daughter to lose weight because he thought she was “too fat,” according to reports.

The 24-year-old Barbadian singer has one of the best bodies in the entertainment industry.

But Ronald thought that when she was home for the island’s carnival last August, she looked like she had put on a few pounds.

“I actually thought she was a little fat the last time I saw her,” he told Heat magazine.

“But when I saw her at this year’s Grammys, I thought she was back to her normal size. I used to joke with her, ‘Robyn [Rihanna's first name], you’re getting too fat.’ But I think she’s fine.

“I think she looked excellent, as everyone saw, at the Grammys. She’s dieting, she’s working out.”

Rihanna and her father have had ups and downs in their relationship and reportedly ended their two-year feud in 2010.

Ronald also spoke about his daughter’s increasing closeness with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown who beat her up in 2009 while they were still dating.

“Chris is a nice guy and everybody’s entitled to make mistakes in their life,” he said. “God knows how many I’ve made. She’s her own woman now.”

Rihanna has faced criticism for becoming friends with Chris again and she is also reportedly embroiled in a feud with the singer’s new girlfriend Karrueche Tran.

The aspiring model reportedly hinted at the friction with a post on her Facebook page alluding to the fact that she was stuck in a messy love triangle – the kind of which has rocked the showbiz world before.

“I’m Angeline [sic], you’re Jen [Aniston],” she wrote. “C’mon you see where Brad [Pitt] is at.”

© Cover Media


So long junk food; so long bullies

A year ago, Nick Turnbeaugh, 17, looked into a mirror pondering adulthood. “I looked at myself and said, ‘If I’m this heavy now, what will I be when I’m 30?’ “

Today, Turnbeaugh weighs 163 pounds, which is 87 pounds lighter than his peak weight of 250 pounds. His new weight is perfect for his 5-foot-11-inch frame.

Now he likes the guy in the mirror. “I never realized what I used to look like,” he said. “I’m astonished at what my body can do now.

“I’m getting more confident.”

Last semester, his grades jumped from middle C to a B average, the highest grades he has ever achieved.

Experts say physically fit youngsters do better in school, for any of a number of reasons, from being clear-headed and healthy to being less self-conscious and distracted by teasing or bullying.

Turnbeaugh said to make the change, he had to hate obesity more than he loved junk food. And he hated what obesity had done to his life.

Turnbeaugh’s weight had set his life off balance for as far back as he could remember. The most wrenching times were when other children teased him.

“I had to change schools in junior high because it got so bad,” he said. “People don’t realize, that really hurts.”

He added, “When I was with my friends, they’d get the girls and not me. It wasn’t fun.”


Turnbeaugh said he has always loved food and eating.

Mark Turnbeaugh, a single father of three, recalled Nick at age 5 eating an entire loaf of bread at a local steakhouse.

The high school student estimated he made about 10 previous attempts at weight loss. Each lasted a day or two.

The weight began to take its toll. Climbing steps shortened his breath — even though he was an athlete.

He played center for the high school football team. But, he recalled, “The weight never let me reach my full potential.”

He and his father butted heads more than once about his health.

One day, though, the teen went to his father to discuss his new commitment.

“He has never had the willpower,” Mark Turnbeaugh said. “But this time, I could see it.”

Dad’s main advice, “Don’t do anything that he couldn’t keep up.”


Turnbeaugh said he had gained weight by eating too much and not exercising enough.

So, he planned to eat less and “cut out the junk.” His intake dropped to 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day of more nutritious food.

“Dad taught me to have a balanced diet,” Turnbeaugh said.

Breakfast had been leftovers — pizza or chicken nuggets.

“At lunch, I used to pile my plate with junk — two burgers, a wrap and fries — and I’d eat it even if I wasn’t hungry any more,” he said. “And then, I had a soft spot for sweets and sodas. I’d have a frozen pizza and potato chips for dinner.”

Breakfasts have now morphed into the likes of a protein bar and soup.

“My dad makes my lunch for me now,” he said. “A sandwich and fruit. I haven’t bought a lunch for almost a year.”

He eats dinner with his father and younger brother and sister. The family eats smaller meals with more vegetables and fruit.

“I can eat a regular dinner because of all the calories I saved during the day,” he said.

“It’s so easy to be healthy now,” said his father. “We’re all on the same page.”

That also means water or low-calorie drinks; no sodas.

“We never ate a lot of fruit,” Turnbeaugh said, “now fruit is everywhere.”

Turnbeaugh runs several times a week. He joined a fitness club.

The weight started coming off in mid-spring last year.

But then there was an unexpected problem: Football season arrived and he still played center.

“There I was at 175, 180 pounds playing against 300-pound nose tackles,” he said. “I just got as low as I could and did my best.

“The coach just said try to slow ‘em down.”


Shortly after the football season ended, he’d reached his goal weight.

His weight loss has touched others.

“It’s got to be 100 people who’ve asked how I did it,” he said. “My grandmother lost 20 pounds and said it was because I was an inspiration. My aunt lost 30 pounds.”

His brother, Tony, 15, began going to the gym with him. Sister Katie, 13, was already into fitness.

Now a high school senior, he’s done with organized sports; it’s unlikely any college will come looking for a 163-pound center.

He’s planning to major in business, then attend school to be a chiropractor.

He’s speaking out because he wants other young people to keep trying if they need to lose weight, he said.

“I tried 10 times and the 11th time it worked,” he said. “It’s easy to make the change if you get into the right place.”

Do diet pills work? Researchers say not so much.

CORVALLIS, Ore. (KMTR) – Swimsuit season is around the corner and a lot of people will likely to turn to diet pills in order to try and lose a few pounds.

Researchers, however, say not so fast.

Weight loss supplements are a $2 billion dollar industry and has proven to be popular with both genders and people of all ages.

Researchers who recently reviewed the products told NewsSource 16 Wednesday that haven’t exactly proven to be successful.

Doctor Melinda Manore, PhD, looked at the products based on how they should work. Most of them only showed a two pound weight loss.

This isn’t necessarily a lie that is being told because most of the bottles say that up to a certain amount weight can be lost with use. A lot of them, though, are not even tested to see how successful they are before they are sold.

“There is no law that requires that says they have to show its effective,” Manore said. “They make a lot of money on it. If you’re a consumer, how do you research this? You read, you get your magnifying glass out, you read the fine print, but its like how are they going to get the information? If its false, there is no one going around checking.”

Manore said when it comes down to it, the key to weight loss is eating right. That means whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Movement is also key. Even if the movement is around the office or down the hall, it makes a difference.

“Adults need to be the role models,” she said.

According to her, making healthy lifestyle choices fun and accessible should not include going to the store and looking for a magic pill.

The two most popular ingredients in supplements tend to be caffeine and green tea extract, which are ok in moderation, but not necessarily good for an individual. In fact, some of the dietary supplements could be detrimental to the heart, liver and or stomach.

Manore said if one insists on finding something to boost balancing a diet, talk to a doctor.

Knciks’ Stoudemire Dropping Weight Fast

DALLAS — Amar’e Stoudemire began a weight-loss program 10 days ago in an attempt to shed 15 pounds, and the results were evident Tuesday night.

The Knicks forward told the New York Post he has already dropped about 10 pounds in 10 days, getting down to 250 pounds from 260. Stoudemire said the goal is to get to 245 pounds.

He looked quicker and more explosive Tuesday, racking up 26 points and seven rebounds and hitting 10 of 18 shots. Stoudemire was the lone starter to play with the second unit that staged a fourth-quarter comeback in the 95-85 loss to the Mavericks.

Stoudemire came to camp bulked up and appeared slower to the rim, prompting the medical staff to decide on implementing a weight-loss program.

“Sometimes you have to understand what it takes to get better,” Stoudemire said. “I had an offseason where I picked up a lot of muscle. Ten pounds of muscle. Now I’m going to get back to my normal self of attacking the rim.”

Stoudemire blamed a back injury suffered during last spring’s playoff loss to Boston and the ensuing six months of rehab for putting him out of rhythm.

He credited his high metabolism with helping him drop the weight quickly, adding, “I changed eating habits and am doing wind sprints after practice.”

The 29-year-old is averaging 17 points per game this season, down more than six from last year, and he failed to make the All-Star team for the first time since 2006 when he was injured.

He started the weight-loss plan right after his All-Star break in the Bahamas.

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