BEFORE: 345 lbs(Scroll down to see photo)
AFTER: 145 lbs
When Mary Renwick moved with her husband, Tim, who was in the Navy, from Monroe, Michigan, to a military base in Sicily in 1999, her six-foot frame was lean and willowy. But while Tim worked odd hours at his new job, Mary filled her lonely days with food. "I ate for comfort and indulged in the local cuisine--oily pasta, buttered bread, lots of cannoli," she says. By the time Tim was discharged and they returned to Monroe in 2002, she was 90 pounds heavier and depressed. In the next seven years, Mary gave birth to two boys, which improved her spirits but not her weight.
THE CHANGE In December 2009, Mary reached down to pick up her youngest son, Parker, then 5 months old, and felt a stab in her back. A visit to the doctor revealed two bulging disks and a pinched nerve. "When I learned my weight was the main factor in my injury, I decided I could not, would not, live like that anymore," she says.
6 Comfort Food Recipe Makeovers
Blog Posts by The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Sep 7, 2011 11:14 PM EDT
BEFORE: 345 lbs(Scroll down to see photo)Read More »from 200 Pounds lighter and "a 180-degree turn for the better!"
Who doesn't want stellar stems and a firmer backside? Nothing complements a hiked-up hemline quite like a pair of gorgeous gams. And getting them is easier than you may think. This workout, created by Marcela Ceselka, a personal trainer at Club H Fitness in New York City, targets every inch of your lower body--glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips, inner thighs, and calves--to build lean muscle in your bottom half and boost your metabolism, while also improving your core strength and balance.Read More »from 4 Ways to get lean legs and a tight tush
What to expect: Three days a week, do two or three sets of this routine, resting for 60 seconds between each exercise. Shorten your break time (or get rid of it completely!) to increase the challenge even more. Here are the four moves and how to do them with great form:
1. STEP UP WITH LEG LIFT
Place your right foot on a step or bench and put your hands on your hips (a). Push yourself up until your right leg is straight and you're standing on the bench. Squeeze your glute to raise your left leg as far
Any woman who's ever reached for a glass of wine on a date only to reveal the soaked underarms of her outfit has probably wished she could remove her sweat glands. But long before pit stains became a social obstacle, perspiring was crucial to survival. "Sweat cooled off our ancestors in the grasslands of Africa," says anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D. "It allowed them to hunt and forage without sweltering."Read More »from 3 Funky things you didn’t know about sweat
But a hot climate isn't the only thing that makes us sweat. Nerve-racking situations (e.g., a big job interview) can prompt the brain to trigger the release of stress hormones that raise your body's temperature enough to warrant a cooldown.
Here, three funky facts from the science of sweat.
Q: If sweat is just water and salt, why does it reek?
Sweat itself is odorless. But our armpits host special sweat filters called apocrine glands, which secrete an oily substance that, when mixed with bacteria on our skin, begins to smell, says David Pariser, M.D., a
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Work + Money – Thu, Aug 18, 2011 10:26 PM EDT
BEFORE: 205 lbs. (Scroll down to see photo)Read More »from Down 65 pounds and 5 sizes, “My old clothes fall off me now!”
AFTER: 140 lbs.
Working in the kitchen of an assisted-living community, Sherise Campbell spent eight hours a day, five days a week surrounded by fries, pizza, pasta, and soda. Ten years into her job, this 5'4" former "skinny girl with no curves" was a size 16. It didn't help that her chef husband, Tafari, worked the late shift and brought home fried chicken or tacos at 10 p.m. that Sherise would share despite having eaten earlier. She ignored her doctor's advice to lose weight until she hit an all-time high of 205 pounds in the summer of 2009.
5 Tips for Preventing Love Chub
THE CHANGE Because her weight gain was so gradual, Sherise didn't realize just how many pounds she'd tacked on. That is, until she flipped through a photo album from her wedding-anniversary cruise in the Bahamas and spotted a shot of herself in a red halter dress. "Curves are good, but I didn't like the way those curves looked," she says.
How to Stop Mindless Eating
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Aug 3, 2011 5:52 PM EDT
Do you marvel at your best friend, who can take two spoonfuls of Chubby Hubby and promptly return the carton to the freezer? Or at your husband, who updates his resume every three months just in case opportunity knocks? Well, you, too, can acquire both of these types of willpower--the kind of self-control you need when you're trying to avoid something (such as treats) and the version you need when you're trying not to avoid something (like professional responsibility). Read on to learn how to cultivate inner discipline.Read More »from Instant willpower? "Yes!" says the science of self discipline
Got True Grit? More on Fortitude and Reaching Your Goals
When You Want to Avoid Temptation…
Doughnuts, bad boys, and second (and third) cocktails--just a few of the things that put our willpower to the test. It can also be hard to resist nonmaterial pleasures, like compulsively checking your eBay auction when you should be working. How to start:
Ditch the D Word Making willpower a form of deprivation can set you up for backsliding. "You have to be motivated to exert
Before: 199 lbs
(scroll down to see photo)
After: 130 lbs
Thanks to a childhood filled with drive-through breakfasts and take-out dinners, Amy Banfield, now 22, was always one of the chubbiest kids in school. By fourth grade, she recalls, "I was heavier than my friends and felt self-conscious changing for gym class." Her eating habits worsened when she enrolled at Miami University in Ohio in 2007. "My dorm was next to a 24-7 mini-mart, so I could snack all day or night," she says. During freshman year, she packed 25 pounds onto her 5'7" frame. With summer looming, she vowed to bring her scale back from the brink of 200 pounds.
THE CHANGE: To avoid facing the music about her weight, Amy lived in oversize tees and sweats. But in January 2008, when she was turned away from a fraternity party with a harsh "No fat girls allowed," she decided she needed to act. "I was humiliated," she says. She committed to fixing her weight problemRead More »from “I never thought I’d wear a size 4!”
By Jen Ator, Women's Health
Preventing too many ice cream splurges and other summer treats from settling on your waistline comes down to simple calorie math: If you want to indulge in a few extra calories, you'll have to sweat off a few more than usual. Send 'em packing with these four explosive moves created by Kim Blake, a trainer at Nike World Headquarters Sports Center in Portland, Oregon. You'll push your body weight off the floor and then absorb it when you land. Translation? Your muscles will work hard, and you'll blast fat.
What to Expect: You'll do 12 to 16 reps of each move, resting for 15 seconds between each exercise. When you've finished all four, rest for a minute or two, then repeat the circuit two more times. Do this calorie-incinerating workout three times a week, or anytime you need a little damage control.
1. RUNNER'S LUNGE TO KNEE SKIP
Start in a pushup position, then bendRead More »from Crush more calories with your workout
It's true: Standing moves engage more muscles. Challenge your core with a fast belly-tightening routine you can do on your feet.
When you want to sculpt lean, sexy abs, doing crunches is highly overrated. Why? On-your-back moves target just one part of your midsection and leave out the deep-lying muscles that cinch in your waist. This upright abdominal workout, created by Bernardo Coppola, a celebrity personal trainer in L.A., engages all the muscles you need for a bikini-worthy middle--minus the neck strain.
What to expect: You'll be strengthening your entire core, the dozens of muscles that make up your hips, pelvis, lower back, and abs. And this will improve your posture and ensure you perform everyday tasks, such as lugging heavy grocery bags or running to catch a bus, more efficiently. Complete three or four sets of each exercise as instructed, resting for 30 seconds between sets, two or three times a week.
Dumbbell SideRead More »from The standing abs workout
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Jul 13, 2011 4:02 AM EDT
Slathering on sunscreen is the best way to ward off evil rays, but don't put blind faith in its efficacy. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C., reviewed nearly 1,400 sunscreens in 2010 and found that only 8 percent made the grade in terms of preventing skin cancer and signs of aging. (Scary, right?) So choosing the right one is critical. These fascinating facts and tips will help keep your skin healthy this summer and beyond.Read More »from Are you putting blind faith in your sunscreen? 5 scary SPF secrets
11 Foods for Perfect Skin
1. Some Dangers Lurk Within A form of vitamin A is added to some sunscreens to minimize the aging effects of the sun. What's not to love about that? Potentially plenty: Researchers with the National Toxicology Program say retinyl palmitate--a vitamin-A compound used in at least 40 percent of American sunscreens--may speed up the development of skin cancer-related tumors and lesions when used on skin hit with sunlight. Lab animals coated with a vitamin A-laced skin cream and exposed
- The Editors of WOMEN'S HEALTH | Healthy Living – Wed, Jul 6, 2011 7:47 PM EDT
Want to lose pounds fast and spend less time working out? It's possible--but only if you push your body to its absolute sweat-dripping, out-of-breath max. In other words, up the intensity.Read More »from 3 Secrets for getting on the faster track to a fit body
It works. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario had a group of cyclists do four to six 30-second sprints (with four minutes at a slower pace in between), while another group biked at a continuous pace for 90 to 120 minutes. After six sessions, everyone saw the same benefits, even though the second group was still slogging long after the first group had showered off.
The problem is, without someone egging you on, you may hit the brakes as soon as your workout gets the slightest bit uncomfortable. Luckily, you can learn strategies to help you power through when the going gets tough.
20 Ways to Stick to Your Workout
Secret #1: Think You Can The urge to scream uncle during a butt-kicking workout may have more to do with your overprotective brain than your cramping muscles. The traditional school