26 August, 2011

Meet the Biggest Loser Trainers of Season 12

Anna Kournikova
Born: Moscow, Russia
History: Anna started playing tennis at 5 years old. When she was 9 she moved to America and at 14 began playing tennis professionally. She feels many others had made the decision for her. Despite this, at 15 she was at Wimbledon in the semi-finals; her career debut. Her tennis career has blossomed since then, defeating many of the world's top players including Lindsay Davenport, Steffi Graff & Jennifer Capriati.
What she brings to Biggest Loser: With a long career as a professional athlete, Anna feels she's been trained by the best trainers and nutritionists and can't wait to share what's she's learned with the Season 12 contestants.
Goals: To get contestants healthy, off medications and educate them well enough to take what they learn back to their real lives.

Dolvett Quince
Born: Stanford, CT
History: Working at YMCA when he was noticed to work well with others. This led him to a private gym before becoming an 'independent contractor'. In 2004 he opened his first Body Sculptor in Atlanta, GA and gained notoriety on a radio show. He is now a recognized celebrity trainer.
What he brings to Biggest Loser: He's a fan of the show and has credentials as a Master Trainer. He enjoys what he does and looks forward to help people change their lives. He's excited to work with Anna and Bob.
Outlook: Believes a trainer should be very personal and a friend with who he's training; thus personal trainer.
Tips for anyone looking to improve their health: Start walking, park further away from store entrances, mind your portion sizes and start an exercise regiment.
What to look forward to this season: When asked on Twitter @dolvett replied, "Expect the inevitable probability of unlimited, possibility".

Bob Harper
Born: Nashville, TN
History: Bob grew up on a cattle farm, but moved to Los Angeles to become a fitness trainer. He's developed his own fitness philosophy which he calls 'Inside Out'. If you've ever seen Biggest Loser before, you'll have seen Bob and know what he's all about. He's been with Biggest Loser since season 1 and follows a vegan lifestyle.
Why he's still with Biggest Loser: You'd think after 11 seasons, Bob would have followed Jillian's decision to leave but with the new trainers and contestants he feels Biggest Loser is being kept fresh.
What he brings to Biggest Loser: Has a passion for what he does, and enjoys the ability to use Biggest Loser to get his message out to people.
Thoughts on some of the new contestants: Jennifer is 330 pounds and he initially thought she'd be the crazy one but she seems to be disciplined and motivated. Also he hears lots of singing going on, one guy really loves to sing. "If singing burned calories this guy would be the thinnest person in the house".
What to look forward to this season: This season will break a lot of myths about working out when older. Discipline and drive helps a person lose weight, not youth. Biggest Loser ranch is a place you DO NOT want to go to. There is a lot of demand on each contestant and that's just in one day. It'll all start again the following day.

23 August, 2011

Biggest Loser 13 - Open Casting Call

Chicago August 20th 2011

The day before the open casting call, Holland and Kerry from the Biggest Loser Casting, filmed a video giving advice and suggestions needed before attending. As you can see in the photos, it was a very small venue so Kerry explained the parking situation. Essentially, you were not to park in the lot where 'Chicago Home Fitness' was (the location of the open casting call). Well, you could, but the problem was the two hour parking limit and the likelihood of being in line and with the casting crew for more than two hours. Street parking was available, but most had two hour limits also (as I discovered). The best bet was to get dropped off, or find a freebie spot and walk a few blocks. And hey, why not start off your Biggest Loser experience with a bit of a walk?

Once the parking situation was assessed, the next thought was how the line would form. A long line was likely, resulting in business entrances being potentially blocked. The direction of the line would wrap around the strip mall and into the alley. Caution was also given to the 'potty situation'. There was no bathrooms available inside the Chicago Home Fitness because of how small it was. The recommended strategy was to find a local business willing to allow use of it's facilities. Last word I heard, businesses were not pleased with the prospect. Perhaps they were not counting on the Biggest Loser hopefuls willing to make purchases in the stores after making use of the toilets? Who's to know. Holland gave the suggestion of perhaps getting something to eat at a local restaurant, then taking care of any nature calls.

With the information now digested, the Biggest Loser casting call for season 13 could begin. Who knows, maybe the next winner of the Biggest Loser will come from the Chicago area.

The morning began with a terrible storm and a torrential downpour of rain. Driving in, there were warnings of flash flooding and certain streets were closed. But soon the rain abated and the casting call was fully underway. As you can see, the line forming outside the Chicago Home Fitness never cleared despite the rains heaviest pounding. From there on, the sun was out and the rest of the day was absolutely beautiful. So beautiful in fact, a local merchant began grilling fish and giving away free samples.

As the day went on, the line did get shorter. This was the line around 2:00pm, the halfway mark for the time allotted for the casting call. Unfortunately, because the area was so crammed I was unable to get many photo ops except from the outside, such as this shot. Initially I thought the casting call would be in an area with more room. Maybe next time I'll get a special invite to do my reporting from inside the action? We can only hope.

So, were you at the Chicago casting call? How did it go for you? We'd love to read about your experience. Or if you were at another cities casting location how did it go? Was it as small as this location? Share your thoughts below.

19 August, 2011

Reasons I'm Disappointed in My Fitness Gym

It was recently pointed out to me I'm not spending a lot of time at the gym. True, I've started a workout program at home, and have tried to carefully watch what I eat, but am I missing out by not attending the gym? If so, why am I not going? After much soul searching, I realized it wasn't the workouts I was actually steering clear from. The gym I go to is disgusting and I'm getting fed up with it. What's so disgusting about it? Glad you asked. Following are the top 5 reasons I've grown to hate visiting the gym.

1. Disgusting shower area.

After a hard workout, the last thing I want to worry about is the condition of the shower area. I'm tired, sore and dirty but I have to question the sanitary condition of the shower area when it always seems filthy (even in the morning), the shower heads looks disgusting, and large sections of tiling and wall removed, covered by plastic. What is this, Porky's? Disturbing.

2. People stealing your soap.

As much as I'd like to, I can't fault the gym when this happens. But the fact remains, it happens. The way my gym is set up, you have the locker room which leads into the shower area, which then branches into the pool area or the steam room. So if you bring your own soap, you must place it on a shelf and hang up your towel. Then you can visit the pool and/or steam room. Once you are done, with luck, your soap is still around. Mine has been swiped several times. Of course you have to bring your own soap because the gym is lax in making sure their slimy soap is well stocked. SCORE! - I guess I can blame the gym for this after all. Seriously though, are times so tough people have resorted to stealing soap? Next time I'm bringing an empty bottle of soap filled with something other than soap and see what happens.

3. Rusty & Unclean Lockers

"Holy Rusted Metal Batman. The metal, it's all rusted and full of holes." One of my favorite movie quotes helps explain what really irks me. I realize the lockers have been in the gym for 20+ years. I also realize how expensive it might be to replace them. But again, why should it stop me from complaining? The reality is even with no garbage inside the locker, when it's severely rusted, it SEEMS dirty and disgusting. But the fun doesn't stop there, because most members at the gym DO leave garbage behind. If it's not discarded deodorant, it's used Q-tips or paper toweling. It's certainly getting rougher and rougher to find a decent locker to use.

4. Ripped and stained carpet.

This is the reason workout mats were likely invented. Not to cushion the floor, but to keep the funk from the carpet away from us. Seriously, I can only imagine what these stains are. Additionally, are the stains so bad they can't be cleaned? Has the gym never heard of Rug Doctor, or even the funds to insure they own a carpet cleaning machine? If a drink were spilled or someone vomited on the wood floor, wouldn't it immediately be cleaned up? So what's wrong with immediately cleaning up something on the carpet. So very hard to imagine.

5. Several machines always out of order.

Nothing is so aggravating as having to wait several minutes for a machine. How does such a thing come about? It's not because the machine is dispensing gold bricks, but because there is a lack of available machines for use. This is probably the least problem I'm worried about because generally the gym has many machines on hand. Knowing ahead of time what isn't working helps to alter your workout plan. The most annoying problem comes when the machine is out of order for longer than a week. I know parts may be needed, I hope the problem isn't having to find someone to fix the machine. You would think there's a service contract or some maintenance person is readily available. Another petty gripe, I know. But who doesn't like to stoke the fire once it gets going?

Conclusion? It's not the actual working out I've been trying to avoid, it's the disgusting gym. It's hard to keep motivated when you are working out in a pit. Isn't there something the gym can do to improve? Or is this an inevitable reality I need to face? Well, if they want to keep me as a member, I'm hoping some of these things are addressed. Am I working out at the wrong place or is this typical of most places? I'm not looking to work out at the Ritz, but I'm also not looking to work out at the local dump.

What are your fitness gym horror stories?

State Fairs - Bad For Your Health (Maybe)

This cartoon makes a valid point about State Fairs. Don't kid yourself into beleive that just because you are walking, you can eat whatever you want. The true fact is, walking around during the course of the day does not burn enough calories for you to go on a diet free caloric splurge. There is more to State Fairs than just food to enjoy. Take in the shows, watch the animals or people watch. Find something to do that keeps you busy, and away from the food. But if you STILL feel the need to treat yourself, try doing a little research into how many calories you'll be consuming. Chances are, you'll be less likely to start a see-food diet.

11 August, 2011

New: Facebook Public Profile

Just thought I'd mention to everyone, I've created a public profile page on Facebook. If you are a FB user, I welcome you to stop by and show your support. THANKS!