*Singer Fantasia has lived her life in the public eye in and out.
We’ve seen her come from rags to riches, gain the fame, share her opinion, get into some Jerry Springer-like love triangle and break down.
She’s on her way back to the top, though. Part of her transformation has not only been mental and emotional, but also physical.
The “Lose to Win” singer told Essence that she’s in better health after losing 50 pounds.
“Working out for me, started as something mental. It was a way to release and let some things go,” reveals Fantasia.
She started to pack on the pounds in 2011 when she was cast to play the lead role in the Mahalia Jackson biopic, but the project was put on hold the same year.
That’s when life started to spiral out of control; when she started dating a married man, and became pregnant with her son, Dallas Xavier.
After having the baby, she wanted to shape up and get things back in order.
So she generated a plan and made it happen.
“I workout every day, sometimes twice a day,” says Fantasia. “I keep my trainer with me and she travels with me. I love Pilates, yoga, and spinning. I also attend bootcamp class and they have become my workout family. Doing it with them makes me feel good.”
Exercising wasn’t a habit that came naturally to the singer, but she found a little motivation.
“A lot of my cousins who are my age or are in their 30′s are on high blood pressure pills and it’s like, c’mon, you’re too young for that,” says Fantasia. “I wanted to be the person in my family to stand up and say, okay we have to eat better and workout. I want to be around for a long time. I can’t travel like I do and not be healthy. You know how I move on stage. At any minute I could just pass out and that’s not good.”
She’s on a role and doesn’t plan to get off any time soon.
YouTube’s The Hodge Twins give fitness advice to the ladies.
*Fitness videos come in every form under the sun these days.
The experts have advice, equipment, and workouts to sell, but you haven’t seen the fitness tips delivered quite like this before…and they’re free.
The Hodge Twins have a YouTube channel where they use their fit bodies and sexy looks at the camera to reel in as many women as they can before they give them fitness tips to shape their bodies.
In their video, “Eating Tips for the Ladies”, they take turns with the camera, talking in their best Barry White speak, putting the women in a trance before rattling off diet tips that will help them with their waist and “butt.”
He decided to go after a body of steel and dammit, he’s going to get it. After just 30 days of his 60-day of intense training program, he’s looking leaner than ever.
The rapper vowed to get the body of his dreams by Valentine’s Day and what a night it’ll be when he and his ladylove will get the chance to celebrate.
Showing off his shrinking bod, he told fans, “I have lost no weight…. Replaced body fat with muscle. Simple.”
What’s the secret? Game joined his little brother, BWS Byrd’s exercise program called 60 Days of Fitness. Using Instagram, he’s been documenting his progress and routine, showing fans and followers his 1000 push ups and the types of meals he’s eating.
“The goal was to dramatically change my eating habits to a clean diet without error as well as shed the body fat wit massive cardio/ab workouts – Running, hiking, cycling etc.,” he wrote.
He then followed up with a thanks to his fans, saying they have motivated him over the past 30 days. He’s on to the next phase and totally determined to reach that perfect body.
*According to Dr. D. Levi Harrison, when it comes to your health: “An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.”
The Los Angeles, California-based orthopedic surgeon says that the old adage is more relevant than ever during the holiday season.
“We know that many times common illnesses that plague our community such as diabetes, stroke and hypertension are preventable. Good food choices and daily exercise are really preventive medicine,” said Harrison (aka Dr. Levi) to his LA Talk Live radio audience.
According to Harrison, we need to pay special attention to our health before the holiday season, which he calls the Season of Eating.
“For most of us, Fall is the time for being indoors more often and relaxing with comfort foods. Then the holidays hit (the ‘Season of Eating), and we are told it’s okay to enjoy ourselves because its the holidays. But when you’re not making mindful eating and drinking decisions, it’s like playing Russian Roulette with your health;” said Harrison, who is a medical doctor, a fitness expert, a personal trainer and the author of the new book “The Art of Fitness: A Journey to Self Enhancement.”
“We see more emergency room situations where conditions such as hypertension and glucose levels go haywire during the holidays. People want to relax and not think about fitness and health, but that’s the time we should be most focused on it in order to prevent some of the adverse effects of these conditions; which could result in death.” Harrison said.
Dr. Harrison also stresses this point: “Now is the time, before the holidays, to commit to lifestyle changes through diet and exercise. Don’t wait until January. Do it now!”
Dr. D. Levi Harrison, author of “The Art of Fitness: A Journey to Self Enhancement.” The only medical doctor to write and demonstrate exercises for the entire body in a book.
Dr. Harrison is quick to acknowledge: “What you want are lifestyle changes. So, when the holidays come around, you will actually be craving a baked sweet potato instead of sweet potato pie. We have to consider making the Season of Eating, the Season of Exercising.”
*50 Cent just keeps ‘em coming with something new, something innovative, something creative.
The rapper/entrepreneur is getting ready to publish his fitness tips in a new book, “Formula 50: A 6-Week Total Body Transformation Plan.”
Yes, you too can have a 50 body, but you’ll have to wait until Christmas to get those tips and tricks.
He said, “I had a strong desire to write this book because it is very important to me to help people make positive changes and take charge of their overall health. Formula 50 is a radical six week mind-body transformation plan geared to help readers develop mental toughness to achieve optimum results while offering a nutrition component.”
The artist has a deal with publishing house Penguin Group USA to release “Formula 50: A 6-Week Total Body Transformation Plan,” which is scheduled to hit stores around Christmas.
He hopes the training guide will inspire fans to get serious about their health.
“I had a strong desire to write this book because it is very important to me to help people make positive changes and take charge of their overall health,” 50 states. “Formula 50 is a radical six week mind-body transformation plan geared to help readers develop mental toughness to achieve optimum results while offering a nutrition component.”
The R&B legend, 59, was diagnosed with the blood sugar condition last year. She said the condition, and winning custody of her young granddaughter, were just the kick starts she needed to begin her drastic weight loss program, which involved fasting and adopting a vegan diet.
“I had diabetes type two and high blood pressure. I adopted my 10-year-old granddaughter last year. I have to be there for her,” she told Essence.com.
“I knew I couldn’t go out like this so I just fasted for, like, a month, then I went vegan and went off meats and all dairy and anything with eyes. If I have a craving for a little baked fish or something I might eat it. But that’s about it. I’ve mostly been doing a lot of high-protein foods and a lot of vegetables and exercise…
“I felt like I need to heal my body, so I would just fast and eat no meat, no dairy. I’ve never been a fan of meat, dairy and sugar. And when I developed diabetes last year I said, ‘Oh OK, I’m not going to be here long. A change is coming.’ So I started getting my mindset, then I started the fasting.”
But Khan admits she’s not a fan of working out to keep the excess weight off her new slimmer frame: “I don’t like exercising at all. I guess if I had one (exercise) of choice it would be walking. I do not run and I’m losing, like, on average about five pounds a month. I’ve lost 60 pounds since October.”
As previously reported, Khan was awarded permanent guardianship of her then-10 year old granddaughter in December after claiming her son and the child’s mother were incapable of caring for her as a result of drug abuse.
The TLC group member dawns the cover of the May/June issue of FitFigures Magazine with double cover stories.
The singer who is a fitness nut, has a great body and makes 40-something look delectable. She tells readers it’s all about a serious routine of good healthy eating and a regular fitness plan. She’s got a six-pack … who wouldn’t listen to her?
“Being healthy isn’t just about looking great, for me its about really living your best life. The things you do to and for your body today predict your health tomorrow,” Chilli said. .
FitFigures CEO and founder, Dionne D. Davis, explained that the publication’s goal is to encourage great all around health, especially with women:
“Our goal is to reach out and encourage those that struggle with diet and exercise and give support to those that implement this lifestyle on a daily basis and felt that Chilli was a perfect example of how you can balance being a mother and a business woman, and still get that workout in. She is the Twitter mother of workouts. She encourages her fans to workout and eat right. Chilli is the epitome of a multitasker. NO EXCUSES!”
And Chili has none. The fit mother of one is getting ready to launch her summer camp in which she encourages great health, fitness, and self-esteem.
*Most people have a bucket list. You know; a list of goals they want to accomplish before they kick the bucket. A majority of Americans are challenged by obesity and all the health issues that come with it. That’s why, for millions of people, their bucket lists include a vow to achieve at least one elusive physical feat: Swim across a body of water, run a marathon or compete in a Tour de France’ type bike race.
Glenn Keller had those same objectives, but instead of getting closer to his goals, Keller said he was moving farther from them. And his truck driver job kept him from sticking to any fitness goals he set. That is until he read about CNN’s 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. For the past two years, CNN and its chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, have trained everyday people to compete in a triathlon. And with hours to go before the deadline, Keller pulled his big rig into the nearest Wal-Mart parking lot where he purchased his last bucket of chicken and a webcam to record his last minute video entry (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-719842). More than one hundred people submitted videos. Keller was one of the seven chosen. Gupta called to deliver the news to each of the seven. Gupta, who had been considered for the U.S. Surgeon General’s position, is an Emmy award winning medical journalist.
Gupta and other health experts say seventy-five percent of Americans are so overweight their extra pounds have caused chronic health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. It’s the primary reason the cost of healthcare is out of control. African-American men face a number of health challenges. For Keller his obesity has caused him to suffer from sleep apnea, a condition whereby a person stops breathing in his sleep because of restricted airwaves. As the world turns its attention the Super Bowl, one of the NFL greats, Reggie White, died from complications due to sleep apnea. And because Keller realizes the seriousness of his condition he wears a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask when he sleeps.
Since December Keller and his teammates have been working to cross “triathlon” off their bucket lists. Each trainee has free access to a dietician, trainers, a fitness gym membership a new bicycle and other necessities. Now Keller makes CNN iReporter updates about this progress. He hopes to lose 100 pounds before the September triathlon, and he is encouraging others to reach their own fitness goals. Those who can’t travel to compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September should train for local events. Keller hosts a national prayer line three times a day from the seat of his big rig where he promotes spiritual and physical fitness. He also plans to share simple dietary and fitness tips he will receive throughout his training. You can follow his progress on Twitter @trihardGlenn, on his Facebook Page/ Making A Difference Ministries or on the health and fitness section of CNN.com where his weekly iReports are posted.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. For comments, questions and speaking requests email her at email@example.com
*Forty-time platinum, multi-Grammy and Emmy Award winning producer, and digital guru Quincy Jones III (QD3) has turned his attention to a new creative pursuit: the creation of a health and fitness culture born from the urban and hip-hop community’s love and respect for the music, movement, and entertainment that defines us.
QD3 recently caught up with Fat Joe, Paul Wall, Slim Thug and more to talk about living a healthy life style and how important it is for their career. Past health was only dispensed through people like Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda, or Suzanne Summers so minorities never had anyone they could relate to and see the transformation. But now with Fat Joe losing weight, Styles P opening a Juice Bar in the bronx, Russell being a vegan, and 50 putting out a workout book in 2013; Feel Rich wants to educate and inspire healthy living by leveraging the same role models that created the biggest music movement of our generation.
FeelRich.com is the cornerstone of this new culture, promoting fitness and healthy living as the way to take your life to the next level. You can get anywhere you want to go. Having a healthy body will get you there.
Feel Rich isn’t just another health service. It’s an attitude and a movement. It’s health on your terms, fitness in your style, and food choices that make sense on the streets where you live. It’s a health program that knows where you come from, and lets you decide where you want to go.
*Jill Scott is “in a good place” after losing more than 50 lbs., she tells Ebony Magazine.
The Grammy winner and mother to 2-year-old Jett shows off her new slimmer figure on the magazine’s June cover.
Ebony contributor Dream Hampton sits down with Scott, who opens up about the knock-down, drag-out battle with her former fiancé, her move from Hidden Beach Records and her new mission to stay fit.
In her interview, she says has been working with a trainer who knows how to keep her workouts exciting. “Anything that makes me feel like I’m not working out,” Scott, 39, says. “We go outside and throw footballs, go for walks.”
Click here to watch behind-the-scenes footage of Jill’s Ebony photo shoot.
*If you stay up late enough you will see some of the craziest exercise phenomenons ever. The Ab Roller, the Ab Crunch and, least we forget, the giggle-inducing naughtiness of every Shake Weight workout. But there are so many overweight Americans that every home fitness enterprise that is created seems to be an instant success.
Our Lee Bailey thinks he found a brother who is on the verge of the next best thing. His name is Shaun T, of Hip-Hop Abs fame. Now, he’s back with “Insanity,” a workout so off the wall Uncle Lee was tired just looking at it.
The workouts look so challenging that even some professional athletes might have trouble with them. But Shaun tells EURweb.com that it only appears difficult.
“That is perfectly false,” said T of any assumptions that this workout may not be for the novice. “The way I designed ‘Insanity’ is you can be at any fitness level and be able to do as many reps as you can do. If you watch the videos it’s not rhythmic, it’s not dancing, you do not have to do everything I do exactly as I do it. Even I have to take breaks with ‘Insanity.’ If I don’t take breaks then I’m not pushing myself. You should understand what it is to work hard or have knowledge of workout, or an idea of what’s it’s like to feel yourself tired, before you start. You shouldn’t jump from not doing anything for 6 years to doing ‘Insanity.’ If you’re used to exercising a little bit you should be okay.”
OK, Shaun tells us that anybody can do the workouts, but we pressed him on that a little harder and he did eventually concede … just a bit.
“You should definitely be active,” said Shaun. “You have to have a knowledge of body posture and things like that. I recommend you have a little bit of knowledge about what it is to be tired before you try ‘Insanity’.”
So, what type of “knowledge” does one have to have to perform “Insanity” at peak efficiency?
“I started playing football and basketball when I was six years old. I was a high school and collegiate track star as well, so it was definitely athletics first before dancing. I didn’t start dancing until after I started getting into fitness. When I was in college my major was sports science. So, I got into teaching fitness and one of the classes I started teaching was a dance class. By the time I was finished with the dance class I was like ‘Wow, I can dance and I can choreograph. This is something that I can do and I love it’, he continued. “After working in the pharmaceutical health industry for a few years I went and started my career as a professional dancer because I figured I might as well do it while I was young. I danced really, really hardcore professionally for like 5 years.”
Let us get this straight, this brother played both football and basketball in high school, ran track in high school and college then was a professional dancer? This workout is not for any normal American. But that’s exactly how he wanted it.
“I used to teach at Equinox in West Hollywood and my dance class was so popular that Beach Body came (to me) and that’s how I started getting involved with doing ‘Hip-Hop Abs,’ my first fitness program which was also a dance program. I guess I’m pretty blessed because I’m using my college degree full out,” he joked. “I travel anywhere from America to Canada to Asia. There are fitness conventions all over the world where I also teach a fitness certification class and where I teach people how to teach aerobics. Most people, when they want to come work with me go to www.shauntfitness.com and check out where I’m going to be making appearances and they come and rock with me for a day, then die! But I know CPR and bring them back to life and send them home.”
Not for nothing, but the “Insanity” workout seems like it’s only for people that are extremely serious, or have an exercise induced death wish.
“With ‘Hip-Hop Abs’ we dance and have fun and we cut up and we laugh, but in ‘Insanity’ the most that could happen, and often does, is they gag and throw up here and there. But, that’s part of the pain. Me personally, I love it. If somebody has me working out so hard that I’m heaving over a trash can then I love it.”
Shaun T’s career takes him all across the map. We asked him what he felt the biggest difference in fitness is between the United States and other countries to which he has traveled.
“It is astounding the fitness level between America and Asia. For instance, Tokyo. There are very few people there that are overweight, quote unquote. I say quote, unquote because I know that fitness level is not completely dependent upon weight. These people eat good, they have a law in Tokyo where if you’re under a certain number of centimeters your BMI (Body Mass Index) has to be under a certain number or you get taxed.
Yikes! You get taxed? Don’t get us wrong. We like big butts just as much as the next urban website, but if that law was introduced here then that would make up for the federal deficit and then some.
“In Europe they have 15 to 20 fitness conventions in their countries every weekend. I mean, it’s packed. I just wish that America would jump on that bandwagon. It’s not really about the weight, but the level of activity. You can go anywhere in America; New York, Miami, Los Angeles and you just see out of shape people. It’s an overwhelming majority and it’s very, very depressing. At a fitness center, training center … you can put your hands on it just about anywhere. That’s why I do what I do and I try to inspire as many people as possible.”
The 20th century has witnessed this country enjoy of a string of successes that are historically unprecedented. Could it be we’re wallowing in our own success? Is it the types of foods we’re eating?
“It’s not really about what as much as it’s about how much,” he explained. “Like most restaurants, for example Cheesecake Factory. How big are the plates there? It comes down to what you learned in school with the food pyramid. If you just have portion control you basically can eat whatever you want. We think the more rice we have the better, the bigger the plate the better or I need to have dessert. You don’t need to have dessert. That’s where people get it wrong. One of the best pieces of advice that I like to give to people is don’t drink your calories. I promise that if you would stop drinking soda for a month you would loose ten to twenty pounds. It’s a promise. It’s caloric intake to output and it’s just sugar you don’t need. It’s those little things that would make a huge difference. One glass of wine is actually good for you. But it’s never one. It’s never one!
Now wait a minute, says the naysayer, you have been at your athletic peak for most of your life! How are you going to profess to know the everyday eating habits of the everyday American?
“I understand it’s hard. Trust me I know, but once you gain control of that it is the best feeling to say ‘Yeah, I’ve eaten enough and I can’t help but eat again.’ The less you eat in one portion the more times you can eat in a day. Instead of not eating all day and eating a huge meal at night, stuffing myself and going to sleep after not exercising, your body is going to hold on to that and say, ‘Well you’re only eating one time a day so I’m going to hold on to all that stuff.’ But if you eat five times a day, and it’s a good portion, your body is working. People don’t grasp that concept. A lot of people don’t loose weight because they don’t eat enough.”
The “Insanity 60 day Total Body Conditioning Program” is for the serious-minded, but the DVDs do start off a slower pace for those who need to get used to the moves, but Shaun T tells EURweb.com it’s called a “body conditioning” workout for a reason. His intentions are to help people transform their body, not just tone up. The program features 10 different exercises designed to target a different part of your body. For more log on to www.beachbody.com