You don’t need the Biggest Loser to get healthy and lose weight. Just ask Joshua Morton!


Meet Joshua. Someone directed me towards this amazing kid who was almost a competitor on the biggest loser. He didn’t quite make it, but he decided to kick some ass on his own. I have been following him on facebook for sometime. Something about Joshua just makes you feel like you CAN achieve anything you work hard at. You can see it in his eyes that he is passionate about getting healthy, sharing his journey, and inspiring you to do it as well!

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How old are you and where are you from? I am 20 years old and I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC

How long have you been overweight? I have struggled with my weight, my whole life. It has been an uphill battle. I’ve always had a weight issue for as long as I can remember

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How much weight have you lost? I have lost right around 60lbs. I HATE the scale so I only get on once a month. So I may have lost more now.

Do you have a goal weight? YES! My goal weight is 170lbs, but being Healthy is my ultimate goal!

What kind of lifestyle do you follow in trying to lose weight? I try and eat as clean as possible, along with working out at minimum 6 days a week.399055_320499548049436_411860583_n

What is in your fridge right now? Haha good question! Nothing?! I have been so busy planning my California trip I have neglected to go to the grocery store. BUT, what I usually have in my fridge; low sodium turkey, thin sliced provolone, chicken, water (of course), almond milk, peanut butter (I love it cold), lettuce, eggs, Greek yogurt, I know there is more, but I just cannot think!

Favorite way to sweat? Treadmill at a 15.0 incline; walking a 3.5. Hell Yeah, I love my inclines!! (burn the most cals that way!)408770_370284469737610_1602148578_n

Workout playlist. Give us a few of your favorite tunes to sweat it out with. Haha, I listen to everything. This question would be embarrassing to answer! A lot of 90s pop! It takes me back to the good ole days.

What made you decide to lose weight? Your aha moment? When I auditioned for the Biggest Loser and was called out for finalist week in LA. When I was sent home after not being casted, I knew I had to change my life on my own and that I did not need a TV show to get me to my ultimate goals!

Favorite healthy meal of all time? I know my favorite healthy meal should probably be something I cook at home, but it’s not! My office is right in front of a Subway so I have become addicted to their turkey salads! It’s so fresh and I can get all the veggies I want on it and for my dressing I use oil and vinegar… so that is probably my most favorite healthy meal!3400_318565908242800_1283866295_n 423625_323063204459737_647028144_n 394431_318982368201154_169491999_n

What helps keep you motivated? So many things keep me motivated; people, clothes fitting, my body changing, my love for the gym and fitness…. I could go on and on!

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Biggest fitness inspiration? Hmm, tough question! I follow so many people that inspire me. I would have to say Katie Marie (Finally Alive After 25) Is my BIGGEST inspiration right now. She is SO amazing and I am inspired by her daily. I hope I get the pleasure of meeting her one day! Also, my buddy Jason Dalvia, He has lost over 100lbs since April of last year and I couldn’t be more proud of him! He inspires me daily as well! I am blessed to have so many inspirations in my life.

Mentally what has been the hardest part of this journey for you? The hardest part has to be temptations. I was an addict. Addicted to food, I love food. All types of food, and with my job being so, on the run and being in my car most of the day it is so hard not to swing by Taco Bell or McDonalds and grab something to eat really fast. That has to be the hardest part of my journey.

Does your Facebook page help keep you accountable? That was the whole intention of my page. I have been kind of slack lately keeping up with it, due to concentrating on myself and my goals. My intention for the page was to keep me accountable and to inspire others, and I feel like I have succeeded at both.

http://www.facebook.com/joshuazanefit

Can you give us a typical day in the life of a healthy day for you. Example bf, lunch, snack, dinner and workout? Breakfast: 4 egg whites, mixed with veggies & a glass of water. Snack: apple. Lunch: Subway salad, Yum! Dinner: 2 grilled chicken breast, and veggies. Then I hit the gym! After the gym, I treat myself to a peanut butter protein shake!

How has almost being on the biggest loser affected your journey? Are you happy you are doing this on your own? I was in love with the idea of Biggest Loser; I wanted it more than anything. I still want it more than anything, but in the end BL is not reality. No one can work out for 7+ hours a day, and go to work/school. I am glad that I am doing it on my own, and I am thankful for BL for jumpstarting my journey. It was one of the best experiences of my life.482720_398849210214469_479859726_n

Any advice to someone out there who wants to get started? Take it slow; don’t think that because a BL contestant lost 19lbs one week, you can do that too. 3lbs a week is a really good start, maybe even less than that. Do what your body allows you to do and don’t hurt yourself trying to hard. You did not put on the weight overnight, so it’s not going to come off overnight. That’s the best advice I can give anyone.

 

JOSHUA we wish you all the success and luck in the world. Keep following your dreams friend!!

Tanisha Mitchell from Too Fat for Fifteen Interview


Weight loss shows on tv have been popping up all over the past few years. Competition based shows seem to be the most popular. The formula to these shows? Throw in a ton of overweight people, some famous trainers, some difficult challenges, and sit back and watch the drama unfold. I have watched all of these programs due to my extreme interest in the subject of fitness and health. However, one show in particular has always stuck out to me. The Style Networks Too Fat for Fifteen. This show follows students around during their experience at the well known Wellspring Academies. http://www.wellspringacademies.com/

From their website “Wellspring Academies are residential weight loss schools for overweight children, teens and young adults ages 11 – 25, and are among the world’s most effective programs for weight loss. At our campuses inCalifornia and North Carolina, Wellspring students benefit from weight loss outcomes that are among the best documented for any non-surgical weight loss program. Wellspring Academies have helped hundreds of students transform their bodies and their lives”.

The style network decided to follow some of the students around and document their experience. This was different from all of the other lose weight reality shows. This showed promise. True struggles of young people who truly wanted to change their life. They focused on 5-6 students at a time. I can remember the first time I saw Tanisha Mitchell. You could see the pain in her eyes, the insecurity, the fear of the whole experience. I remember instantly wanting her to succeed. I knew she could succeed. Weighing in at over 500 pounds, I could not even begin to imagine the strain on this young lady. I was instantly hooked.

Over a year later Tanisha is still working hard on her goals and dreams. She was nice enough to answer these questions for our Grace Got Healthy Readers!

1. What was your highest weight?
My highest weight was 510lbs
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2. What is your goal weight?
My goal weight is 160lbs
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3. How much weight have you lost?
I have lost 280lbs.

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4. What does your workout schedule look like?
I try to get at least 30 mins of activity a day. I do the Eliptical and run when the weather is nice, and also I do Zumba, P90X, Yoga, and Pilates.

5. What is in your fridge right now?
Right now in my fridge you’ll find a mix between the food I eat and the food my parents eat. For mostly fat free things (milk, yogurt, cheese), fruits and vegetables. 

6. Most favorite healthy meal?
My new fav meal is a recipe I tried recently for low-fat spinach and parmesan turkey burgers. Yum!

7. Favorite workout song?

I can’t choose one fav workout song. I have a whole play list dedicated to working out. A crazy mix of Glee, Beyonce, Lil Wayne and Gavin Degraw.


8. Do you ever have a cheat meal or go off plan?
I have never made the conscious decision to eat something off program, but occasionally I have found the wrong nutritional info for something. I ate it, only to find out that it really had over 20grams of fat in it. That’s big because normally I don’t eat that in a day.

9. I know you like to read. What are you reading currently?
Currently I am reading about 5 different books. From Alice In Deadland and Huger Games to Watership Down and The Wolf & The Dove.

10. Do you keep in touch with Haley and Carsyn? (two lovely ladies from the show).
Hayley Bailey & Carsyn Lee Nash are my friends for life! We skype as much as our schedules allow, but we are always texting. I love them very much!

11. What was it like being filmed at your all time highest weight? Did
you have anxiety about it?

When I agreed to be filmed, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into! I had/have always been a super private person, so it was not easy to let cameras in.


12. Do you keep in touch with Coach John T, or Coach Nicole? How have
they helped you on your journey?
I am able to keep in touch. Both John T and Nicole have helped me more than I can put into words, but I will say that I owe each of them a lot!

13.What is your favorite mantra?
I have 3! 1. The Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With One Step 2. Live ,Laugh, Love and 3. When life gives you lemons, make grape juice! Then sit back and let the whole world wonder how you did it!

14. Does your family support eating more healthy now?
My family is definitely more open to eating healthier now, especially when I do the cooking! Most of the time, if they don’t have to cook their happy to eat anything I give them.

15. How has your health changed since starting this journey?
My health has definitely improved! I feel lighter and like I am capable of doing anything!

16. If you could give people any piece of advice on starting this
amazing journey, what would it be?
I’d say that starting is always the hardest part of any journey and that it won’t be easy, but in the end definitely 1000% worth it!

17. What do you want to do when you get older? Is it nutrition/fitness
driven still?
I would really love to study Psychology/Social Work.

18. What was harder for you. Changing physically or mentally?
Mentally! For the longest time I was in denial about the changes that were happening to my body. It took awhile, but I learned how to love the person I was looking at in the mirror.

19. Favorite moment from filming “Too fat for 15”?
My favorite moment from the show is actually one that didn’t make it past the cutting room floor, so no one ever actually saw it. It was a Mud Run race that I ran with John T, Nicole, and Sasha. It was so hard and looking at the course I didn’t think I could do it. But we did! And it was so amazing!

20. How do you feel knowing that you are a role model to people
everywhere?
I feel good. Knowing that sharing my story has helped so many people, makes it worth how hard it was to allow the cameras to follow me. 

Thank You Tanisha! You are a true HERO!
To contact Tanisha–
Twitter-

https://twitter.com/#!/tanishamitch

James Garrison. The man who called reality weight loss tv shows bluff!


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James Garrison is a vital part of our healthy living/weight loss community. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything, he doesn’t like excuses, and he is one of the most honest people I have ever “met” on the internet. I started following James on facebook over a year ago. My friend Starla told me about him. She had watched him on that ABC show Extreme Makeover: Weight loss edition. She was always commenting on how hilarious this guy was. Oh and he lost a TON of weight! I had to add him right away. I always looked forward to what James had to say. It’s great when someone has a sense of humor! All of a sudden though, James vanished from our little community. No posts, pictures, humor. Nothing! We all were shocked.

So you get off a reality tv show and life is perfect right? WRONG. James ended up very sick. Two times he ended up in the hospital. This was due to pushing his body to limits that not anyone should ever attempt. Basically he lost the weight way too quickly. It really screwed his entire system up. James was brave and came forward with his story. I am sure he received a lot of crap for dissing his reality show, but his TRUTH was more important. I had the pleasure of asking him a few questions. Here is our exchange-

What was your highest recorded weight?
Well recorded… 694, that was after I had been dieting hard for three weeks and my scales finally came in the mail. Means I was probably well over 715lbs just by looking at what I was able to lose the following weeks.

How much weight have you lost?
715lbs down to 338… so 377lbs. If you want to add in all the losses and regains, well I’m guessing hundreds more.

What do you think was the underlying cause of obesity in your case? Were you overweight growing up?
I think being an athlete when I was younger got me in the mindset that I could eat more than the normal person, which I could, because I was working out 6-7 hours a day for probably 6+ years. After that was all over you cant keep the same diet and not do the work. Now combine that with the fact I was in great shape, and a champion powerlifter who could squat over 800lbs in my prime, the weight never affected me until it did. Once I was done with sports I dove straight into college, and work, and led this really busy fast lifestyle of always being on the go. Not too mention my profession of being a computer geek meant long hours sitting in front of a PC.

Can you give us a sample of what you eat in a full day?
I try to east 5 or so meals, of different portions depending on what I am doing. If I am bulking up trying to build muscle, then around 3,000 calories. If I’m trying to lose weight 1800 calories.

What is your favorite form of exercise?
Mountain biking… Its really takes the exercise mentality and just throws it out the window. It’s all about fun. Its cardio, but not the mind numbing sort. When your worried about dodging trees, jumping rocks, and trying not to become a causality, you don’t notice you’ve just maintained 150 beats per minute for the last 30 minutes.

Tell us what you keep stocked in the fridge.
Chicken, broccolie, mushrooms, and did I mention chicken? Im like the bubba gump of the chicken industry. Chicken tacos, chicken salad, chicken soup, you can boil it, broil it…

Do you have a support system? If so who helps you the most?
I would say that no matter who is there to help or support if you don’t want it… it doesn’t matter. You will find a way to make those people feel as if they are helping, while your out ninja sabotaging yourself.

Tell us about your blog www.truthinchange.com
Truthinchange is a website I started as a free community of weight loss related ideas, that will never charge for anything, or sell any magic pill. It’s people supporting people… I havent done much with it in months. Its gone through this progression of being one thing, to being another and hopefully version 3.0 I get right. Its coming soon. My problems lies in the fact I do all this myself. The web coding, the writing, and I only have so much time in my day and even as talented as I am there are things I cant code and would have to pay for assistance, which im poor these days. I live a different kind of lifestyle where I don’t focus on money or obtaining wealth because I’ve had that and I found it to be a pretty vacuous existence. I experienced a lot of professional and financial success very young because I worked so hard at it. Part of the reason for that was I grew up very very poor. I just realized I was focusing all my life on acquiring things I didn’t need, and as it turned out when I got them… I didn’t want.

What has been the hardest part of this journey. The mental or physical changes?
Mental… You have to question yourself, you have to get real answers from yourself, and once you’ve done that you have to ask yourself why you have the answers you do? Is it because it’s the truth, or is it because you want to believe that.

Do you regret being part of a reality show? Can you tell us about the experience?
Yes I do. I lost way too much weight, way to fast, and it was done in a very unhealthy way that was not portrayed on television. So you have all these people believing this is possible with this diet, because some guys has a good smile and apparently living with 9 different people for 3 months each during the span of 1 year? Do the math… yeah doesn’t add up, does it? I feel like I lied to America, and the people I care about. The people who are, or were in my situation. I don’t like the idea of that. I started blogging, vlogging, and participating in weight loss forums way before I was every on the tv show. I did that because I wanted to help as much as I knew I needed the help and I promise I would always be there to help people in this struggle. Now through in the fact that I almost died twice and was hospitalized almost 10 days on two different occasions? Not something I would do again.

Do you have a day where you “cheat” or have a special snack?
I try not… one day leads to another. What I try to do is cook one higher calorie meal a week as a treat but its always a healthy spin on something that’s not healthy.

How do balance drinking and healthy living? Do you limit alcohol consumption?
I didn’t drink for over two years or so and since I limit my consumptions. I’ve never been a sit and drink at home person. If there is alcohol in my hand its because I’m out somewhere or with friends and lets face it. We’re all adults now, we have lives, and none of us have the time to do this as much as we like. So in the end it all kinda limits itself.

What are some of your favorite places online to get inspiration?
You people… I like to know that I’m helping. That keeps me motivated, keeps me writing, keeps me sharing ideas… and keeps my own weight loss in check. Whether we realize it or not we are in this together and without each other where are we going to lean when we get tired?

What is your primary reason to keep losing weight?
I’m not actively trying to lose weight right now and haven’t been for a long time. After all the health problems I’ve experienced from the show I don’t think it’s a good idea. I work out, I maintain and I try to let my body get used to everything I have put it through. I first started this because my weight became a health issue. Regardless of peoples preconceived notions I never had a single health problem as a result of my weight. My health records are nonexistent because I was extremely healthy. Then one day I lifted something heavy and I tore a muscle in my abdomen. I couldn’t get it repaired because of my weight and since then I knew what I had to do.

How do you feel knowing that you have possibly saved yourself from disease/death related to obesity? Does that help you to keep going?
You know I’m not afraid of death, I think of all the things that could happen to you from being overweight that is probably the easiest to deal with from a personal perspective. My biggest fear was stroke, loss of mental capacity or even motor functions. Could you imagine that, and what kind of struggle that is? Or what about the loss of a legs from diabetes? I think that is was scarier than death.

Please share with us your 3 best Nutrition tips.
If you going to over eat, do it on vegetables. If that wont cure your craving doing it on meat. Whatever you do, don’t do it on CARBS!
Buy healthy things in bulk, spend your food budget all at once, you will save money, and if all your money is spent on healthy stuff, then theres no money for bad stuff unless you want to pawn your television.
Buy your meats raw, not in the deli. You want your meat consumption to look like this. Chicken, Turkey, Fish. I could go on and on for days… but these things will help you out the most initially.

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Please share with us your 3 best Fitness tips.
Get rid of cable TV, you don’t need it. Find something to do with your time that doesn’t involve sitting on your ass : )
Unless you’re a workout nut, like me, you’re never going to get off on making yourself sore and miserable. You want to make exercise fun, enjoyable, and you want to be in a condition where when tomorrow comes you not too sore to do it again, so you can always do more than you did yesterday.
Plan things with friends that don’t involve bars, or restaurants, making healthy active plans. Canoe, kayak, hike, walk, bike, do anything that gets your moving and away from that idle time where we make all our bad decsions.

Do you have any advice for someone who is 300+400+500+ pounds? What can they do to start?
Yes. I started by walking out my front door and going for a walk. I had just watched a tv special for on overweight persion being cut out of their home and it hit me… that’s going to be me. He cant weigh that much more than me? So I turned off the tv and walked out of my front door. Never looked back. Turns out though that guy weighed less than I did at the time.

Do women treat you differently now? Do you have more confidence?
Ya know… Imagine a lion hunting gazelle his entire life and constantly being on the prowl. Now imagine one day the gazelles just start walking up to the lion, and there like… hey you… Yeah you… Lion… Eat me! I cant think of a better way to put than that. I have always had confidence and have always had women in my life regardless of my size. The expression make a woman laugh and you can make her do anything is completely true.

What is the plan from here? Can you share your next fitness/health related goals with us.
I want to hike the Colorado trail. Its 472 miles of man vs nature. I don’t have the funds to do it, or it would already be done. Wonder if I can start a kickstarter project for that? Lol. I have this argument with my friends that I believe I could take a bear in a fight and I think this would be the perfect opportunity to find out if im right. Everyone thinks its ridiculous to think I could take a bear but what they don’t realize is that it’s the people with that mentality in life that are the only ones that actually stand a chance. If you apply that philosophy in everything in life you will be amazed.

Any last advice for people wanting to change their life?
Get off the innerwebze, get off your azz and do something. You want something in life, do more than what it takes to get it. Then its yours… I used to weigh 715lbs and everyone In this world thought I was probably going to be dead and I can’t blame them for thinking so. I changed my life, not some tv show, not some book, not some magic pill. I said I had enough, and that I wanted more for myself and for my life that what I had. I realized being alive didn’t mean I was living and lifes too damn beautiful to waste.

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Make sure you check out James at
http://www.facebook.com/TrueGarrison?ref=ts
And also-
http://www.facebook.com/fawkem?ref=ts