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MAY 2010

inspire VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1



Taking the first step to a healthier lifestyle together


1 2 3

3 2 1




Their Journey Together

This mom and daughter left their old lifestyle behind and are now living healthier and happier.


When I Was

b u Ch

A comical series about frustrating things in this world that aren’t fat proof.

22Fat Talk, Let’s End It Tri Delta

Sorority wants to prevent eating disorders by encouraging positive body image, and eliminating “fat talk.”

33Meal Deal or Real Deal Fatty

food specials for fast food prices vs. reasonable prices for a healthier meal.

6Strawberry Delights It’s finally

strawberry season! Refreshing recipes that taste good, without the guilt.

Dream to Reality 10 35From ways to put your goals in perspective and make it happen!

24Be The Inspiration Blurbs from

girls just like you! They share their inspirations with hopes that they will inspire others.

Can Be


inspire EDITOR IN CHIEF Gabrielle Cinelli

CREATIVE DESIGN Gabrielle Cinelli

PHOTOGRAPHY Gabrielle Cinelli


ADVERTISEMENT Gabrielle Cinelli

PRODUCTION Gabrielle Cinelli

All thoughts, ideas, pictures and words in this issue were developed by gabrielle cinelli, with the exception of the “be the inspiration” section, and the “dear gabby” section which contain written letters and photos from others. From cover to cover, you are looking at an original publication by Gabrielle Mercedes Cinelli FOR SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 516.680.8530 PLEASE SEND ALL QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS TO GCINELLI@MAIL.USF.EDU FOR A QUICK RESPONSE

from the editor

July 2009

May 2010

inspire. That’s what I hope this magazine will do. I will personally strive to give you the inspiration I always hoped for when it came to my weight. I want inspire to be a place where we can share our struggles and triumphs. That being said, let me start by telling you my story.


t was July 15th, 2009, a week after my 21st birthday; and it was the first time I had a doctor tell me I could do it. I was used to people thinking that I wouldn’t be able to stick to something because I am young. Since I was five I had doctors tell my parents and me that it had to be my eating habits, or I must be cheating on my diet. The girl whose favorite food was lettuce, always weighed more than the girls who ate three bags of chips before eating their sandwiches. I played softball and soccer, and I had three older brothers who kept me very active. Regardless, my weight increased every time I stepped on a scale. And with it my confidence decreased. I just wanted to be normal. When I was 14 an endocrinologist discovered that I have hypothyroidism; when I was 16 I tried every diet I could and went to a nutritionist; and when I was 18 my doctor told me I had Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. And there I was, concerned about being normal, concerned about being healthy, and concerned about my future. I wasted money on gym memberships, I made sure I didn’t over eat, and I ate what everyone told me were the “right things” to eat. All the while, I wasn’t losing weight, just confidence. It’s hard to explain what it felt like to be a prisoner in my own body, because I couldn’t do things without wondering if I would “fit.” A program called Medi Weight Loss is where I found my inspiration, and changed my life. I think back to all the times I cried because of wanting to change my lifestyle without people doubting that I could. Now, little rewards as I am reaching my goal erase the pain I felt before.


It may be hard to explain the specifics of how I felt before,



“I think back to all the times I cried because of wanting to change my lifestyle without people doubting that I could.” but I do not even think there are words to describe how good it feels to... 1. Be excited about flying on a plane because I know I will fit in the seat, and won’t need a seatbelt extender. 2. To use normal sized towels after I shower or go swimming. 3. To not have to practically stand on top of the toilet in a public restroom to close the door. 4. To not have to shop in a plus size store. 5. To sit in plastic outdoor chairs without feeling the legs shake beneath me. 6. To go through turnstiles at amusement parks with ease! 7. To be under the weight limits for horseback riding. 8. To do a somersault! 9. To climb in (and out) of the back seat of a two door car. 10. To use a pogo stick. 11. To walk through the aisle of an airplane without having to turn sideways. 12. To borrow clothes from my mom. 13. To have people I haven’t seen in years not recognize me. 14. To have family I hadn’t seen since before I started the Medi program cry when they saw me. 15. To feel healthier than I ever have. 16. To cry on my bed because everything I own is too BIG. 17. To not have my stomach touch the steering wheel in my car... I probably have one amazing reward for every pound of weight that I lost. I started the program at 250.2 pounds and now weigh 160.2 pounds. With 10 pounds left till my goal and the knowledge needed to be healthy after I reach it, I feel like I can do anything. Except fit into the size 24 jeans I wore for the last time 10 months ago, they are simply just too big!

I want to hear your story. I want to know what inspired you to pick up this magazine and flip through it. I also want to know what will keep you picking up this magazine each month. E-mail me (gcinelli@mail.usf. edu) and tell me what you would like to see, what you would like to share, and what comments or questions you have.

Yours Truly,

Gabrielle Mercedes

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Make Your Dreams Come True With

Touch of Elegance

Wedding Planner

recipes that inspire

Strawberry Delights

Strawberry Spinach Salad .

refreshing juicy


fresh . st r aw b e r r i e s . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . ref reshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries

refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing

2 bunches of fresh spinach leaves. 1 cup sliced strawberries. 2 tablespoons of sliced toasted almonds. 1 small red onion, chopped. 1 sliced avacado.


strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh strawberries refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries .


1. Wash and dry the spinach. Then leave it to chill. 2. Put sliced strawberries in a bowl with the avacado, and red onion. Add the dressing and toss the ingredients. 3. Once the dressing is evenly spread, put the spinach in the bowl and continue to mix the salad. 4. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top of the mixed salad. 5. Drizzle a small amount of

dressing on top of the salad for decoration. 6. Sprinkle on some feta cheese. (optional) 7. Serve immediately. This salad pairs perfectly with a strip steak and a strawberry based wine. Our Tip: Try this sweet, refreshing salad with a tangy balsamic vinegarette dressing. It adds the perfect amount of richness to this light, fun salad.

Strawberry Petal Pudding refreshing . juicy


fresh . st raw b er r ies . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries

refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing

1/3 cup light whipped cream. about 20 large strawberries. 1/2 cup sugar free chocolate pudding. 1strawberries tablespoon rainbow sprinkles. . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh strawberries refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh .

1. Place each strawberry flat on its base, with the stem on. Use a small knife to cut an “X” almost to the bottom. (If the strawberry is not flat, cut off the stem.) 2. Pull back the four petals (slits) slightly to create a wider space in the middle. Be sure not to cut too deep so the strawberry won’t fall apart. 3. Place 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate pudding inside each

strawberry. 4. Place 1/2 tablespoon of whip cream on top of the chocolate pudding. 5. Place 7 rainbow sprinkles on each strawberry. 6. Serve immediately. Our tip: Have fun with this recipe by changing the pudding flavor inside the strawberries. Our favorite pudding to use is sugar free cheesecake.

Sensational Salsa refreshing .

fresh . strawberries . refreshing . j u i c y . f r e s h . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries refreshing . juicy juicy .

. fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing

2 cups of strawberry, mango, pineapple. 2 tablespoons lemon juice. 1/2 tablespoon ginger. 1 chopped jalapeno.1/2 cup chopped red onion. strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh strawberries refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries . refreshing . juicy . fresh . strawberries

1. Wash, hull and slice the strawberries. 2. Dice up the pineapple and mango. 3. In a large bowl, mix the strawberries, pineapple and mango with the ginger and red onion. 4. Make sure there are no seeds left in the chopped jalapeno.

Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the fruit, ginger, and onion mixture. Stir thouroughly. 5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Our tip: Enjoy this sensational salsa over grilled salmon and steamed asparagus.

. refreshing . juicy . fresh

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w b

e r





a n it


recipes that inspire





1. Wash, hull and slice the strawberries into a bowl. 2. Poor the sweetner on top of the strawberries and toss until the sweetner is not visible. 3. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 1 to 3 hours. 4. Pour the strawberries and the settled juices into a blender, add the water, and puree. 5. Taste and add fresh lemon juice as needed. Strain out the seeds, if desired. 6. Pour mixture into a 13x9inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 40 minutes,


1 pound of fresh strawberries 1 tablespoon of a low calorie sweetner 1/2 cup of water 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional) Extra lemon slices and whole strawberries as garnish

or until the edge of the pan gets icy. 7. Remove from freezer to whisk frozen portions. Then cover and return to freezer for 3 hours. If frozen solid, remove from freezer and scrape at the granita with a fork. 8. Cover, and return pan to the freezer for 1 hour. 9. Remove pan and distribute granita into serving glasses. If granita is too solid to scoop out, sit in fridge for 30 minutes. 10. Add lemon slices or whole strawberries as garnish. Our Tip: Scoop the flaky crystals into martini glasses. Serve granita with iced spoons.

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questions that inspire

Dear Gabby... My weakness is cake. I could give anything else up, but I don’t think I could cut out eating cake. I have always been the type of girl who will order something off of the dessert menu instead of eating an actual meal. Now that I am just a little bit older, I will always pick up a cake when I do my grocery shopping each week. Right now, I eat a slice of cake about four times a week with my night time coffee. How can I lose weight, without giving up eating my favorite dessert? I know if I tried to change all my eating habits and give up cake the whole diet would fail. I don’t have much weight to lose; only about 35 pounds. It is something that I need to do though because I have been gaining weight pretty quickly. The last time I went to my doctor I was too nervous to tell her that I had been


I first want to say that having a goal is a good thing, and 35 pounds is a relatively low amount of weight to lose. That being said, you can’t lose weight eating cake four times a week! Many experts will say that everything is fine in moderation, but four nights a week is simply too much. Wanting a healthier lifestyle is such an admirable goal, but you have to make sacrifices along the way. You have to realize that the reward of being healthy, is worth making the major changes for. Figure out your diet and exercise plan, and then cut out the cake all together! Once you have reached your goal, and maintained it, you can allow yourself cake a couple of times a month. If you balance that with a little extra exercise that week, you will be all set. I also want to mention that an open, honest relationship with your 10

eating cake so often. She wanted to know why I weighed seven more pounds than I did six months ago. I don’t think eating cake a few nights a week is the only reason that I have gained so much weight. Regardless, I knew if I told her the way I have been eating lately she would tell me that I need to cut cake out of my diet. I firmly believe that dieting is pointless because it is unrealistic that people will follow specific eating habits for the rest of their lives. I know I need to get out of this mindset though, because I can’t make any changes while feeling that way. I think it would be easier to get motivated if I knew I could diet without getting rid of something that I eat everyday. I guess I am looking for a way to lose weight by making small adjustments to my normal eating habits rather than a dramatic change of what I eat. It is hard to visualize a set plan for change when I start saying I will cut out things that I know I won’t stop eating. I guess that it might be worth mentioning that my favorite type of cake is triple chocolate mousse triple layer cake. I always prefer a super rich cake over a plane one. Please help! From, Kath

physician is something I always encourage. Next time you should be honest about your habits and feelings and see what happens. Your doctor might have some surprising suggestions. We are all creatures of habit, and repetition is the best way to develop a new behavior. Once you put your mind to it, and put together a set plan, you will be able to make the changes necessary to reach your goal. I know you can do it! Good luck! Warm Wishes, Gabby





Gabby’s black Boutique make your little

dress jealous.



stories that inspire




It is not your traditional weightloss story. This mom and daughter team just wanted to be healthier. With clear goals in mind, Donna and Valerie Washburn took strides to healthier lifestyles together. I sat down with both of them to talk about their experiences. They told me how they made these changes, but the reason why is sure to


i n s p i r e 12

Valerie, right, jokes around with her mom, threatening to push her in the pool.



Donna is a biology teacher in a private highschool. When she is not working, she is taking dancing lessons with her husband, at the gym with Valerie, or gardening. She wanted her and her daughter to live a healthier lifestyle, so that they could truly be happy. She says she is happy that she made these changes when she did, because her and Valerie became best friends before she was a teenager. Here are a couple of questions from our time spent together.

i: Tell me a little bit about what your life was like before. When did you say, “Okay, it’s time for a change?”

D: When Valerie was twelve she was really overweight.

I remember she would play with her friends, but the differences about what they could do and what she could do were obvious. She was always out of breath, and I could tell she was starting to notice. One night, after we spent a day with her friends, I thought about exactly how much we ate at dinner time. Our portions were just too big. I looked in the mirror in between dinner and doing the dishes, and I noticed that the baggy clothes I wore didn’t hide the fact that I was overweight too. That same night I decided we had to do something.

i: Once you knew that you wanted to do something for

the both of you, did you spend a lot of time thinking about how you were going to tell Valerie that you both needed a change?

D: I wanted to do some research on what the best way



to cut down on portions, and eat in moderation was before I brought it up. Then, I just talked to Valerie about it and told her that I wanted to try Weight Watchers. I asked her if she wanted to do it together, and she was really enthusiastic about it. I actually didn’t think that it would be that easy, I thought she would have been upset or misunderstood. We started the following Monday, and we still work off of the same plan. This change is why Valerie and I are best friends. We look out for eachother. I’ve always thought weight and body image were so personal, but this experience taught me that it’s easier when you have someone to work with.





Valerie is a 15-year-old highschool student. She plays soccer and lacrosse. In her free time she goes running with friends, to the mall, or to the gym with her mom. She likes staying active because it makes her feel healthier. She says her relationship with her mom is“really cool” because they trust eachother with their goals; which really comes down to trust on a level that most teens don’t have with their mom. Here are some questions from our time spent together.

i: How do you think you would feel now if you never made this change?

V: If I didn’t lose weight then I wouldn’t have been able

to do any of the sports that I love. I also think I would have real body issues. I hate being different from other people, I guess it’s because I am in highschool, and your pressured to be like everyone else. Even if there was not a need to fit in, it is important to be happy with yourself. You have to have something good to say to yourself. I do not think I would be happy with myself if I didn’t start to care about my health early on. I am happy I know how to take care of myself. Me and my friends have that in common. We know how important it is to eat the right things, and stay active.

i: What is the most rewarding thing that has come out of this change?

V: I can’t believe you want me to pick only one! There is

just so much. Like the relationship I have with my mom. It’s pretty cool because I have friends who can’t even talk to their moms about things. I don’t want to know what that is like. I mean we aren’t all “la-de-da” always best friends, but we have an awesome relationship. It pretty much all started because of this. I am just happy you know? There are those days where it seems like the world is against me, but that is because I am in highschool. It is really cool that as far as my health goes, I feel like I am on track. It’s scary to know that there are tons of people who don’t care about their health until they are older and are experiencing complications. I feel like I don’t have to worry about those things and that’s something I really like.



stories that inspire


Jo u r


y Together i

By Gabrielle Cinelli



alerie and Donna joined Weight Watchers a few years ago. Since then, they have lost a combined 90 pounds. Why? They wanted to be healthier; now, they are happier. Donna places down her glass of ice water on the white wicker table in front of us before she starts to talk. The slight noise of the ice shuffling in the glass is what makes me look up from my notebook. Valerie laughs because it has been quiet since I’ve said, “So just tell me about your whole change of lifestyle, tell me the how and the why. Tell me what you felt then and tell me about the now. Once Valerie’s laughter broke the silence, she began. “Don’t laugh at me! I was just thinking of where to start...” When Donna was 50 her weight had skyrocketed by 30 pounds. She had always at the higher end of “normal weight.” but hadn’t been over weight since she was pregnant. “I thought about this that same night , when I realized we were both overweight and needed a change,” she said. Once she got Valerie on board, there was no turning back. They started the Weight Watchers program, which helped them cut back on their portions, and eat in moderation. They went to the gym together four days a week. Valerie joined a dance class and they both started to lose weight. “It was nice to have that other person reminding you of your goals. It made you think twice about making excuses. It is always easier to get something done when you have the support you need,” Donna said.



Donna and Valerie see who can jump higher, after talking about how they love being active.

They really didn’t have a goal in mind as far as the amount they wanted to loose. They just wanted to feel better, be healthier, and not lose track of the changes they were making. The hardest part for Donna was that she knew in the past she had put more pressure on herself then the pressures that come from society. She says she was always worried about being too hard on valerie when they were actively doing the program. “I didn’t want her to lose interest because she was doing really well, but it was hard because I wanted her to have success so badly,” Donna said.

stories that inspire She says she kept herself focused on supporting Valerie in the same way Valerie supported her. “We didn’t let eachother make excuses; that was the secret to our success,” Donna said. She recalls how the hardest part about maintaining weight for her was sticking to it. Before they made this move together, attempts to lose weight would always end in a bigger weight gain. Now she keeps herself on track because she notices the difference between how she felt before they made the change and how she feels now. “I feel better, I think clearer. I don’t feel so bloated and sluggish. That’s why now, I push myself to go out after work everyday and exercise.” She says that her inspiration was having a closer relationship with her daughter, and a greater love for herself. “I did it not only for my daughter, but for myself. I would have to tell people that they won’t find their inspiration without caring about themselves. You just can’t do this without loving yourself first.” She loves that this experience has changed Valerie’s life also. “I think Valerie is looking and feeling amazing. She is much more confident in herself, and could play the sports she always wanted to play, which makes her really happy. I can’t help but think if we didn’t both do this I would have failed as a parent because I wouldn’t have helped her live up to her full potential.”

Valerie was tweisting a scrunchie in between her fingers, while she listened to her mom talk. A few times when I glanced over she was nodding her head, but this time she looked ready to talk. I asked her what she wanted to tell me about this experience and then she joked, “Oh, it’s my turn now...” She shared a lot of the same thoughts as her mother. She was really happy that she was able to play the sports that she loved. Her life consists of going to school, and playing sports, and this change she made with her mom makes it all possible. She spent a lot of time talking about how she thinks that girls her age lose and maintain weight for the wrong reasons. “They are obsessed with it because they want to impress a guy. Then, their weight fluctuates as much as their relationship with the guy did. Or they think they have to look like a model or an actress. But they never do it for themselves,” Valerie said. “There will always be one thing that people are unhappy about when it comes to themselves, I don’t let myself feel pressured by that.” She talked about the physical changes she had to make to become healthier. She says that she has learned to eat less food, make better choices about what to eat and how to stay active. There is a delicate balance between what you eat, and how much you exercise. She says this change her and her mom made helped her realize how

“We didn’t let eachother make excuses; that was the secret to our success.”




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i 19

“I think that losing weight is hard because it’s just so easy to eat.” -Valerie to maintain that balance for herself. She has a different theory than others do. Many people feel that the maintainence after losing weight is the hardest part. “I think that losing weight is hard because it’s just so easy to eat,” Valerie said. She doesn’t feel shy about admitting that this is a hard topic to discuss. “It’s embarrassing. No body wants to think ‘oh I’am fat’ and when they do you push the thought to the side and eat more because your upset,” she said. The thoughts that a person might have when they consider losing weight are hard to voice out loud. Valerie and her mom communicated to avoid keeping those thoughts to themselves. They both agreed that sometimes you need to hear it outloud rather than just think it. Valerie said that there are certain changes you just get used to. She can’t recall the last time that she has eaten fast food, and after she cut it out, and went without it for a while it wasn’t a big deal anymore. She said, “When it becomes part of your normal routine, you don’t question it. I don’t miss those things because I have lived happily without them for so long.”


She is happy that her mom and her grew closer because she has friends who aren’t close with their mom. She thinks that it is because she is able to be so forward about her personal feelings regarding herself. She is able to be open about feelings regarding other things like school and friends. She says that even though her 20

life would be different if she never made this change , she is really happy for her mom. “Sometimes my mom doesn’t see that she works hard, and that she looks very good. I am proud that she tries so hard and has set a goal to stick with the changes that she made. She is so hard on herself, but it doesn’t help to put yourself down and she has learned that. Actually, we both learned you just have to try again if you fail,” Valerie said. Before the end of our time together, I asked them if they could sum up their experience in one or two sentences what would they say. Donna said, “the best part of my experience is the relationship that came out of it. We aren’t just living a happier life, we are living a happier life together. There is nothing greater than sharing your success with someone that you want the best for.” Then Valerie added, “the best part of this whole thing is I can do what I truly enjoy and actually be happy. This whole experience introduced me to the best version of myself and the best version of mine and my mom’s relationship.” Donna and Valerie are genuine in their happiness. The two of them look great and feel great. They started this journey together, and they continue to make healthy choices together. The two of them have lost a combined 90 pounds, and “gained the freedom to enjoy life.” Donna says. “We are just healthier and happier.”


Donna, left, and Valerie, right, put their feet in the water to relax after jumping around.

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stories that inspire

I want to be a size 4. My legs are too big. My hips are huge.


By Gabrielle Cinelli

A Tri Delta Sorority campaign focuses on positive body image with their award-winning education program.


his is the second year of the Reflections: Body Image program. With it comes “Fat Talk Free Week,” which is now an international body activism campaign inspired by Tri Delta’s efforts. The goal is to raise awareness of eating disorders and remind everyone that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Although “Fat Talk Free Week,” is in October, different Tri Delta chapters focus on getting rid of the question “does this make me look fat” year round. The suggestions given in the campaign are things that can be done everywhere, every day. Things that remind us that there can’t be one overall standard for beauty, but there can be one overall requirement when it comes to body image: confidence. The first thing you and your friends can do is throw away “fat talk.” Write down all the things you hate about your body, and toss them into a trash can. When I did this exercise, I wrote things like, “my thighs are huge,” and “I have chubby fingers.” My friends and I read each of ours aloud and tossed them into the biggest trash can we could find! You can also enhance your mirror image with dry erase markers. Write encouraging statements on a mirror you use every day. You could write

on your friends mirrors too. It will be a nice surprise when they realize that you wrote them a message. Mirrors are also a good place to write your goals, it is fun to wipe them away when you reach it! Another option is a treasure talk box. You should try this one out with a friend, sister, or mom. Decorate a shoebox and then write index cards about the other person. Tell them you love their hair, or you think they have an awesome shape. Put all the cards in the box, and plan to exchange them for a box they made you. Each day you could each pick out one of the cards while you are getting ready. It is one thing to talk about what you like about your own body image, but hearing it from others is beneficial. We can redirect the way we think about body image by focusing on the positives. “Fat talk” is a way to break down selfesteem, and many of the people who “fat talk” have eating disorders. We can start to change simply by changing the conversation. We are our own worst enemy, we have to stop chasing the impossible, thin ideal. There can’t be one overall standard for beauty. We can stop body image concerns by stopping fat talk.

“We can start to change simply by changing the conversation.”


Do I look fat in this? 22

Friends Don’t Let Friends “FAT Talk”


98% fashion models are thinner than most American women.

of women would rather be hit by a truck than be fat.



10 million women in the U.S. are suffering from either anorexia or bulimia. (That’s more than the amount of women suffering from breast cancer.)


of high school girls think they are fat.


of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.

It’s weighing us down. Let’s end it. Tri Delta’s youtube video shares some startling statistics on body image.


stories that inspire

Be The

Inspiration Alyssa Raio Age: 21 Location: Farmingdale, NY Inspiration: Her Mom


ver since I was a kid I struggled with my weight. My mother was always fit. She never was one of those moms that tried to push me into losing weight, but would always say, “hey Liss, I am going to the gym and I could sure use some company.” One day, when I was 14 I went. We had a blast, and I realized I was motivated. I asked for advice on how I should diet, she did some searching around and we decided on Weight Watchers. My mother

had dieted with me because she wanted to keep me motivated. Within the first month I lost 24 pounds! I felt so accomplished and untouchable. My mom and I looked forward to our weekly meetings and she kept me on track without nagging me, or being a mom about it. I am 21 years old now and could afford to lose a few more pounds, but my weight is reasonble for my height. If it wasn’t for my mom’s motivation and willingness to take the journey with me, when I was ready for it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Jennifer Cinelli



rowing up my mom was always after me about my weight. She pulled no punches...she told me I was getting fat and if I didn’t do something about it I would grow up to be fat. When I was 13, she put me on a strict diet that she controlled. I was not allowed to eat certain things, and if I did she made sure to nag me until I knew how terrible it was for me and tried not to repeat the offense. Over the years it has been various things that made me lose weight, but I guess it was mostly a negative, insecure self image that has always sent me back to maintaining my weight. Lately it is my daughter who inspires me. She has made such a drastic change 24

Age: 29 (Really 49, but don’t tell my kids!) Location: St. Petersburg, Fl Inspiration: Self Image in her life. I want to support her and not undermine her the way my mom did to me. I may not have always done that, but I realize how terrible that is. In addition, our family has weight problems on both her dad’s and my side. It is important to stay physically healthy and her determination to stay with her weight program makes me want to maintain a healthy weight goal for myself. That and the fact that I am not rich... I can’t just go out and spend money whenever I would like. Most of all I believe that I like the way I look at a certain weight, so although I occassionally let myself slide ... I fight the battle of diet regularly.

Reader Challenge Can You Put The Pieces Together Tear out this page, and cut the back pieces along the black lines. Write one goal on each puzzle piece. As you accomplish your goals, put the pieces together. When you complete the puzzle, send it to me and I will contact you to feature your story in an upcoming issue of inspire.. Above is my completed puzzle. This is a fun and organized activity that I wanted to share with you. I hope that it will help inspire you to develop goals and stay on track.

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Tina Masci-Agrusa

Age: 30 Location: Franklin Square, NY Inspirations: Starting A Family & My Cousin Gabrielle Cinelli the fullest with them. ince I can remember my mom My second inspiration, my cousin, is another reason I want has struggled with her weight. to and know I can tackle my weight problem. Everyone It only got worse when she shot her hopes down. Even doctors said she wouldn’t be got pregnant. Seeing her struggle able to lose as much as she wanted. Not only did she prove with certain weight problems and them wrong, but I think she surprised herself too with all then struggling to follow me and my of the weight she lost. Seeing her self-esteem get better and sisters with everything we wanted to better and her way of life get better and better motivated do growing up has given me motivation to get physically me. It made me say to myself “I want that too and if she fit before I try to start a family. It is my dream whether can do it, I know I can also,” because I have always felt that I have little boys or girls or both to have all my kids in we were the same person; and I know I will have her by my sports/extra curricular activities. I want to be there every side giving me all the strength I need along the way. step of the way. Watching all of their practices and games. As I continue with whatever journey my life has to offer, I feel getting into shape before any of this happens, will I will always keep thoughts of both my inspirations close better my health and my chances to enjoy my kids lives to to my heart.


Karissa Pichardo

Age: 23 Location: Fresh Meadows, NY Inspiration: Investing in a healthier lifestyle


iet pills, detox diets, Atkins, south beach, name it and I’ve tried! Always trying to look the best and feel the best can be an exhausting struggle. Ever since I can remember my mother has owned a full length mirror, and watching her get ready was my favorite thing to do, but as beautiful as she looked she always asked the question, “Do I look fat in this?”, and now that seems to be my M.O. I started analyzing my own body as my mom did, and also let the media influence me on what “healthy” should look like. At the age of 15 I started going to the gym regularly and started taking diet pills, thinking that there were short cuts to losing weight and that less was more (in terms of meals), however those results were never consistent or were maintained for long period of time. I found that the more pressure I put on myself the harder I fell, I would binge to the point where I was eating not even

because I was hungry but just because I deprived myself all week. Now that I am older and somewhat wiser, I have asked questions and learned more about my body than I ever thought I could. I eat healthy continuously throughout my day, and preparing my meals daily with nothing but fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein. I exercise 5-6 times a week, and even though I am not ready for my debut as sports illustrated swim suit model, I am healthy, I feel great, and I know this is not only my diet but an investment to a healthier way of living.

Be The




public bathroom stalls with doors that open inward


The space between the bed and the wall at hotels

Swing Seats

When I Was By Gabrielle Cinelli


here are tons of things in this world that simply exclude anyone with curves. I have a list of over 100 things that are not fat proof. This series will include some ranting and raving of having to stand on top of a toilet bowl to actually open the door in a public bathroom stall; a few complaints on the troubles of climbing out of the backseat of a two door car, and an explanation of why I had to master the “sideways chimmey.” My idea for this series began when I was eleven. I was at Taco Bell with a friend because she was dying for a Chaco Taco. At the time, the chairs swiveled from side to side, but did not pull out because they were connected to the table. My friend was hysterical laughing when I was complaining: “Who could even fit in these seats? Really? I think even an elf would have a problem squeezing in here!” More statements like that, and we were both laughing. That’s when it all began, my thoughts about certain things in this world not being made to cater to even the average person. Although the ranting and complaining does make this series a bit comical, I do not mean it in a joking or mocking

way. The sarcastic approach that I take when talking about it doesn’t lessen the frustration I felt when I was chub; just because the world wasn’t, and still isn’t fat proof. I began to take note of the many things that have dimensions that just don’t work. It wasn’t until I was 17 that I started actively making a list though. I guess it is only right to start at the first thing on my list that isn’t fat proof: Movie theater seats. (Since I have completed the list, I have realized that any chair with arms that don’t lift are highly uncomfortable.) Why are movie theater seats the first thing on my list, and why did I start this list when I was 17? Well, this one comes with a story: I had to interview some people that worked in a movie theater because I was wrting an article for my highschool newspaper. I decided I would interview one of the people who worked at the concession stand at a movie theater near my house. As I approached the counter, two people who were working there were having a conversation. One if them said, “how come only fat people buy popcorn?” And they continued to comment on how movie theaters will never go out

A comical series about frustrating things

b u h C of business because lazy, overweight people will buy “one of everything at the snack bar.” Well geniuses, if movie companies agreed, they would have spent some money making the seats a little more accomodating to anyone bigger than a size ten! I can barely sit in one without my thighs being crushed by the arms of the seats, and you expect me to keep coming to the movies? I would much rather wait till it came out on video than sit in those lame excuse for seats movie theaters had before they installed seats with moveable arm rests. Not only were the seats uncomfortable, but having to squeeze past the people already sitting down, is just as undesirable as the seat is. I practically would have to lift my leg over the persons legs to pass them. I think that these would be reasons for “fat people” to stay home, but the guys at the snack bar were really sold

on the idea that heavier people keep the movie theater business alive. You know, because skinny people don’t like popcorn, candy, or soda. Well I must say to those two geniuses: YOU’RE RIGHT. The very reason movie companies are still in business is because of their snack bar, but it has nothing to do with the size of the people buying snacks, it has to do with the astronomical prices. A small popcorn, and a small soda, for a small person...$15.75. Speaking of $15.75, that is about the amount of taxes that a person pays for a low cost airline ticket. In total, they might be spending more than one week’s pay. I spent about $185 on the last flight I could remember from when I was chub. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not wishing for first class here; all I would hope for is to be able to spend the two hour or more plane ride

in this world that aren’t fat proof.

Airplane aisles, seats and bathrooms

School Desks

Getting in your car when someone parks too close


Getting in and out of the back seat of a two door car


Normal size blood pressure cuffs

Fitting Rooms

without feeling sorry for the person sitting next to me. You know, the person who has to share more than half of their seat with my thigh? I mean gosh, I guess the argument could be made that I shouldn’t expect more than that, and if I was so concerned I should just lose weight. And maybe they are onto something by saying that, but what about those of us who aren’t overweight, but just have big butts? We need to face it, there is nothing spacious about an airplane. Because of the lack of space, airplanes are the very place where I perfected my “sideways chimmey.” The aisles, are very narrow, and naturally force me to turn to the side and shuffle down. Everyone behind me is always huffing and puffing about how people need to hurry up and sit, as though it would make us take off sooner. To avoid being the reason anyone is upset I moved as quickly as possible. The sideways slide, and quick movements thus became the “sideways chimmey.” Even that didn’t help me if I had to go to the bathroom. Those bathrooms are just unreasonably small. What about parents with toddlers that have to help their kids, how do they both fit in those hole in the wall spaces, if I can barely fit myself? Then again there were quite a few places I could barely fit myself. Like fair rides. I would have loved to be just

as excited about a fair, or festival, as the next person. The weight limit was one thing, but even when I was under that, I was concerned about the seating arrangements. I went to the fair with my best friend a lot, and I was constantly apologizing for crushing her. I don’t understand, why do they always make heavier people sit on the inside of the ride? What sense does that even make? Are they worried that if a smaller person sits on the inside they might tumble right over us, off the ride? I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of having to worry about weight at a fair, I mean c’mon it is supposed to be a fun place for everyone! There is another thing that is supposed to be fun at any age; swings. When do they become something you avoid instead of enjoy? When your thighs are practically overlapping in the middle, and the metal on the side of the swing is cutting into your thighs. All these fun, unavoidable things in this world are not fat proof. I started this list when I was chub, and still can’t help but realize that most of the time things just aren’t big enough. Don’t forget to pick up the next issue, because this series can is an inspire orignal. Thoughts, comments, or questions? Send me and email at gcinelli@mail. and I will personally respond.


Barefoot Photography

(516) 680 8530



healthier choices that inspire


If you are anything like me, exciting is the last thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions exercise. If you are going to stick to it, you have to enjoy it. The problem with that is not many people know how to enjoy their exercise routines. Here’s a few things I do to spice it up. Give some of these new, fun approaches a try!


Can Be


close friends and family stay active. Organzie different type of pool activities that will keep everyone moving. Make a mixed CD or two, invite a couple of your closest You start out with races, make a whirl pool, and end up friends, put some bottles of water in an ice bucket, and playing some pool volleyball. The resistance of the water clear the room. Throw on the music and dance like no will get your metabolism going while you one is watching! This is my favorite way to exercise are having fun in the sun. The last thing that will come to without feeling like it is something that I have to do. My your mind on a day like this is “I hate exercise!” By the friends and I love to dance and it is a great way to burn end of the day you will have burned tons of calories, and will have an amazing tan! calories.



If you have kids this will be a great way for the whole family and a few friends to have a day of exercise, hidden behind a day of fun. Make up some invitations for a silly sport day. I think the best way to make this day happen is by making the framework similar to a softball game. Throw in some silly rules to make sure that everyone will be moving and laughing. Maybe each player will have to hop-scotch around the bases, maybe those people way out there in the outfield have to be playing hot potato while they are waiting for someone to hit a ball into the outfield. The best part about this is anything goes. Include some water balloons or water guns, and you can have yourself a super fun, super workout.

Host a Wii tournament at your house. Pull out all those games that really get you moving and make sure everyone gets involved. You and your friends can even make this a regular occurance. I have done it before with Dance Dance Revolution. Hours of dancing to see who gets the highest score, keeps your mind off the workout, and allows you to focus on the movement. My friends and I can’t stop trying to beat the other persons score, so we just keep moving! This type of fun filled night is great for anyone with a competitive streak. It’s also for anyone that needs to burn a bunch of calories! If you can arrange for this to happen atleast one night a week, you will be having fun and exercising all at once! This is especially good for a rainy day, because all the action happens indoors. Don’t forget to throw some water SWIM YOURSELF SKINNY bottles in an ice bucket so that everyone stays hydrated Swim and splah yourself skinny by throwing a pool party. while they are dancing. If you have kids, this is another great way to have some


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healthier choices that inspire

Meal Deal Versus

Reasonable prices for healthy, wholesome food

Real Deal


f you could get healthy, cheap food fast, would you still be eating at places like McDonalds or Taco Bell? One healthy food joint is changing the way people think about fast food by making healthy food fast. Juice For Life is a restaurant that mixes natural, fresh, wholesome, and nutritious foods with a little bit of Latin flair. President and operator, Patricia Bonnen, won 2010 Hispanic Entrepreneur of the year, and her three Juice For Life locations are the reason why. Currently located in Bayside, New York; Astoria, New York; and Little Neck, New York with plans to move out of state, this little fast food joint is making changes to what you get for your buck. The first location opened in 2000, and Patricia 33

believes, “communities need restaurants where they can get great guiltless food as well as a vibrant culture.” She says, “that is why my goal is to educate the public about the healthier choices they could make, and provide them with fresh, healthy, delicious food.” This is what some New Yorkers and a few out of state fans have to say about it. Karissa Pichardo is a 23 year old Marist University graduate. She lives in Queens, New York and she eats Juice For Life three

times a week. Karissa will tell you, “I think juice for life is one of the few places that promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. They transcribe this message by having healthy, great food that someone can eat on the go without sacrificing their pocket. I would like to say that if I could prepare my lunch every day and bring it with me I would, but that just isn’t true. I tell people I get Juice For Life three times a week because my busy schedule won’t allow for anything

By Gabrielle Cinelli

Fast food prices for processed, fast food quality

else, but the truth is I love it. I feel satisfied without any guilt after I eat one of their rice bowls or wraps. I don’t feel that I have spent an arm and a leg getting it and I don’t feel like I have made an unhealthy choice. I wish there were more places like it.” Daniela Masci, 32, says her favorite thing about Juice For Life is the way they prepare their food. “They don’t use artificial fats and, they use natural sweeteners instead of sugar. Everything is as is; natural, seasoned, lean food. It is good, so good. It is nice to have a place to call up for delivery on a Friday night after a long work week.” Tina Masci-Agrusa lives on Long Island. She loves that she can eat great food fast, without the

“I don’t miss the traffic, the noise, or the garbage, but I do miss Juice For Life.” same old feeling fast food restaurants left her with. “I could each Juice For Life everyday and feel like I am eating a home cooked meal. I don’t get that disgusting, stuffed feeling I get when I eat junk like McDonald’s. I get a satisfied feeling. I like the fact that I can eat a quesadilla with all the fixings, or use teriyaki sauce and it can still be healthy for me. Most of all I like the fact that they tell you how everything is made, so you know exactly what you are eating.” Joanne Pappas lives in Sarasota, Florida. She moved from New Hyde

Park, New York six years ago. She is 52 years old. “I don’t miss the traffic, the noise, or the garbage, but I do miss Juice For Life. My God it’s just good. My husband and I remember when they didn’t have all three locations opened. We used to drive 25 minutes to Queens for Juice For Life. It was worth it. The low prices make up for the fact that we had to drive, and the food was out of this world. Whenever we visit, we have to go to Juice For Life at least once. Their salads are pretty awesome, but my favorite is their oriental sesame chicken.”

Camila Isern lives in Massachusetts. She has family that lives in New York. Last year when she visited, she was 14. She hated the idea of having to eat healthy. “I just wanted some french fries and a greasy burger. Something from Five Guys or Burger King. My cousin told me to just try Juice For Life once. I had a monkey smoothie and a J.F.L bowl. The next day my cousin asked me what I wanted for lunch, and I was kinda nervous to say Juice For Life because of the big deal I made about it, but that’s what I wanted. I have gone to see family

two times since then, and both times I ate Juice For Life at least once.” Patricia began her healthy kick when her daughter was born. At the time she was 27. She says, “Her existence made me want to become a better person inside and out. I started exercising and eating healthier. I wanted to learn everything there is to know about health. I started with juices and eating healthy. I never felt better which is why I started Juice For Life. Now I want to share what I have learned, and the things I am still learning with everyone I can.

The chicken and flank steak quesadilla with sour-cream, cheese, pico de gallo, avocado, and tomato. Seasoned steamed vegetables on the side, and a Marc-oPolo smoothie go nicely with the quesadilla. It is the perfect treat when leading a healthy lifestyle. It is so flavorful,

and still works with your meal plan. The meat is seasoned, the sauces are low-fat and homemade, and the smoothies and juices are made from the freshest, ripest fruits and vegetables. You will get an accurate explanation of what you are eating and the nutrition facts for each item. The

quesadilla comes on a wheat flour tortilla. The sizzling, juicy latin dish is big enough for two, with a price that pleases one. The Marc-o-Polo smoothie is a sensational blend of tropical fruits. Just the right amount of kiwi, mango and banana to refresh you at any time of the year. If you are not

a fan of kiwi, mango or banana, I would suggest making a smoothie to order. You can pick your favorite fruits and create your own smoothie. Dont live in New York, but want to try some delicious smoothies? You can expect some refreshing recipes in our next issue of inspire.

. .


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10 8


Set Goals

The first step to making a change is having an idea of what you want to accomplish. Once you know what you want you can make a plan to get there. Write down your goals where you will see them often, and you will be ready to take the first step.

Don’t Over Do It

Know that any change takes time. Be prepared to take it day by day. If you try and do too much at once you may burn out. Pacing yourself helps your body become conditioned and used to the changes that you make.

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Be Positive

Positive, happy thoughts are sure to keep you motivated. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities will mentally prepare you for a change. If your attitude stays positive, than your results will stay positive too.

No Excuses

Excuses have a snowball effect. If you make them once, you will make them again. Push yourself to meet your goals so that you form a new lifestyle with new priorities.


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suggestions that inspire



Give it Time


Cut your body some slack, and give it the time it needs to register the changes. Any weight loss whether five pounds or 105 pounds is going to be new to your body. Different approaches do not always yield the same results to each person. You need to find out what works best for you, and then do it. Losing weight, or changing your eating habits is a process. Don’t get discouraged if you are not seeing results right away, or each week. Getting discouraged will send you back in the other direction and then it will take double the time to get back on track. Keep in mind that the maing goal is being healthier. When you are healthier, you will feel better. Most people want to lose a few pounds to look good, and there is nothing wrong with that, but you should make sure it isn’t just a quick fix. When it is more about looking better, rather than being better, it is easier to lose the changes. You have to really want to do what you are doing and love what you are doing. In time, a whole new you will be the result. Like anything else, when something happens too quickky you might feel strained or shocked; your body is capable of the same reactions. If you do everything according to your plan, then you should see results. A lot of people have told me that their downfall was being impatient. They felt that they had done so much and they weren’t losing. When I asked how long they tried before they gave up, more than half the time the response I heard was five days. It takes you years to get to the weight you are at, five days might not be enough time for their your body to adjust. They have also said that their frustrations sent them right back to where they started. When you are impatient, it will end up taking longer, or you may lose the determination and motivation it takes to get it done. Be fair to yourself, and let the changes register.




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5 3


Move Around

Any time you are not sitting, you are burning calories. Move around as much as possible. Even though you need to develop an exercise regimine, you should also do whatever it takes to stay active. Get off the couch during a commercial, take the stairs, park farther away; every little movement makes a difference.

Drink Water

It is the best way to ensure that you will stay hydrated, and that you won’t be drinking your calories. It is so easy to have a cup of coffee or two, but those are calories that you may not realize you are having. Water not only makes a big difference when it comes to weight loss, but research suggests that it also stops frequent headaches and colds.

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4 2

Be Realistic

Don’t make something you won’t do part of your plan. If you are not going to run 2 miles, 4 days a week then don’t make that part of your plan. Making unrealistic plans, will discourage you or force you to make excuses.

Do A Little Extra

Excuses have a snowball effect. If you make them once, you will make them again. Push yourself to meet your goals so that you form a new lifestyle with new priorities.


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suggestions that inspire



Reward Yourself


Make note of what little rewards would keep you motivated. When you can tighthen your belt to another loop, go out and by yourself a new belt! When your pants are practically falling off, splurge on some new ones! These little endulgences will be the reminder that you need to stay on track. Be proud of the changes you are making, and recognize the hard work that you have done. Plan your rewards ahead of time so that you truly look forward to them. Make a list of the rewards you look forward to so that you can read them when it seems like you are loosing your drive to reach your goals. These little rewards are just as important as the larger reward. The larger reward is your health, but these little rewards keep you determined to get healthy and stay there. It is also rewarding to have others tell you that they notice the changes you have made. Don’t take offense to the way they might say it, because the truth is that it is a personal, touchy subject. Another person might not know exactly what to say, but when they make the effort, accept it. Tell them thank you. Don’t think that they are just saying it because they know you are trying. Know that they are saying it because you’ve made changes that are becoming obvious. You deserve recognition and happiness. Enjoy it and treat it as a little reward. This is such a huge accomplishment, and you need to reward yourself for it.




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“The most effective way to leave your footprints on this earth is to inspire.” -Gabrielle Mercedes Cinelli

Then 250.2 lbs

Now 160.2 lbs


This is my final project for Dr. Wang's design class. We had to design a 16 page (at least) magazine. It is mainly about body image and weig...

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