An Awesome Cousin, A Biggest Loser, and 3000 Burpees

16 Mar

I’d like you to meet my cousin, Dianne. She lives in LA (which earns her a few Awesome Points right off the bat), she is a single mom to a pretty incredible little girl (more Awesome Points), and she is to blame for my crazy burpee challenge (negative Points for that one. Except that it’s a good thing in the long run, so I’ll give those Points back).

This was Dianne a few years ago

This story begins in 2011, when Dianne’s doctor gave her some disheartening news: she was pre-diabetic, had unhealthy cholesterol levels, and she needed to lose weight.

Where to start? How to start? She was overwhelmed. She had a fairly consistent workout routine, but it wasn’t really doing anything for her. She knew she needed to eat better, but she wasn’t really comfortable in the kitchen and it was hard to find the time to plan and prepare healthier meals.

Months passed with very little progress.

Then Dianne came across Ali Vincent’s Facebook page. Ali was the first female winner of The Biggest Loser and now had her own TV show, Live Big with Ali Vincent. Dianne “liked” Ali’s page and it wasn’t long before she saw an invitation to join Ali for a hike in the hills of Hollywood. She thought that sounded like a fun mother-daughter activity, so off they went.

The hike itself wasn’t terribly strenuous, but Ali kept throwing in little challenges like jumping squats. On camera. Dianne didn’t really feel capable of all those ‘extras’, but those blasted cameras… She was not about to wuss out on TV, so she gave it her all.

A few weeks later, a casting call was posted for people who needed to lose 20-30 pounds. Dianne did not relish the idea of being on camera again, but her desire to get healthy was stronger than her reticence. She applied and was chosen to be on Live Big with Ali Vincent.

Ali helped Dianne set realistic work-out goals and set her up with a trainer. She also helped Dianne learn a few new skills in the kitchen. It didn’t take Dianne very long to start feeling more comfortable and confident making healthy meals for herself and her daughter instead of eating out so often.

You can see Dianne’s episode of Live Big with Ali Vincent (or segments of it, if you’d rather) here.

Since the beginning of the show, Dianne has lost 30 pounds, has gotten her cholesterol levels into healthy ranges, and (at last check) was only one point away from getting out of the pre-diabetic range. She had initially set a goal of running a 5K non-stop and she has since blown that goal out of the water. Not only did she run a 5K, but she went on to run a 10K. And in December 2012, she ran a half marathon down the Las Vegas strip!

Obviously, after you’ve run one half-marathon, you might as well run a couple more, right? So in January 2013, she ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland with Ali Vincent (which you can see on an upcoming episode). And in February, she ran the Pasadena Half.

ImageCheck out my awesome cousin now!

Dianne’s most recent fitness goal came via Facebook again. Another participant on Ali’s show posted a challenge to do 100 burpees a day for 30 days. Dianne had previously done 100 burpees in a row with her trainer, and it was not an experience she was eager to repeat. However, given all that she’d accomplished in the last year, she knew this was a challenge worth facing…and conquering. So she joined in. And she extended the challenge on her own Facebook timeline.

Ugh. Yes, I decided to rise to the challenge as well. I have been in a rut regarding my exercise regime lately. (And by rut, I mean chair. That’s what I have been in. For a long time.) So I posted the challenge on my timeline, and a few people decided to join me. We created a Facebook group  and before we knew it, there were over 60 people burpeeing with us!

We are doing 100 burpees a day! (Not necessarily all in one set. I started with sets of 15 throughout the day and increased that number as I was able. By day 9, I was able to do all 100 in a row.) We are a motley crew – some quite fit already, some formerly known as fit, and some who are venturing towards fit for the first time. We are doing varying levels of intensity, but we are all improving. And it’s the best of both worlds: group encouragement/motivation and exercising in the privacy of your own home. You should join us!

Today is Day 12 of the challenge for me and I cannot believe how much I’ve improved already. My strength, my endurance, my flexibility, my energy level – I feel great! Mind you, days 2 through 4 really, really sucked. Really. Really, really. But I’m past that now and the Angel of Death is no longer on standby. I think I can actually do this!

I’m pretty sure it’ll take longer than 30 days for me to join Dianne in the Club of Smokin’ Hot Workout Babes, but I am grateful to her for blazing the trail for me. Love you, Deedee!


Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


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5 responses to “An Awesome Cousin, A Biggest Loser, and 3000 Burpees

  1. David Ogilvie

    March 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Ummm…. What’s a burpee?

    • Anita Neuman

      March 16, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      You can find all kind of examples if you search “burpee” on youtube. But the quick explanation is this: you jump, then squat down and put your hands on the floor, then jump your feet all the way back and do a push-up, then jump your feet forward to your hands again and stand up. That’s one. Now do 99 more.

  2. Colette Schwenk

    March 16, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Awesome Story!

  3. Jacquelyn Campbell

    March 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    That’s great! I don’t know which one of those two would daunt me more the 100 burpees or running a half marathon. Excellent. I think I am more willing to start running with you though.

    • Anita Neuman

      March 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      That’s GREAT that you’re willing. That makes half of the required pair. 😛


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