I don’t know about y’all, but I wailed when I heard that Gina Neely and her husband Pat were splitting.
I mean, I hollered. How Uncle Pat and Aunt (rpronounced “Ain’t”) Gina just gon’ split like that? I mean, they were literally like family… whose food I couldn’t eat at the family get-togethers.
But, after I saw a report on TMZ, I started feeling better about it – they clearly needed to split, and now I just really root for Gina in all her future endeavors.
What I’d apparently missed in all this, however, was Gina shrinking down to a size 0! She’s been giving a few interviews across the ‘net about it for a while, and you’ll find the most important tidbits – with links for more info – below.
Arian T. Moore: While you weren’t necessarily overweight, what motivated you to lose weight?
Gina Neely: First off “thank you” for the compliment. My motivation to lose weight was due to my annual [doctor’s] visit and my cholesterol was a little high and I wanted to make some changes to fix it. How ironic that the George Foreman opportunity came alone? So it was just more of a validation for me to move in a healthier direction.
Arian: Do you feel that you’ve struggled with weight throughout life and if so what do you contribute it to?
Gina: I wouldn’t say “struggled,” but you know, as a woman, we are always being judged or judging ourselves. Sometimes it can be emotional eating from stress, what society says is acceptable or just life in general. That’s why it’s so important to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself.
Arian: What were the initial steps you took to get healthier?
Gina: The first step you have to take is to get your mind in sync with the idea of change. Then you clean the refrigerator out, create meals plans and make exercising an appointment. Try to stay consistent and keep with the plan. Remember that you are human, so it’s OK to give yourself a break every now and then.
Arian: Being an obvious foodie, have you had to change your recipes?
Gina: Absolutely. I grill as opposed to frying. I experiment more with different seasonings (which I have always loved to do) and I try preparations of vegetables differently. Take kale for instance — it can be sautéed or baked by adding a little brown sugar to cut the tartiness of it.
Arian: Has your husband jumped on the fitness train too? If so, how did you motivate him?
Gina: He saw the change in me and wanted to get on board. I think when one partner makes a positive change and you see the actual results, it’s always motivating and encouraging. My weight loss has even affected my girlfriends. Our “Girls Night Outs” aren’t the same. They tease me and say they want to eat what I eat. I can’t be the only “hot” girl in the group. As far as my daughters, they have always been athletic so weight isn’t an issue for them (right now), but I’m glad they can see what I’m doing. As a mother, it’s always good to set a positive example.
Arian: What has been the hardest obstacle in developing a healthier lifestyle?
Gina: Keeping consistency with my busy schedule. Now I try to travel with my [resistance] bands or check and see if a hotel has a workout facility. If I can’t make it to a gym, I will do things around the house or just take a beautiful walk…..It’s great for the mind and the body.
Arian: What are some exercises and activities you love to do? And how often do you exercise?
Gina: Surprisingly, I love to run. It gives me a feeling of freeness and the ability to feel that I can handle anything. I’m even considering a marathon, but I’ll probably start with something shorter and ease into it. I exercise whenever I can, especially when I’ve had a long day. It’s a great stress booster and mood lifter. I’m all for anything that makes me smile.
Arian: What would you say to someone wanting to lose weight but they struggle with a genuine love and/or connection to food?
Gina: Love the food, but find your balance. Eat the right way and put the work in to keep healthy. You can enjoy eating and still be fit if you do it right – I’m proof of that! [source]
Gina also shared her healthy living tips with Food Network recently:
Limit the fried food and grill instead. Try an indoor grill or a grill pan during colder months.
Keep healthy snacks in your purse or bag so they’re on-hand when hunger strikes. At home, Gina likes to snack on apple slices with peanut butter.
When dining out or at a buffet, fill your plate with colorful or green leafy things.
Make yourself a priority. Healthy changes may take extra time, but you’re worth it.
Put exercise time on your calendar so you’re not tempted to skip it.
Wear a pedometer to track your steps (see if you can get in a few more each day). [source]
- Chicken Taco Salad
- Green Beans With Lemon and Garlic
- Homemade Applesauce
- Hearty Winter Greens Saute
- Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps
What do you think? Personally, I want to see them both succeed – did you hear Wendy ask Gina what would happen to the show, and Gina said “Business is business, honey?” I hollered! – but when it comes to Gina, I am rooting for her happiness. Two grown kids, 23 years of marriage, successful entrepreneur, 49 years old, looking [and feeling, apparently] great, and what appears to be an amicable break from your life partner? Girl, get yours.
Three cheers for less fried food, though. Maybe I can finally eat Aunt (again, pronounced “Ain’t”) Gina’s food at the family reunion, now.