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Think you can't tri? Think again!
November 27th, 2012
02:02 PM ET

Think you can't tri? Think again!

Editor's Note: This time last year, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, along with the CNN Fit Nation team of producers selected seven lucky viewers to be part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.  Adrienne (LaGier) Forgette was one of those viewers, and successfully competed alongside Gupta at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this past September.

What are you waiting for? Thinking about applying for the CNN Fit Nation team but apprehensive that you don’t have what it takes? Do you find the application process daunting? Or are you waiting until the last minute to perfect your entry? Here is my advice to help you change your life:

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Race day through the eyes of a triathlete
September 27th, 2012
09:04 AM ET

Race day through the eyes of a triathlete

Editor's Note: Adrienne LaGier Forgette is one of seven CNN viewers selected to train for and compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, which took place on September 16 in California.  Adrienne and her husband Chris did the race together, just two weeks after their wedding. This is her race day journal.

As I walk up to our pre-race meeting and delicious vegan feast at Rich Roll’s house in Malibu, the song "Home" by Philip Phillips pipes through the room.

     Settle down… it will all be clear…

     Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear

     Trouble it might drag you down.

     Just know you’re not alone…

     I’m gonna make this place your home.

After dinner, the pep talks began.  Sarah Reinertsen reminds us of our power and strength.  One of our producers, Caitlin, shares that 7 million people have read our blogs on CNN and have connected to our stories. Chrissie Wellington tells us that our potential is limitless.
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Bride's vows: 'In fitness and in health'
Adrienne LaGier and her husband, Chris, after their wedding -- two weeks before the Malibu triathlon.
September 12th, 2012
07:10 AM ET

Bride's vows: 'In fitness and in health'

Editor's note: Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. In the week leading up to the triathlon, each of the "Lucky 7" is sharing his or her thoughts on the journey.

In my application video, I told CNN that the biggest gift I could give to my husband Chris was to start our married life off in “fitness and in health."  My teammate, Nancy, so kindly captured those words in a handcrafted wedding gift to us that will forever serve as a symbol of this promise.

This journey has definitely given us that gift. We danced to every song the night of our wedding without leaving the dance floor once.

We thank CNN for making that a reality -– along with making my teammate Glenn’s journey to be the officiant at our wedding possible after he got stranded due to Hurricane Isaac.

Never in a million years did I think I would spend my honeymoon competing in a triathlon. FULL POST


Resisting temptation while on vacation
July 19th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

Resisting temptation while on vacation

Editor's note: Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta as part of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. This past week, LaGier visited her hometown of Buffalo, New York, to finish planning her upcoming wedding, which will take place just two weeks before the triathlon.

It's not easy having a hometown that has best chicken wings and pizza in the world. But here are a few tips that helped me get through my week of summer vacation in Western New York.

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Triathlete's first venture into murky water
Adrienne LaGier swims a safety stroke during an open water swim in Hawaii.
June 15th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

Triathlete's first venture into murky water

Editor's note: Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta as part of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Here LaGier shares some lessons she learned while doing her first open water swim at home.

One of the major fears I had when I started my CNN Fit Nation triathlon journey was the viability of swimming in the Bay just 1.5 miles from my house.

I’ve heard horror stories from friends who have battled brutal infections in their skin and bloodstreams after swimming in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem
Adrienne LaGier harvests lettuce from her new vegetable garden.
May 8th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem

Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This weekend, the team and Dr. Gupta will head to Hawaii for a training trip. LaGier set a personal goal to focus on her diet in the month leading up to the flight.

Four weeks ago, my friend Susan posted in her Facebook group, "The Truth About Exercise," that she had lost 25 pounds since the New Year. While working out had been one of her main focuses, she recently adopted a vegan diet that catapulted her weight loss.

Up until then, I had not been focusing on my diet in this triathlon journey. I would justify going out to eat and eating what I'd like after finishing 2 to 3 hour workouts.

After reading Susan's post, and realizing I had four short weeks until leaving for Kona, I decided to give no meat and no dairy a try. And while I was at it, no caffeine either.
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Wins and challenges as busy mom shifts lifestyle
Adrienne LaGier does a strength training workout in Atlanta.
April 14th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

Wins and challenges as busy mom shifts lifestyle

Less than a month from now, Adrienne LaGier of Maryland and six fellow participants of  CNN's Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge will travel to Kona, Hawaii, for a week of intense training. LaGier, a busy mother who teaches journalism, weighs her successes and challenges while simultaneously training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon and preparing for her wedding day - which is only two weeks before the competition.

One month until Kona, signifying the half-way point of my CNN Fit Nation journey. What have I accomplished? What do I still need to tackle?

Successes:

1. I’ve gone from sporadic walking on the treadmill to working out six days a week including three days of at least two-hour workouts. I’ve completed my first two 5Ks. I’ve gone from not being able to complete one length of freestyle to being able to breathe every five strokes doing four lengths of freestyle without stopping. Our family swims together three days a week.

2. My journalism students traded junk-food-laden deadline nights for fruit kabobs and salads (mostly).

3. Instead of going home to Buffalo over spring break and enjoying pizza and wings and mom’s chicken paprikash, I joined my sister at the gym for spinning.

4. I’ve lost 15 pounds.

5. I worked out in Central Park with my students.

Challenges:

1. I’m scared of my bike and have a lot of practice ahead of me to successfully ride around my neighborhood clipped in. Spinning bikes are not the equivalent of a racing bike. Not even close. This is the first bike I’ve owned that I can’t touch the bottom of my feet on the ground while on the saddle. That’s what freaks me out. I crave that sense of safety and control. The bike they gave us is this awesome sleek Cannondale machine. I make one rotation and fly down the street. The few times I’ve ridden it with just my running shoes on, I find myself gripping the brakes because I’m going so fast (not the front brake though, as a friend warned me doing that will send me flying over the handle bars). I need to learn how to shift gears. And I need to learn how to turn the bike around without basically coming to a complete stop. The few times I’ve tried this I’ve been completely wobbly. I also need to find a non-scary place to ride. A co-worker of mine says she only rides on bike paths because a friend of hers was killed after being hit by a car on Route 4. That means making time to drive 40+ minutes to a bike path to ride in complete comfort/safety. Making that kind of time right now scares me, too.

2. I need to get strict with my eating habits. I’ve let myself rationalize my eating choices: “I just worked out for 2.5 hours, of course I can eat whatever I want for dinner.” Our dinners are still rushed, as now we are fitting in two swims during the week and Pilates while juggling Girl Scouts, soccer 3 times a week, and piano lessons. I think we eat at Panera at least three times a week, plus we visit Ledos, the local pizzeria, Wednesday nights after swimming because it’s convenient. After watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "60 Minutes" segment on how addictive sugar is, I realize I’m way too lenient on what I let my six-year-old girls consume.

3. Round one of wedding dress shopping was a fiasco. I wanted to wait until July to try dresses on, but for a September wedding, I’ve learned that’s not advised. I imagined the bridal consultant having the super powers of being able to pick the perfect dress for me just by hearing about my wedding and looking at me. Guess that just happens in reality shows or fairy tales. She didn’t ask me about my wedding; she didn’t recommend any particular style for my body type. Plus, she had to tend to a few other people while helping me. When I was in front of the mirror in each dress she asked me what I liked and didn’t like. When I couldn’t give specific answers, she scolded me and said she couldn’t help me if I didn’t know what I wanted. I want you to tell me I look good. But that didn’t happen. The experience ended with tears in the dressing room and more time off of the dreaded “pick-a-dress-or-be-destined-to-buy-off-the-rack” clock.

What I’m going to accomplish by May 12th, our departure date for Kona:

1. I’m going to learn how to ride my bike. Not an option – gotta be ready for the 20-mile ride in Kona.

2. I’m going to make vegetables the main focus of lunch and dinner while cutting out red meat, dairy, and sugar as much as possible. I’m going to meal plan for the week ahead and will eat out no more than once a week. I’m going to write down what I eat and e-mail it to my trainer. I’m going to get rid of all the sugary, processed foods in our cupboards and only offer my girls healthy snack options.

3. I’m going to write down each day what I’m grateful for. It’s easy to take this amazing experience for granted, as now it’s a seamless part of my life. I want to savor every last moment of the next six months.

4. I’m going to create and design my wedding invites with my girls, and I’m going to mail them before I get on the plane for Kona (early, I know, but the resort has another wedding the night before and will sell out of rooms soon). I’m going to focus on enjoying the process of planning for our wedding weekend rather than worry about superficialities. The dress doesn’t matter. Enjoying the weekend with our family and friends and the process of getting there does.

One month. Four measurable action items. Totally doable.


My first 5K was literally an uphill battle
March 16th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

My first 5K was literally an uphill battle

Editor's Note: Adrienne LaGier from St. Leonard, Maryland, is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

At 6:45am, 15 of my yearbook students met me in 38-degree, windy weather to set up some registration tables and water stations for our race, "It's OK to 5K."

Not only was this the first 5K I had ever helped organize, it was the first 5K I would RUN.

A few weeks before this race, I began walking the cross country course to get a feel for the terrain. After heading straight up a vertical hill, I was having second and third thoughts about this being my first race.
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Learning how to fuel myself and others
February 12th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Learning how to fuel myself and others

Editor's Note: Adrienne LaGier from St. Leonard, Maryland, is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program.  Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  The seven athletes met up this past weekend in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the program.

One of my goals in completing this challenge is to create a new healthy lifestyle for myself, fiancé Chris, and the girls. Making exercise a priority is only half of the equation.

The other half is food.

How does this high school teacher/busy mom of busy twins/aspiring triathlete lose weight, resist temptation, and provide healthy meals for the family?
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My (irrational) fears about training for a tri
January 23rd, 2012
01:30 PM ET

My (irrational) fears about training for a tri

Editor's Note: This year, CNN selected 7 viewers to be part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.  Each participant is new to the sport of triathlon, and receives all of the gear and training necessary to compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in September 2012.  Adrienne LaGier is a journalism teacher and mother of two from Maryland, who will be getting married two weeks before the Malibu race.

One of the questions on the CNN Fit Nation athlete questionnaire our coaches sent to us centered around our fears. I've decided to make a list, hoping nearly all of them will prove to be unfounded by the end of the process.

My set of probably totally irrational fears include ...

1) Not looking drastically different after 9 months of training. I want to lose 60 pounds during this process and hope that my trainer will help me accomplish my goal. I've come across a bunch of triathletes in the past few weeks online who are my size now who only ended up losing 15 to 20 pounds after all their training. Not gonna be this gal.
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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