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Name: Charlene Bazarian | Hometown: Reading, Massachusetts
Age: 51 | Height: 5’3”
Old weight: 208 lb | Current weight: 116 lb
Occupation: Attorney, disc jockey, fitness blogger
If you enter “What weighs 100 lbs.?” as an Internet search, things like this come up: “Twelve gallons of drinking water, a hellfire missile, a large dog, three cinder blocks, a typical semi-truck trailer tire and a two month old baby horse.” So when I tell people I lost 92 lbs., it’s not at all unusual to get asked a few questions.
This is the opening for an entry on one of Charlene Bazarian’s fitness blogs. It’s not often you actually stop and think about what constitutes the weight you’ve shed, but for Bazarian, it’s part of what makes her a successful coach and mentor.
Bazarian’s aha moment came at the spa one day: She was treating herself to a day of beauty before her son’s christening and was mortified to find that the complimentary robe did not fit. Years of late-night studying for law school, years working in a pizza joint to put herself through school and years of rich Armenian foods translated into the slow creep of 100 stealthy pounds. “I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself, blamed a bad metabolism and hypoactive thyroid,” she says. “It was a balance of self-pity, self-disgust and just downright disbelief.”
On reflection, Bazarian also discovered she had become a spectator rather than a participant in life. “Everything I did involved watching or reading about other people, and I was on the sidelines,” she says. “I used to go for bike rides, play racquetball, take dance lessons, and one by one these things stopped as I got older.”
She resolved to change the course of her life and began doing workout DVDs at home. To avoid getting overwhelmed, she set small 5- to 10-pound mini-goals, rewarding herself a nonfood treat like a manicure or massage. Once she shed some pounds, she joined a hardcore bodybuilding-type gym — on purpose. “I firmly believe that envy gets you nowhere,” she says. “I didn’t try to compare myself to others but rather checked out the types of workouts other people were doing to be inspired.”
Social time proved challenging for Bazarian because going out with friends and work clients revolved around food and drinks. “I learned to order like Sally from When Harry Met Sally — everything on the side,” she says, laughing. “I also broke up with certain foods forever, such as bread, pasta, mayo, cheese and heavy sauces. And I don’t miss them. I do, however, think that Golden Oreos are the crack of the cookie world and that vodka leads to Oreos.”
Relentlessly, she chipped away at her physique like a sculptor until one day she discovered she had reached her goal. And other people noticed. “After I lost the weight, a few friends messaged me on Facebook asking how I did it,” she says. “Helping others with their fitness journeys led to my starting a blog and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. I feel tremendous joy in sharing the information and encouragement that I wish had been available to me when I began my own journey, and it’s truly a labor of love.”
Charlene Bazarian’s 3 Tips For Staying Fit
1. You’re no busier than a fit person.
2. Make your workouts like brushing your teeth: something you do without question.
3. Don’t get comfortable with some success.