Two New York City women who’ve struggled with weight loss are now vying for a contract with Wilhelmina Model’s fitness division this Saturday. How did they get here? The two have been on a Slim & Strong boot camp odyssey, involving killer cardio, serious weight training, and protein every three hours. And they’ve been blogging about their transformation to inspire others.
Maggie Hinton and Ify Walker are clients of Ariane Hundt, the creator of the Slim & Strong, who’s transformed a lot of lives (and bodies) since the triathlete, trainer, and nutritionist started the uber-boot camp two years ago. Hundt shares the belief of the “Biggest Loser” producers that client weight-loss stories can inspire life change (and a little good press). So she awarded Hinton and Walker with 8-week customized training programs in exchange for them keeping an online diary. The thought being that readers would serve as a support system and cheer them on, while also being inspired by their transformational journey. (We can’t show you their “after pictures” this weekend, but I ran into Hinton in Brooklyn and girlfriend looks unbelievable.)
So what’s the life of a hopeful fitness model like? “A fitness model doesn’t snort cocaine and live on coffee,” laughs Hundt. “To have the body of a fitness model you must maintain a clean, healthy diet and a good amount of muscle. You can’t be stick thin. In other words, it’s a healthy goal that I’m happy to promote.”
What’s Hundt’s recipe? To get the body of a Shape Magazine cover girl, the pair did Hundt’s Slim & Strong training program (a boot camp that includes before and after measurements and a personalized meal plan), met for Hundt’s Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp, and did customized weight training program that the trainer changed every two weeks. Hundt also found them sponsors—Gold’s Gym provided memberships, the Pump supplied meal passes, and Lululemon added the final flourish with a competition outfit.
Maggie Hinton, a writer and curator, lost 4 inches off her hips and 11 pounds. “Even my ‘skinny clothes’ are baggy now,” she says. Hinton, who already was an avid exerciser, said the biggest changes were extra cardio and training with heavy weights three times a week. “I’d never lifted 15 or 20 pound weights before,” she marveled. While the 8 hours of working out each week played to her strong suit, the nutritional overhaul was a bigger challenge. “I’d always thought I could work off unhealthy food,” she says. “I didn’t realize that I needed protein at every meal and that I should eat every three hours.”
For Ify Walker, a non-practicing attorney, success had come easily in other parts of her life—great husband, career achievement—but “weight was the one area of my life where I didn’t have control,” she says. In the last seven weeks, she’s lost fourteen pounds and six inches. And she’s almost reached her goal of trimming down from 29 percent body fat to 20 percent. Walker’s gone from working out once or twice a week to working out 2–3 hours a day. (She plans on moving to a more sustainable workout schedule once she’s reached her target weight.) Like Maggie, the change in what she eats has been the biggest revelation. “I have way more energy than when I was drinking two Diet Cokes a day,” she says.
After talking with them both as they near the home stretch, the competition this weekend seems like an after-thought. Hinton and Walker say they’ve been motivated by this opportunity to push their physical limits and start fresh with better fitness and nutrition practices. So in our book they are models of healthy living no matter what happens on Saturday.
Stay tuned for After Pictures which will be on the Wellness Wire this Sunday.