How One Woman Lost 100 Pounds—and Has Kept It Off for Years
Charlene Bazarian tried everything to lose weight. And this is the only thing that worked for her.
Courtesy Dana Lane Photography“I felt like I had tried everything,” says lawyer Charlene Bazarian, about her weight loss tactics before finally losing 100 pounds. But her eye-opening moment she needed to lose weight was at the spa.
She was at the spa, and looking forward to lovely self-care time, when the one-size-fits-all robe didn’t live up to its name. And that is when she decided to change her body and her life. “I have lost close to 100 pounds and kept it off for years,” says Bazarian. Since then, she has become a fitness fanatic, even blogging about her experiences, her ups, her downs, and the amazing people she has met in the industry on FBJFit.com. Chatting with Jillian Michaels is a standout moment for her. Here is how she lost the weight and began to live a healthier lifestyle! (Here are some things your doctor wishes you knew about losing weight.)
How she approached losing weight differently this time
Courtesy Dana Lane Photography“I will never forget how uncomfortable I felt with the spa receptionist when I had to ask for a larger robe,” says Bazarian. “I could have felt sorry for myself or cried or complained, but instead, I took that awful feeling and channeled it into something much greater.
“I began my fitness journey doing home DVD workouts with Gilad,” says Bazarian. “For my own weight loss success, I started out by mimicking what I thought fit people would do. I subscribed to fitness magazines, I bought workout DVDs, I found a great protein powder and tried to model my eating habits after fitness competitors.” For her, that meant meals that included leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy fats. (As it turns out, a dash of cinnamon could be the secret to weight loss, says science.)
Her weight didn’t yo-yo—and she stuck with it
Courtesy Dana Lane Photography“When I lost 96 pounds, I realized how there’s no touchdown dance or finish line,” she says.
And that turned into a new form of motivation, that meant she would inspire others. “Many people reached out to me on social media [for advice and to find out how I did it], and it eventually took on a life of its own.” She created a Facebook page called FBJ Fit, “where I could give tips and advice to anyone who needed it.” That lead to her popular blog. (This incredible Japanese weight-loss trick doesn’t require diet or exercise.)
What she would do differently
Courtesy Dana Lane Photography“I had a lot of trial and error on the way down the scale,” says Bazarian. “There were many choices that I thought where a better choice, whether that was Diet Coke or ordering a chicken Caesar salad. I learned that choices aren’t just about calories or a healthier choice.” And she would have trained differently too. “I also think women particularly, gravitate towards cardio-based exercise, and weight training was life-changing for me. If I had a time machine, I would travel back and hand my younger self a pair of dumbbells.”
What else motivates her
“I like to quote, ‘Never judge the inside of your family against the outside of everyone else’s,’” says Bazarian. “I feel the sentiment of this quote is very applicable to weight loss. It was very easy for me to feel sorry for myself when I tried unsuccessfully to lose weight. It all just seemed unfair. I had thin friends and they seemed more than thin, they seemed thin without having to work for it. If I could pass on one piece of wisdom, it would be not to compare yourself to another person’s fitness or physique. Maybe your friend does have a gifted metabolism, but you need to focus on yourself. You’ll also be surprised how not everyone will be supportive of your efforts.” (You should never, ever eat these foods if you’re trying to lose weight.)
Advice she often gives friends
Courtesy Dana Lane Photography“You’re no busier than a fit person—they’re all busy too,” she says, adding, “Vodka leads to Oreos.” (You won’t believe these incredible weight-loss transformation photos!)