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The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.

— Barbara Corcoran
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got eight-minute abs, a German celebrity trainer, and some vegetable knowledge fresh from the vine. Read on... 

Imagine making not one, but two fitness fortunes? That’s what entrepreneur Carl Daikeler did. 

His first big hit was the famous “Eight Minute Abs” VHS workout video of the early 90s. Daikeler went on to try other business ideas, including a telephone-based dating service and a Lasik referral service, but eventually came home to fitness. 

In 1998, funded by half a million dollars from investors, he conjured up the brand name “Beachbody”. Hit products such as PX90 and Insanity were a staple of late-night TV pitches, showing hypnotizing before-and-after photos—this could be you, call now!

When the internet pushed DVDs into obsolescence, sales fell off a cliff. Daikele realized the business model had to pivot, and in 2015 he switched to selling content via a streaming online service. Formats may come and go, but the desire for a “beach body” never fades.

Wishing you the foresight to pivot before change arrives, Katherine & Linda
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Pamela Reif
Pamela Reif is Germany’s best-known fitness influencer, with 6.4 million Instagram followers, a recipe book, and a big following for her YouTube workout videos.

In Pamela’s 2017 TED talk, she shares how she graduated from high school with top academic scores, but no idea what she wanted to do with her life. Friends made fun of her for thinking she could make Instagram into a career, but she kept at it, and now works out with celebrities (like this ab routine with Jason Derulo).
Reif attributes her success to hard work: “I can’t sing, I can’t act, and I’m too short to be a model. But I’m ambitious, consistent, and motivated as hell.”

Try this: Pamela’s most popular follow-along workout is this 20-minute no-equipment full body workout, which includes core work and isometric holds. If you want something quicker, try her 10-minute no-equipment thigh toning & booty workout.
The mental benefits of fitness
Have you ever experienced this? You’re dragging yourself through a day of feeling blah and down, but still show up for your workout—and find that it transforms your mood, replacing your dark cloud with a warm glow? 

Turns out, the emotional benefits of exercise extend to more serious struggles with mental health. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise is effective in treating anxiety, with high-intensity exercise providing more benefit than low-intensity exercise.

So why does exercise help with mood? Science hasn’t pinpointed a single explanation, but there are various theories. It could be because it gives us something to focus on other than our worries (the distraction hypothesis), or because it gives us a feeling of personal power and control (the self-efficacy hypothesis). It could be because of the release of endorphins after exercise, which contributes to an overall sense of well-being. There’s even a theory that the rise in post-exercise core body temperature is the culprit.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that exercise does alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress. Doctors are starting to figure this out and prescribe exercise. 

As a medical journal summarized: “There is nothing miraculous about exercise. What is extraordinary is how long it is taking mainstream medicine to accept the importance of physical activity.”
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Attack of the killer tomatoes
There’s a weird nutrition meme that tomatoes are somehow bad for you. It was popularized by star quarterback Tom Brady, who famously doesn’t eat any nightshades. Brady’s personal chef scoffs: “I'm very cautious about tomatoes. They cause inflammation."

Steven Gundry is an American doctor and author who wrote the bestselling book The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. In it, he asserts that lectins, a type of protein found in plants such as kidney beans, tomatoes, and eggplants, promote inflammation.

Time for a fact check: research has shown “minute evidence of harm” from consuming lectins, and no evidence that eliminating them has any benefit. Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

So why not try a tomato recipe like this delicious tomato salad from The Kitchn? Or grill a couple of sliced beefsteak tomatoes and eat them with a ground beef patty for a low-carb version of a burger. Far from harmful, tomatoes are a source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
  This bowtie pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes, kalmata olives, and feta cheese is delicious hot for dinner tonight, or cold for a pot-luck picnic this weekend (Choosing Chia)

 Simple & effective bodyweight calisthenic move: pushup with double knee touch (MindBodyGreen)

 13 cute water bottles to help you stay hydrated during workouts or on the go (Self)

 An evidence-based discussion on how to use cardio to lose belly fat, by modifying your program to prevent plateaus (Jeremy Ethier on YouTube)

Self-control is like a muscle: regular practice increases capacity (APA PsychNet)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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