Shelby About Town
Becca Cason Thrash, Scott McClelland, Gina Gaston & more share their living leanstrategies
From the moment that we began inquiring on how the lean and lanky keep their slim silhouettes through the holidays, we found that one common theme linked them all — exercise and lots of it. In fact, it seems that our fit friends employ more exercise mojo than calorie restraint in the pursuit of low body-fat percentages.
Take Scott McClelland for example. You've seen the H-E-B president in commercials on TV in recent months. You know how good he looks on the small screen. Just imagine if that image really does add 10 pounds. Despite the fact that he is surrounded by great food by the very nature of his profession, McClelland remains fashionably lean.
He owes that sleek physique to an extensive workout regimen. McClelland manages to carve out time for weight-lifting three times a week, Pilates twice a week, boxing once a week and the elliptical twice a week. Occasionally, he will work out twice in one day.
"We've always looked at managing our weight as a physics equation: calories consumed vs. calories expended," McClelland e-mailed referring to himself and his equally trim wife, Soraya. "We're both religious about working out. It's hard to work in the food business without having a passion for food and as I get older I'm finding that I'm having to work out more and eat less!"
A bite of chocolate
Laura Mercier cosmetics founder Janet Gurwitch employs a similar workout ethic to maintain her slim and trim visage. Twice weekly, she works out with a weight trainer in 30-minute sessions. She does Pilates for an hour three times a week and speed walks for three or four miles at least twice a week if not more.
She advises that she eats fairly healthily with her one chocolate fix a day. (Gurwitch confesses to being a chocoholic.) But she went the extra step for this holiday season. Only a few days before Thanksgiving, Janet joined Jenny Craig. Her goal for the holidays is to maintain rather than gain.
Of course, we had to ask a personal trainer for his holiday strategies and Bob Arriaga offered the most sensible advice we heard. During the holidays, he focuses even more tightly on what he consumes. Less is more in Arriaga's book. He goes for "quality carb consumption" taking in more greens than usual and skipping the beef and ham in favor of low-fat, low-cal turkey. If he really has to have that piece of red meat, he chooses buffalo — the leanest choice for beef eaters.
When it comes to cocktails, Arriaga has a hard, fast rule. A glass of water between every glass of wine or cocktail. That, he says, cuts down on the sugary calories of alcohol.
He also ups his exercise routine. He goes from 2.5 hours a week on cardio to four hours while maintaining his four-days-a-week of resistance training.
Singing for his supper
Singer and record producer Steve Tyrell is such a cutie with a rich Italian heritage, one would never guess that he's as religious about his diet and exercise as a Weight Watchers lifetime member. He begins his day with either Raisin Bran or two slices of 7-grain toast with non-fat cream cheese and a sliced tomato with a cappuccino.
Breakfast is followed with a one-hour fat burner on either the treadmill or the elliptical. That cardio push is followed by 30 minutes of weight-training and then 15 minutes on abs. That's five days a week.
"I try to have a lunch that is also light as well (salad of some kind)," he e-mailed from his perch at the Carlyle in New York. "If I am performing, I try to have my most substantial meal around 4 to 5 so that I have time to digest my food before I sing usually around 8 or 8:30, usually fish or chicken with salad and veggies or sometimes pasta. The hardest time for me is after my show ... I try my best not to eat late but sometimes I just can't help myself."
(Tyrell is performing at the Carlyle Tuesday through Saturday throughout the holidays with two shows each Thursday through Saturday.)
The mother of triplets with a full time news anchor job on Channel 13 KTRK, it's hard to imagine that Gina Gaston has any time for herself. But once her babies turned 3, she was able to carve out cherished hours each week for exercise.
Her routine includes three yoga classes per week, a weekly workout with weights, three cardio classes a week and one hour a week on the elliptical. "I'm a workout gal, always have been," she e-mailed.
That exercise routine won't change much over the holidays but she will try to adjust her eating habits she said but not before allowing, "First the disclaimer: Who's to say I'm staying fit during the holidays!" But she is going to make the effort.
Gaston watches the menu at home — no mac and cheese with dressing. She tries to fill at least half of her plate with vegetables and saves dessert for later in the evening. She admits to having a sweet tooth which means if there are extra desserts in the house, she moves them out quickly.
"I have a bad sweet tooth," she admits. "So if it's there, I'll eat it."
Triten Corp. CEO John Scott Arnoldy and his wife Jana are the envy of friends who can't reduce the body fat to next to nothing, an enviable position that the Arnoldys enjoy with seeming little effort. But check with them and each has a strategy for keeping the extra pounds at bay.
"Scotty" as friends know him has two basic rules: never clean his plate, always leave something behind, and no white starch (pasta, bread and potatoes) after 2 p.m.
Jana, on the other hand, has her own philosophy about party foods. "The holidays always seem to 'stress' me out when it comes to eating ... but I'm a firm believer that nothing 'healthy' is passed on a tray! I try to avoid all hors s'oeuvres and focus on the meal."
Just not fair!
We turned to the slim and enviably trim Becca Cason Thrash for her secrets of a silhouette just made for haute couture. We were slightly disappointed.
It seems that she eats whatever she wants, including dessert and is known to enjoy a few adult beverages on party nights. And her exercise routine is less than rigorous. Cason Thrash hits the treadmill three or four times a week for 30 minutes and does Pilates once a week as her busy travel schedule allows.
Her one nod to restraint: "For my insatiable sweet tooth, I indulge in Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Only 140 calories and taste divine!!!! " she e-mailed.
And then we remembered that a doctor once told her that she has the metabolism of a 14-year-old. And that is truly annoying for those of us with metabolisms of 80-year-olds.