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Meaningful Makeovers

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Meaningful Makeovers

Our alive makeover series introduces you to two people, Rob and Toni, who are hoping to improve their lives from the inside out. No plastic surgery or new shoes; they're aiming for healthier diets and lifestyles. It'll involve hard work - no magic wands.

On television we see makeover magic wands flourished to instantly transform everything from houses to hairdos.

Our alive makeover series introduces you to two people, Rob and Toni, who are hoping to improve their lives from the inside out. No plastic surgery or new shoes; they’re aiming for healthier diets and lifestyles. It’ll involve hard work–no magic wands.

Over the next six months, they’ll see a roster of complementary healing practitioners and fitness specialists to help guide them toward optimal health.

We hope you’ll follow their progress in these pages (and on alive.com) and take inspiration from their accomplishments.

Toni: from Passive to Active

I have been looking for the catalyst that would change my lifestyle, taking me from passive to active, for quite some time. Then opportunity knocked with an offer I couldn’t refuse: alive magazine was looking for a female of the species in her early fifties who wanted and needed a makeover.

My name is Toni Hadgraft, and I’m 54 years old. My weight is on the high side of normal for my height of 5' 10''. I know I should work out to tone and trim what is currently being gravity assisted, and I will–as soon as I can find the time. I have noticed that the gravitational pull doubles as soon as it reaches my torso and midriff.

How did I Get Here?

I am a costumer in the film and theatre industry with a very erratic schedule. Some days are 12 to 14 hours long, and some weeks seem to have 12 of those days. With some contracts there are very tight deadlines. I can work at home, but I put in 18-hour days. Dressing calls require working backstage during the run of a show, often six evenings a week, plus matinees. I have the rare good fortune of doing the job of my dreams; I cannot imagine doing anything else.

I have been married for 31 years to a man who works day and evening shifts and has rotating days off. He loves to cook. Our diet is healthy; that is, what I eat is nutritious and may well have come out of our garden, grown to organic standards; however, breakfast can be anywhere between 6 am and 5 pm, lunch eaten only when I work away from home, and dinner is usually around 10 or 11 pm.

Bottom line? There is nothing remotely like a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule at our house.

My Health Goals

My goal with this makeover is to improve my overall health, strength, and posture–and in the process, rearrange the pounds. I also hope that I can again enjoy the benefit of a full night’s sleep, something that has eluded me since reaching the outer limits of my youth. I do not have any specific health concerns.

I was told by a Sikh holy man that I will live to 89; I want all those years to be productive. Consulting with complementary medicine practitioners will provide me with options I may not have considered, and hopefully, following their advice will enable me to enjoy my years to their fullest potential.

So, for the next six months, with the help of the alive team, who will diligently monitor my progress and root for me, I plan to reach my goals and develop a flexible routine that can be adapted successfully to my changing work shifts. In the process I hope this series can help the many others who work in similar situations to reach their goals.

Rob: a Time for Change

The word “husky” has followed me throughout my life, starting when I was in elementary school. My mother always bought me those “husky-fit” jeans.

Now 36 years old and a towering 5'5", I weigh a little over 180 pounds–I am still husky. I am faced with the disappointment that you cannot find generic adult “husky” size at clothing stores; instead, my huskiness is quantified by a horrible number.

How did I Get Here?

Last summer I did an internship at alive magazine to fulfill requirements for the writing program in which I’m currently a full-time student. I was surprised that I got the internship in the first place. I didn’t think I had a shot; I’m far from being a health-conscious person. I don’t exercise (unless you count the morning walk I take each day with my dog), I don’t eat well, I don’t drink eight glasses of water each day, I’m addicted to sugar, I crave breads, and I love chocolate. About the only things that I do right are that I don’t drink and I don’t smoke.

When I went in for the interview, I didn’t think that I’d be able to finesse those two points into the persona of a health-conscious person. So instead of ignoring the elephant in the room, I made reference several times to my less-than-healthy status.

Overweight people tend to do that. They make jokes about themselves. I spent the summer making repeated references to my suboptimal health, which is why I wasn’t surprised when I was asked to take part in this project.

My Health Goals

It couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m transitioning into a new vocation, which will mean more time at a desk. It’s a good idea, then, to get myself in shape, physically and mentally, before I start a new chapter in my life. This means that I have to take a good look at myself and see what’s wrong and what I want to change.

Here’s my list:

  • I get tensions headaches, migraines, and neuralgia.
  • I grind my teeth.
  • I’ve had some digestive issues develop recently with dairy and possibly wheat.
  • I’m tired in the afternoons, affecting my concentration.
  • I have great difficulty getting to sleep at night, even when I’m tired.
  • Sometimes I can’t breathe through my nose.
  • I have a sore middle finger, possibly from typing so much.
  • My left heel hurts a bit when I walk.
  • I have a lingering dizziness issue leftover from a childhood injury.

Haven’t I painted a pretty picture of myself? It kind of makes you wonder: What does he want to change? I hope to find health and happiness while losing weight, getting fit, and solving a few problems.

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