Q: What do you mean “The Great Fitness Experiment”?
A: You know how you read all these studies in magazines and you wonder if it actually works on anything besides mice? Well, I read all the health and fitness research I can get my sweaty hands on and then I test it out – on myself mostly. But I also use (and abuse) several Gym Buddies to bring you all the data. Plus I summarize it for you. You’ll learn to love me.
Q. What’s your real name?
Q. No seriously.
A. Charlotte Hilton Andersen.
Q. How old are you?
A. 32. But I like to tell people I’m 40 just to see them gasp and go, “But you look five years younger than that!!!!” Although I suppose that means I really look three years older than I am. May be time to rethink that strategy.
Q. What are your stats?
A. I’m a 5′ 11″ 105-lb glamazon with DD knockers and airbrushed abs. Because nobody lies on the internet. Which is why I only post the changes in my weight, body fat % and so forth. And oh yeah I got a 2500 on my SATs.
Q. How many kids do you have? Sometimes you say four, sometimes five? Are you just bad at counting?
A. I’m an excellent counter. Just ask my kids how fast I can get to three. As for the little nibblers – I’ve birthed me five babies but my oldest, a daughter, died of Turner’s Syndrome on, ironically, Sep. 11, 2001. So now my husband and I our raising three boys, eight, six and four and our daughter, one.
Q. What’s your day job?
A. Shrieking like a harpy. Oh, wait, I don’t get paid for that. I was a teacher for 7 years, both at the university and high school levels. Now I have the most boring job in the known universe: grading SAT essays from home. At least I can say that I know bad writing when I see it… and I see a lot of it. I not-so-secretly wish to be a health and fitness writer though. Feel free to e-mail me and drop a job offer in my lap. Power of positive thinking, people!!
Q. How do you get so much done?
A. I don’t watch TV or movies. For reals – haven’t seen anything other than the occasional documentary in over four years. And I don’t miss it a bit. Now if I could just kick this Internet addiction…
Q. Are you religious?
A. I’m a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a.k.a. Mormon). This means I don’t smoke, drink alcohol, coffee or tea or do illegal drugs. I also fast (abstain from food & drink) for 24 hours once a month. I don’t curse, have horns or sacrifice goats. I only have one mother. I’ve never met Napoleon Dynamite or Mitt Romney.
Q. What makes you qualified to give advice?
A. Nothing! It’s liberating, actually. Why burden down a great opinion with actual knowledge? I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology (again with the crazy!) and a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems and Education. (Which is a travesty given how, um, awesome this website is. Let’s just say I’m a content girl now.) Besides, I try not to give advice. Well, beyond what not to wear to the gym. My purpose is to present to you the research I’ve found and then to test it out and tell you what happens. Anything you do with it after that point is solely on your own head (zoomers!!).
Q. So… fitness.
A. Yep. It’s my passion, my hobby, what gets me up in the morning and what I dream about at night. Some call it a sickness. I’d probably agree with them. I read every piece of research (and pseudo-research) I can find about health and fitness. Books, magazines, websites – I consume them all. If I had a laptop, I’d even read it on the toilet but seeing as I don’t, I stick to crossword puzzles which is probably best for all involved. You all already hear too much about my poo as it is.
Q. Is there anything you won’t try?
A. I’m all about the experimenting and I have very little pride. So, try me! If you have an idea for an experiment – drop me a line!
Q. What’s your weakness?
A. Patrick Dempsey (he’s a dead ringer for my husband). Oh… you mean food? Sweetart Jellybeans. To anyone who can find them for me outside of the Easter season, I’d be eternally indebted.
Q. What do you eat?
A. While I have been everything from a vegetarian to a vegan to a gluten-free soy-free vegan, these days I follow Intuitive Eating and I can now say with pride: I eat everything! I favor whole foods, as close to their natural state as I can get them.
Q. You eat weird stuff.
A. Well it does all come out looking like poo in the end.
Q. I can’t lose weight, can you help me?
A. This is not a weight-loss blog. I’m sorry. But I do try and post relevant studies and I always encourage experimentation. You have all my empathy though – losing weight after my kids were born was excruciatingly hard – and I hope that you will keep me apprised of what works for you and what doesn’t.
Q. I have, er, my friend has an eating disorder. Can you help me? I mean her??
A. I wish I could. I’ve struggled with eating disorders myself for many years. It was one reason I went into psych as a naive undergrad (well that and I got to experiment on people!!). I’m a terrible counselor. Thankfully there are a lot of great eating disorder resources now. I’d encourage you to start with ANAD.
Q. I was sexually abused/assaulted too. Can you help me?
A. My heart goes out to you. Truly. The sexual assault was the second worst thing that has ever happened to me, superseded only by the ensuing court case. Unfortunately, I am a horrible counselor. I’d encourage you to call the great folks at RAINN.
Q. I LOOOOOVVVVEEE your site.
A. Thanks mom:)
A2. And I looooovvvveee you too. I really do – you readers and fellow bloggers never cease to enlighten, surprise, entertain and educate me. I’m constantly amazed at the great network of intelligent, witty and all-around awesome folks I’ve met here. Don’t forget to check me out on The Huffington Post as well.
Q. Where do you get all those hilarious pics you post?
A. I am the Google Master. Feel free to bow. (Or if I’ve inadvertently violated your copyright policy, just e-mail me.)
Q. What if I have an idea for an experiment or a question you haven’t covered here?
A. E-mail me!!