Real Weight Loss: Charlene Bazarian of FBJ Fit
Name: Charlene Bazarian
Total weight lost: Roughly 90 pounds
“If people meet me,” Charlene Bazarian says, “they may never know I was ever heavy.”
After years of gradual weight gain, Bazarian hit 208 pounds. “I got the one-size-fits-all spa robe, and it didn’t fit me,” she remembers. “It was just an awful, awful moment. I remember saying, ‘I’m never going to put myself in this position again.'”
Bazarian stayed true to her word. After that day, she swapped “the whites”—sugar, white flour, bread, and pasta—for complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and lean protein, and adopted a fitness regimen of at-home DVD workouts and strength training. Later, she began working with personal trainers.
The longer Bazarian stuck to her new lifestyle, the more weight she lost. Eventually, she dropped enough that, in 2012, her story appeared in Good Housekeeping. The rest is history. “After Good Housekeeping, people came out of the woodwork,” she remembers. “A couple girls from high school messaged me on Facebook [for advice], so I coached them a little bit.”
Eventually, Bazarian realized that her personal Facebook page had become a stream of health and fitness advice. To spare her friends, she decided to create a separate page: FBJ Fit. “It started out as Facebook Jillian, because I was a big fan of [Jillian Michaels],” she says. “Now I say Fitness Brings Joy so Jillian doesn’t sue me someday!”
FBJ Fit started as just Bazarian and a few friends, then slowly grew into a larger community. When her weight loss journey was profiled by outlets like PopSugar and Oxygen, it exploded.
“I think my page appeals to people because I don’t try to say I’m perfect. I’ll tell them on a Monday when I’ve had a bad weekend,” Bazarian says. “I really try to set a good example.”
Want to follow her example? Here’s how Bazarian maintains her impressive weight loss:
Bazarian still avoids “the whites,” and goes for lots of healthy food over little splurges. “I’m someone who still, to this day, one piece of pizza is not going to satisfy me,” she says. “I would rather have a huge salad with a big piece of grilled chicken.”
A typical day for Bazarian includes a Luna bar and coffee for breakfast; a small mid-morning snack, such as almonds; a salad with chicken and avocado for lunch; an orange for a mid-afternoon snack; lean meat with vegetables and half a sweet potato for dinner; and seltzer and juice in a wine glass for an evening treat.
Bazarian aims for 90 minutes of exercise a day, though she stresses that much of that doesn’t happen in the gym—it could be walking with a friend, or pedaling on the stationary bike while watching TV. She starts her morning with a 30-minute workout, which usually involves a yoga flow, some abs, and a little weight training. “You make it like brushing your teeth. You don’t ever say, ‘I’m not brushing my teeth today,'” she says. “It’s just not negotiable.”
As for how she motivates herself to stay vigilant, Bazarian says it’s all about mindset. “There’s no finish line,” she says. “There’s no touchdown dance, there’s no, ‘I’m done’.”