Roller derby, counting calories help duo lose over 120 pounds - FOX 35 News Orlando

Roller derby, counting calories help duo lose over 120 pounds

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By Deena Centofanti
Fox 2 News Health Reporter

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Oakland Derby Diamonds teammates Erin Hook and Lisa McConnaughey have a bond so special they call themselves "derby wives", and never have they needed each other more.

In recent years, Hook's weight reached 230 pounds.  Her health was suffering.

"In my thirties, I was on medication for high blood pressure," she said.

In her twenties, McConnaughey hated the person she saw in the mirror.

"I would say my weight fluctuated a lot, but when I got pregnant with my son, I got up to 230 pounds and I just never really took the time to lose it," she explained.

But as the women started to gain confidence on skates and a love of roller derby, they saw their bodies changing and felt empowered.

"It's incredible exercise because you have to do core work.  There (are) sit-ups and all kinds of stuff.  It's not just skating, so it's a full body work out," Hook said.

At the same time, this Derby Diamond duo started to focus on food.  They started counting every calorie.

Using smart phone apps that do the math for you, the ladies realized how much they were unknowingly eating.

"It makes you accountable.  It's like if you're thinking about eating something, when you plug that in there and see how many calories that it is, you don't want it anymore.  If it's a lot of calories, it's like wow, that's a whole dinner and it's just a snack," said Hook.

They cut way back on portions and wiped out a few bad habits all together.

"That's my biggest tip to anyone is their first step to losing is to stop drinking any kind of pop.  That will make a huge difference.  You'll lose immediately," McConnaughey said.

"You need somebody to keep you on track," Beaumont Doctor Samuel Fawaz told us.

He said a good friend and a simple app is a great combination.

"It calculates for you the amount of calories you should stay below in order to achieve that weight loss."

Now more than a year later, Hook is down more than 60 pounds and so is McConnaughey.  They are so proud of themselves and each other.

"Mentally, I'm just happier.  I'm happier in my own skin, and it makes my household happier.  It makes people around me happier.  That's been the best part about it," said McConnaughey.

"I look back at my thirties and... I am so much better at 40, and that's pretty cool to say," Hook remarked.

If you want to try one of these apps to help you keep track of your calories, Lose It! is probably one of, if not the most popular.  You can get it free on iTunes.  You can actually take your phone and scan the barcode of the packaged food that you're eating and it will input the calories for a serving, so it does all the work for you.   

For more information about the Lose It! app, visit

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