SBF Spotlight Questions

  1. First off, for those who don’t know much about you, can you give us a quick introduction? Sure! Hi, I’m Meredith Garofalo, your friendly neighborhood meteorologist that tries to add a little extra sunshine to your forecasts on KEYT and Fox 11 in the mornings.  I love to sing, dance, and just appreciate and enjoy life.
  1. Tell us a little about your path in the fitness industry – how’d you get to where you are today in your area of expertise? I’ve always enjoyed fitness as I played sports growing up so working out and being active has always been a huge part in my life. I played intermural basketball and softball growing up and did basketball, volleyball, and track (shotput, discus, and pole vault) in high school.  Now, as a public figure working in television, it’s important to set a positive example and so I make staying fit and healthy a priority so I can inspire others.
  2. How did you end up in Santa Barbara? My job brought me here!  I am from Cleveland, OH originally and in the TV business I have worked in Rapid City, SD and Sarasota, FL before calling Santa Barbara my home
  1. What was the turning point in your life that made you realize your passion towards the fitness industry and helping people? I think it was the time I realized that I needed to make a change when a viewer basically called me “fat” and “ugly” on air. It takes a very thick skin to be a woman in the TV business.  I have high self-esteem but sometimes people can be so cruel and even just one comment can sometimes seem to ruin the 10 other positive ones.  Taking a closer look at the video from that morning, I realized that I could focus more on my fitness and change my eating patterns, so I entered a national fitness competition and won first place! I ended up losing 20lbs and 7% body fat over three months and inspired so many people over that short time period by being open and honest about the challenges I had to overcome and the dedication that went into achieving my goal.  From then on, I decided that through my career I would reach out to people and be that positive role model for those looking to make a difference in their own lives.


  1. To help others with their businesses and marketing endeavors, what were some of your first steps in turning your passion for fitness into something that was bigger than just a hobby? Putting myself out there to be open and honest about what I went through.  There’s no need to sugar coat anything, it’s not going to help or inspire people!  I shared my experience losing weight and also told people that it’s easier for some than others.  I also offered tips of things that worked for me that people could try as well as recipes that were not only healthy but taste pretty good.  You have to find what works for you and you can get excited about.
  1. What has been your number one biggest challenge within fitness? The eating part and my love for fine food and wine.
  1. How did you overcome this challenge? I am now all about moderation but also splurging every now and then (but again with some moderation!)
  1. Succeeding as a fitness figure is a difficult feat, what would you say helped in your success? Definitely my support system: friends, family, and even viewers on social media keeping me in check. I did not set unreasonable expectations and realized that some of the best things in life do not come easy or are handed to us.  It was worth the hard work and dedication!
  1. What’s one of the coolest or most inspiring things you have seen since working in the fitness inspiration business, and who has inspired you most? The stories and success of those that say I inspired them. To me, that is the most fulfilling and they are the ones who continue to push me to achieve my fitness goals and stay in check.
  1. How do you feel your own story and transformation has helped you to relate and understand others you work with? They always say to put yourself in other people’s shoes when you want to try and understand what they’ve been through, and by going through everything first hand, I can relate to both the ups and downs that comes with anyone’s journey to a healthier and happier life.
  1. Do you have any books, videos, or other resources that have inspired you? Recently, my instructors and classmates at Barre3 Santa Barbara. I take 3-4 classes a week and there is such a strong support group there.  Those classes have helped me maintain my weight and continue to sculpt and tone.
  1. What is one of your favorite quotes that has inspired you either currently or in the past? “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.” Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, “A League of Their Own”
  1. Most will agree that the fitness industry is constantly evolving, how do you stay up to date? Mainly through social media and the posts in the news
  1. What’s next for you? Any projects in the mix? I’ve only done a 5K Fun Run once and I’d love to train to do another one or an Obstacle Course Run within the next year.
  1. To all of our readers, what is your number one piece of advice you would want someone to walk away from you knowing? Love yourself…and always believe that you can be whatever you want. There will be haters and people who want to bring you down, hinder you, and make you feel terrible because that brings them up.  Let them be your inspiration, let them be jealous, and just focus on what makes you happy.  Goals, big or little, are always within reach…and if you give everything in life your 110% you can never go wrong.  But never, ever give up hope and faith.  You are the star in your own life, so put on a show-stopping performance from beginning to end.

A mom? A runner? A triathlete? Where Do You Belong?

A Mom? A Runner? A Triathlete? Where Do You Belong?

If you weren’t already aware, Santa Barbara has a HUGE fitness community (and really beautiful people…it must be something in the air). Santa Barbara holds a number of athletic events ranging anywhere from night runs to ocean swims. These events are a great way to be involved within the athletic community. In addition, there is a large array of athletic teams and clubs in which the problem for many becomes which to join. Many teams and clubs in town offer coaching, individual training, team unity, fundraising opportunities, discounts and more – but it is

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Spotlight on Local Santa Barbrian, Rebekka Putnam!

With the focus of SB-Fitness Magazine being Santa Barbara itself, we are always hoping to find members of our community who dedicate their time on making this place a healthier environment for all! Luckily, we found a Santa Barbara native who has spent much of her life improving herself and those around her. Rebekka Putnam has taken the initiative to lead her community to a healthy lifestyle through her program that she has created. We were able to take some time

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Life As An Outrigger Paddler: On And Off The Water

You may wonder, just as I did, what exactly is Outrigger Paddling? While this sport, or as some say, “way of life,” may seem foreign, Outrigger Paddling is an international sport that has been around for many years. This team and individual sport plays a huge role in many people’s lives, including a few paddlers I had the pleasure of chatting with, Juliet Jones, Corey Simpson, and Carol Shick. Fortunately for us, these experts took the time to answer some questions about Outrigger Paddling to help us get a better sense about what Outrigger Paddlers do!

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Why be Lazy when you can be Crazy? The Crazy Fit Challenge May 18, 2013

For most college students a typical crazy weekend entails staying out late, partying all night, and letting loose after a long week of class, homework, midterms, and papers. However, this particular weekend presented a different type of crazy. This past Saturday, May 18th I experienced a new kind of crazy when I participated in The Crazy Fit Challenge. As Santa Barbara’s only obstacle course race, the Crazy Fit Challenge is composed of a 1.5-mile obstacle course complete with a variety of challenging obstacles that are kept secret until the day of the event. Runners may complete anywhere from one to four laps of the course depending on their personal fitness level and goals. The difficulty of the Crazy Fit Challenge is further enhanced, as participants must conquer not only obstacles, but also the challenging natural terrain offered by Elings Park where the race is held.

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The Fitness Benefits of Tennis and Where to Find a Game in Santa Barbara

Blessed with near perfect weather almost 365 days of the year, Santa Barbara is a fitness lover’s paradise. With no snowy storms or freezing temperatures to discourage you from hitting the great outdoors, it’s no wonder that Santa Barbara residents always seem to be out and about engaging in some sort of activity. Whether it’s a hike, a jog, or just a stroll down beautiful State Street, Santa Barbara residents are among some of the most active people in the

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Workouts for the Trail for Hikers of All Levels

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, there is no question as to why hiking is a beneficial workout. Hiking is a breath of fresh air from crowded gyms, intense and busy work days, and the overall fast-paced lifestyle in which most of us live today. From the fresh air, the trees, and great views, hiking presents new challenges and experiences and exposes you to your local environment. Hiking can also improve physical and mental health, and can be a fun social activity for you and our friends or workout buddies. 

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Local non-profit encourages kids to Sprout Up

In today’s age of technology, its likely that a child in elementary school would be more concerned with the preservation of their Angry Birds score on their mother’s iPhone than the preservation of real birds in their community. In fact, the concepts of preservation and sustainability rarely cross the minds of modern children, except perhaps in a few lessons about the environment and recycling during their science units. Fortunately, Sprout Up – a local non-profit organization – is bringing environmental education to our young ones, and giving them the credit that they deserve.

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The Group Dynamic of Healthy Living

As many of us know, having the best of intentions to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep up with our annual New Year’s fitness resolutions isn’t always enough. With work, school, family, and countless other obligations taking the majority of our time, it is all too easy to fall off the fit-track – especially if you are embarking on the journey alone. Many fitness experts agree that the motivation and support, as well as the variety of activities that fitness and health groups can provide their members with can be very beneficial in keeping them on-track with their short and long-term health goals. Lucky for us, there are many local nutrition and fitness groups here in Santa Barbara that are available to all those looking to maintain healthy lifestyles and learn more about food, exercise, and overall well being.

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