Collage Video Blog

Debra Mazda, An Introduction

by Debra Mazda

Eating the right food, exercise and living a healthy life. Sounds easy but can be very difficult. But does it have to be? We all want to stay fit and look good and of course to have good health, but we also know that it is easier said than done. However, just small changes can make huge difference. We may not all be able to be an athlete, but we can all improve, and always change small things in our day to day life. This story really shows that even if life is all but salubrious it is possible to do something about it. Be inspired!

 You are a real fitness guru, but some decades ago your weight was over 300 pounds. That is a lot to carry around. Even with the motivation it must have been hard to start exercise. How did you manage?  

Yes, I did weigh over 300 pounds many years ago, I was chronically depressed and hated myself, I was in a very dark place. Back then I was in an abusive relationship with food as my comfort, friend and saving grace back then. I was an emotional eater who was slowly going further and further into a world that I was not sure I could or would come out of.

Have survived sexual abuse and using food as my comfort my weight escalated over time. In my 20’s , at over 300 pounds, I decided that I had enough and found the courage and strength to begin my personal journey back upward and I started with exercise. I found the courage to walk  into a fitness center where everyone was a size 2. I met a bodybuilder named John who helped me and never judged me, I took my first fitness class weighing over 300 pounds. It was a now or never moment.

I had been on every diet on the market, but it wasn’t until I began to exercise that I lost weight but more importantly I began to feel so much better. Sometime later, I walked into a Richard Simmons Anatomy Asylum, became the training director, and never looked back. I eventually lost over 150 pounds and still have my weight off 30 years later. Exercise was the catalyst for me!

You are talking about the aha-moment. What do you mean by that?

I was the diet queen, uppers downers, injections, starvation, binging, weight watchers, diet pills, and nothing worked long term. It was not till I thought I was having a heart attack and was told I was obese that nothing sank in to my brain. That was my aha moment!

I talk in depth about this moment, in my new book “Eating my secrets”. I became focused, determined and nothing was going to stop me. Once I realized that dieting was getting me nowhere fast, I took matters into my own hands. I began to breathe and learned how to live. I started not only to eat better but befriended food. I realized I was in control. I had the power not the diet. No longer was I focused on negative thoughts about myself. While that was many years ago, and those days are far gone, today I live a very different life. Learning how to use food as fuel and nourishment for my body to move changed my life.

Another interesting thing about your weight loss is that you began by cutting your portions in half.

Back in the 70’s obesity or being overweight was almost unheard of. Most people were a normal size; today two out of three women are either overweight or obese. When I decided to make life changes after being told I was fat and obese I had to find out how to eat differently. However, there was not a lot about nutrition for me to read that would be a help. I had to take matters in my own hands and came to conclusion that if I ate only half of what I normally ate that would do it and it did.

A normal breakfast for me back then was a rack of ribs, three or four eggs drowning in butter, quart of OJ and two to three biscuits again drowning in butter. Today, as a professional I know a lot about foods and tell women this, stop dieting! Find out what will work for lifestyle, such as environment, daily schedule, culture, etcetera.

Would you say that a lot of food and eating issues are due to bad habits and not hunger?  

Yes, I would. Emotional eating has it grips on a lot of women not matter what size they are. Food becomes comfort, friendship and a friendly night out for a lot of women. Eating out of boredom, sadness, shame, or for whatever we use it for can be easier than to look at what we might be eating emotionally for. The move more, eat less philosophy is so complicated but we need to search inside to figure out what is eating us.

Emotional eating has nothing to do with hunger, there is a hole inside of us and for million food is the comfort to fill that hole. For me, pray and God has played such a part of my recovery. God has been with me thru it all and I give him the glory for pulling me out of the miry clay and he has never let me down even when I wanted to crawl in a hole and hibernate.

You are now 65 years old, how do you manage to stay healthy and not put on weight again?

At 65, I feel fabulous and am in great health. I do not take any medications, I eat well, stopped binging many years ago, sleep 6 - 8 hours per night and workout 4 - 5 days a week. I have some minor aches and pains every now and then, but I attribute my great health to my lifestyle. If anyone needs to move, get motivated, and feel inspired go to 

I know that you have inspired many women to embrace a healthy living and especially getting them to move. Now you have also written a book, would you like to tell some about it?

My book is called “Eating my secrets” and is a book about health, healing and hope. This is not a diet book; it is a book about my journey as well as other women’s journey. I talk about my own journey to wellness. I talk about my weight, depression, sexual abuse and how thru all of those setbacks, trials, doubts, fear and shame I was able to come out and taste the victory! It is a fascinating story.

And to all who want to take the step, but hesitate. How shall they get started?

Take a deep breath, know you are worthy to look and feel better. Just take that first step and continue one step at a time. This is a journey not a destination. We are constantly evolving and so take the ride, move your body, eat well, laugh at yourself, have a great support system and know that you got this!

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An Important Announcement from Collage Video

To Our Valued Customers,

During this Public Health Emergency your Collage Video team is thinking of you and your desire for a healthy home and family. As the situation remains fluid, we at Collage are staying as flexible as possible within government guidelines. There might arise a situation where we will be asked to close our offices temporarily, which would result in an unavoidable delay in processing and shipping. We will keep you informed here and via social media in that event.

Although gyms and public facilities are closing indefinitely, this doesn’t serve as an excuse to stop exercising regularly.  In fact, it’s more important than ever.  Exercising regularly helps strengthen your immune system and a strong immune system better equips you to fight an illness.  This happens to be an opportune time to utilize fitness videos at home.

We recommend considering our online streaming service, CollageVideo.TV, which can be accessed from your TV, phone, tablet, or laptop.  And more importantly, in the comfort and safety of your own home.

You can take advantage of an on-going promotion honoring Women’s History Month and receive a free month.  See details below.


Use promo code WOMENS30 for ONE FREE MONTH

Get access to hundreds of fitness programs from instructors like Denise Austin, Gilad, Kathy Smith, Amy Bento and more, anytime, anywhere, and on any device. There’s something for everyone, from beginning workouts to advanced workouts, senior workouts, and everything in between. It’s easily categorized, such as step, cardio, yoga, Pilates, dance, and more.

NO obligations, if you don’t like it, just cancel it.

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Can Anyone Do Yoga?

by Sarah Starr

Can anyone do yoga? Short answer is yes. Yoga, at its core, is a breath practice. If you can breathe, you can do a form of yoga. The next question you may ask is what if I have limited mobility? If you can’t get up or down off the ground for whatever reason, inflexibility, injuries, arthritis, problems with balance, even a lifelong situation, accessible yoga is always an option. Most people believe they have to be flexible before they begin a yoga practice but the opposite is true.

People from all walks of life continue to demonstrate to me multiple ways yoga has changed their lives. From a retired F8 pilot who gave up on ever skydiving again and is now pain free, to a viewer who was feeling hopeless after twisting her ankle badly but persevered by implementing yoga in bed and is now able to walk again. These are just two examples out of the many which we receive every day due to our accessible yoga series. No matter what your physical condition or abilities, the key is to start where you are at and go from there.

By using a chair for support we can modify a traditional yoga practice to make it more accessible. This gives everyone of every ability the opportunity to do yoga and experience its life enhancing benefits. Below are a few stretches to help you increase flexibility, improve balance, and create a toned, relaxed body. 

Tree Pose

  1. Stand with your right hip closest to the chair, using the chair for support. Shift your weight into your right foot. 
  2. Cross your left ankle over your right, keeping your left heel raised and your left knee pointing open to the left.
  3. Continue here or place your left foot to your right calf muscle below your knee.
  4. For more of a challenge, use your left hand to place your left foot to the top of your right thigh. To increase this stretch reach your left arm to the sky.

Release and repeat on the opposite side, holding for the same amount of time.


  • Place your foot above or below your knee rather than pressing into your knee joint.
  • Lengthen your tailbone towards the earth.
  • Lightly firm your lower ribs in.
  • Press the sole of your left foot into your inner right thigh, equally pressing your thigh back into your foot, pointing your left knee open to the left.
  • Keep your pelvis in a neutral position. 
  • Lightly lift through your lower belly, using your core to stabilize. 


  • Improves balance, focus and concentration
  • Stretches legs, hips and torso
  • Strengthens legs, ankles, calves and core

Warrior 2 Pose

  1. Walk your feet over to the right side of your chair.
  2. Keep your right thigh to the chair as you extend through your left leg. Align your right heel with your left heel, turning your left toes inward at a 45 degree angle. Extend strongly through your left leg as you root down through the outer edge of your left foot. 
  3. Raise your arms parallel to the earth, reaching energetically through your fingertips. Turn your gaze to look over the right hand.

Release and repeat on the opposite side, holding for the same amount of time.


  • Keep your right knee over your right ankle.
  • Lengthen your tailbone towards the earth, keeping your pelvis in a neutral position.
  • Rather than leaning forward over your front leg, align your shoulders over your hips, keeping the sides of your torso equally long.
  • Lightly lift through your lower belly. 
  • Stretch your arms from the space between your shoulder blades, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Broaden across your collar bones and lengthen the space between your shoulder blades.


  • Strengthens your legs, glutes, abdomen and ankles
  • Stretches your hips, legs, groins and chest
  • Improves focus and concentration

Figure Four Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Place your right outer ankle to the top of your left thigh, keeping your right foot lightly flexed and in line with your right knee.
  3. Reach your right hand under your right calf muscle, using your hands to draw your left leg towards you, pausing when your feel a gentle stretch in your right outer hip and glute. 

Release and repeat on the opposite side, holding for the same amount of time.


  • Keep your right foot flexed, pointing your right knee open to the right, stretching through your right outer hip.
  • Maintain your sacrum to the earth as you draw your legs towards you.
  • Keep your spine and back of neck long.
  • To intensify this stretch, try adding resistance by pressing your leg against your hands.


Increased mobility and flexibility in your hips, glutes, hamstrings and low back

If you enjoyed this accessible yoga segment and are interested in more Happy Yoga, please visit our streaming site for 3 free full length videos at

Note: If you have any physical impairments or limitations, please be sure to check with your physician before using this or any of Sarah's programs.

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Important Announcement: Change in Email Address

Hi everyone. Important announcement:

As of today (11-22-2019), please contact us at if you'd like to reach us via email.

We are also available by phone: 1-800-819-7111

and on Facebook messenger:


Thank you!

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Vacationing Without Neglecting Your Fitness Routine

Hello Fitness Family! Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Kate and I am an employee at Collage Video. I am passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle; however, my body has had its struggles keeping up with the level of physical fitness it used to handle with ease. I’ve realized that it is far more difficult to get back on a fitness regimen after stopping, than it is to push through when you just don’t want to. I recently went away to Florida and I tried to implement a (reasonable) fitness plan that could work with - not against - my vacation. I am here to tell you some of my takeaways – the do’s and don’ts that I learned along with some tips so that you can plan for your vacation with the peace of mind knowing you aren’t giving up fun in the sun or your thighs and buns!  You’ll also find these takeaways & tips applicable to your everyday life!

Firstly, plan ahead! I took the time before my trip to plan out my vacation days and I highly recommend doing this. I made sure to know what days I was doing what, and plan both the amount of time spent on working out as well as which zones on my body I would be targeting, based on the activities of that day. For example – I spent a day at the beach and a day at an amusement park. I made sure to allow more time to do intense cardio on my beach days since most of those days were spent laying out relaxing. On the day we visited an amusement park, I knew I would be walking around all day – so I focused more on upper body exercises and stretching.

(Disclaimer: Not me..but I wish!)

I brought along a couple workout DVDs to play in the condo we rented (I am a Collage employee after all!).  However, I really wanted to take advantage of my surroundings, especially when we stayed at the beach. I normally watch my yoga or stretch videos in the morning, so I got up and performed some poses to the early morning sun on the beach. Admittedly, I only got to my DVDs once... but I found success using my phone and watching workout ideas on YouTube.  If you have a phone or tablet, they can be immensely useful for working out while away from home.

One of the things that I had to accept was that I would not be able to exercise the same amount of hours as I would on my normal schedule. If for no other reason, because I wanted to spend as much time relaxing on this vacation as possible, while still maintaining a certain level of physical activity to keep up with my routine. It’s all about a reasonable balance.  I also knew it wasn’t realistic to bring my dumbbells or weights with me, so I brought a resistance band and used it sporadically.  As a side note, you can utilize home objects to sub-in for exercise equipment too - like an (unopened) gallon of water to supplement a kettlebell (within reason!). Being resourceful can be fun when supplementing away-from-home versions of your workouts!

I certainly hope my tips help you plan a strategy to fit in your fitness activities with your vacation time!  Remember you can always make time to have fun, relax, and stay fit! You can do it all!

By Collage Video | | exercise, fitness, fitness tips, health, Healthy, tips, Wellness | 2 comments | Read more

American Flag Caprese Salad

This recipe was found on the Food Network and is courtesy of the Food Network Kitchen
Photo By: Matt Armendariz

We find the Food Network's American Flag Caprese Salad to be the perfect compliment to any 4th of July party!  Although it's a bit time-consuming, the salad is easy to prepare, yields 12 servings, and will WOW your family and friends!


  • 18 Small Purple Tomatoes (About 1 Pound)
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 Pound Herbed Cheese Spread (Room Temperature)
  • 1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Roughly Chopped
  • 26 Cherry Tomatoes, Halved (About 2 Pounds)
  • 24 1-Inch Mozzarella Balls In Brine, Drained Well & Halved 


Before you start, gather a large wooden cutting board and a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip.  (If you want precision - follow this link for exact dimensions).

Step 1 - Cook the potatoes in generously salted boiling water until fork-tender but not falling apart (~ 20 minutes). Drain well and allow to cool completely. Cut in half crosswise.

Step 2 - Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a small star tip, with the herbed cheese spread. Grab your cutting board and cut a piece of parchment large enough to fit it.  Squeeze a dab of cheese spread on the underside of each corner of the parchment to help it adhere to the cutting board. 

Step 3 - Spread a thin rectangular layer of cheese in the upper left corner of the parchment. Arrange the potatoes in rows, cut-side-up, on top of the cheese. Using your pastry bag, pipe the remaining cheese in between the potatoes to make stars for the flag. 

Step 4 - Drizzle the remaining empty portion of parchment with half of the oil then sprinkle all over with the basil. Starting from the top, make a line of tomato halves, cut-side-up, followed by a line of mozzarella halves, cut-side-down. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle everything with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

If you would like a video as a visual aid for this recipe, click this link!

And if you like this one - checkout another Food Network Recipe: Flag Cake courtesy of Ina Garden!

Ingredients and Directions by Food Network. 

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Important: Notice Regarding Our Shipping Policy

To all our Customers,

Please take a moment to review the following change in our return policy.

We currently accept any DVD, opened or unopened, to be returned within a 15-day window after delivery.  Effective July 1st, we will continue to accept DVDs that are both opened and unopened, but our return window will now be 7-days following delivery.  All other elements of our return policy will remain the same at this time.  You can find our full return policy here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via phone (1-800-819-7111) or email (

We appreciate your business and are thankful for your understanding.

Thank You,

Collage Video

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Green Salad with Brown Butter Walnut Vinaigrette

This recipe was found on the Food Network, courtesy of Amy Thielen.
Easy to Make     Only 15 Minutes Prep Time     Yields 8 Servings


  • 1 cup walnut halves or pieces *Walnuts contain a lot of fat, and therefore, a lot of calories.  Although they have many health benefits, and have their place in a healthy diet, be cautious of your intake.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil *Similarly to walnuts, olive oil is filled with healthy fat and is a high-caloric food. 
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for the salad
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 cups mixed garden greens
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces crumbled aged blue cheese *You can also try feta of goat cheese


  • Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat and add the walnuts, butter, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook very gently, stirring often, until the walnuts turn golden brown and the garlic has cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet to slow the cooking, and set aside.
  • When ready to serve, toss the greens with a little salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and vinegar to the walnut mixture and spoon the nuts over the salad, adding as much of the dressing as needed to lightly coat the leaves. Add the blue cheese, and toss again.
Additional Resources:

Ingredients and Directions by Food Network.  Comments on Ingredients and Resources Found by Collage Video!

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3 Tips To Get Rid of Stubborn Back Fat

By Jari Love & Collage Video

stubborn back fat


Ever hear the slang term Muffin Top? Or Spare Tire? These terms refer to fat above the waistline, a common weight distribution problem that torments both men and women. To make matters worse, it’s usually the last of our fat to finally go away. Women have the added struggle of dealing with fat around the bra area as well.  Back fat is considered visually unpleasing to most, but more importantly it's not healthy in excess amounts. It’s important to remember that our health is not determined by how many pounds we weigh, but it is influenced by how many pounds of fat we store. 

Advertisers know how common fat accumulation is at the waistline and exploit the concept of "spot-reduction" to sell their exercise-related products. For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept, spot-reduction is the claim that fat in specific areas can be targeted and reduced through exercises around the desired area(s). This is a myth.  Do not fall into the persuasive trap that convinces people who are trying to lose weight (which, is most of us) that spot reduction products like pills or special contraptions work.  However, there are ways you can reduce fat in these areas and feel more confident in your own skin! The solution just requires a little extra effort and determination.  These healthy tips can help you achieve the results you’re after!

Tip #1: When Muffin-Top Strikes, HIIT Back with Cardio! 

If you’re serious about weight loss and health, you’ve got to get serious about cardio. Performing cardio exercise five times a week can help your body lose weight noticeably.  For even more-intense cardio, opt for interval training (HIIT) that alternates between periods of pushing your body and recovery, since it offers the after-burn effect. After-burn means once you’ve exercised, your body can continue to burn calories — an extra 200 calories throughout the day.

Tip #2: Tighten Your Posture & Sculpt Your Muscles!  

Your body’s silhouette can greatly improve simply through adding moves that sculpt your back, shoulders, and obliques to reveal the strong muscles that lie beneath. Toning up your body can do wonders when paired with cardio. Posture-improving exercises can also help muffin top areas!

Tip #3: A Lean Diet Leads to a Lean Physique

To lose fat you must eat in a caloric deficit. Think lean protein, low sugar, and high in vitamins and minerals. Weight loss occurs when the number of calories burned throughout the day through walking, working, and exercising exceed the calorie intake that day. Keep this in mind when choosing what food to consume.  Food journals can help immensely.

 Comment your thoughts below!

Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Can't Find The Time To Workout?

not enough time

There’s a long list of excuses we can make as to why we “can’t” workout.  For many, time restriction earns a spot at the top of the list.  Our busy schedules are resulting in consecutive days of inactivity, despite setting intentions to exercise.  Inactivity is recognized as a serious problem as it significantly increases the risk of numerous diseases/disorders, including several forms of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, coronary and cerebrovascular diseases, overweight/obesity, and all-cause mortality, among others (according to PubMed).

So, have YOU ever planned to exercise but failed to follow through due to time restriction?  Perhaps you had time but didn’t feel it was enough time to endure a meaningful workout.  Hopefully we can offer some valuable input here.

Reflect on your day for a moment.  Although you may be swamped with typical “stuff,” most of us can identify incremental periods of free time- and I’m talking no more than 10 minutes.  Getting fit does not have to be synonymous with a long, hard and energy draining task.  Instead, look at physical activity as something that can flow throughout your day in the times that we have available.  Getting to the gym and exercising for an hour is not necessary to get on track with being fit and living a healthier, more fulfilling life (although it is encouraged!).  And here’s a tip: if you find it difficult to pick out 10 minutes of free time, wake up 10 minutes earlier in the morning than you normally would.  Problem solved.

Main takeaway utilize the smaller, incremental time slots available during your day for exercise.  Additionally, if you can do this more than once a day, they’ll certainly add up.  Exercise supplies the body with endorphins (or, feel-good hormones!) and the lowers the risk for all the nasty diseases/disorders listed earlier.  So, stop using “not having the time” as an excuse and get moving!


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From Our Blog

  • Debra Mazda, An Introduction

    by Debra Mazda Eating the right food, exercise and living a healthy life. Sounds easy but can be very difficult. But does it have to be? We all want to stay fit and look good and of course to have... read more

  • An Important Announcement from Collage Video

    To Our Valued Customers, During this Public Health Emergency your Collage Video team is thinking of you and your desire for a healthy home and family. As the situation remains fluid, we at Collage are staying as flexible as possible... read more

  • Can Anyone Do Yoga?

    by Sarah Starr Can anyone do yoga? Short answer is yes. Yoga, at its core, is a breath practice. If you can breathe, you can do a form of yoga. The next question you may ask is what if I... read more