Anna Medaris Miller, a Health and Wellness reporter at U.S. News and World Report, contacted Bud Seaman, owner of Ultimate Fitness, for an interview about her unique mix of therapy and fitness.  Anna’s article came out on December 31st and can be read in entirety here.

Bud’s approach to fitness and wellness is unique because she works with Sandy Canfield, L.M.H.C., to help clients address the psychological barriers to weight loss. For more intensive mind and body work, Bud and Sandy participate together in annual sequestered retreats that offer fitness workouts and one-on-one counseling and group therapy sessions. The work people do is transformational!


Why Gyms Need Trainers And Mental Health Coaches

The gym helps us get in shape and lose weight, but now more fitness facilities are incorporating counseling and mental health coaching to supplement your fitness regimen. We discuss why training your mental health may be as important as cardio.


This morning, Channel 13 featured Rosemarie “Bud” Seaman as a local everyday hero in our community. Click here, or go to, and click on Everyday Hero to see the video.  This is a great overview of Bud’s athletic achievements as well as showcases the many ways that she has given back to the community.  The segment is called “Former Olympian helping others through life’s troubled waters.


Bud was interviewed by Orlando’s Fox 35 News for its Good Morning segment.

FOX 35 News Orlando


The January 2015 issue of Orlando Magazine published an article about how to take a few minutes each day to use the “fitness tools” available in your workspace–your desk and office (or cubicle) walls–for some muscle strengthening.  Bud Seaman, owner of Ultimate Fitness in Winter Park, suggests which type of exercises to do.  The article includes photos of the exercises so that you can get visual cues as how to implement them.Click here to read the article.


Former Olympian battles obesity

By By Allison Olcsvay
September 18, 2013

His goal was to sit in a chair with arms again.

It’s something most people never consider. But to someone whose weight has crept into the morbidly obese range, this is an everyday embarrassment.

Not even the best exercise programs, diets or bariatric surgery could trim him down, said local trainer and exercise physiologist Rosemarie “Bud” Seaman recounting the story of one of her clients.

Seaman said that weight loss takes more than a few trips to the gym – it’s a state of mind.

“If you don’t change on the inside, any program will fail,” she said.

Bud’s Ultimate Fitness takes a whole-person approach to weight loss, partnering with mental health counselor Sandy Canfield.

“Overeating is emotionally driven,” Canfield said. “People mistake emotion for hunger. I help them connect the emotion to the cravings and sort through it.”

For someone needing to lose 50 pounds or more, feeling safe with a trainer, both physically and emotionally, is an important first step.

“For some people there are years of self-esteem issues, coupled with eating disorders and other emotional problems that need to be addressed, so we take our time, making slow, steady progress,” Canfield said.

Both Canfield and Seaman recognized the need for a team approach early on and began referring clients to each other almost from the beginning of the training center back in 1986.

Born and raised in Winter Park, Seaman began Bud’s Ultimate Fitness in a converted RV, traveling to clients’ homes to bring the fitness to them.

It wasn’t until Seaman found a permanent location that the center really took off, adding the ability to host group classes and circuit training.

Seaman brings her life experiences as a triathlete, marathon runner and Olympic swimmer to her clients, backed up by a master’s degree in exercise physiology.

But Seaman doesn’t rely solely on fitness training. She also lends emotional support and camaraderie – the most important part of the training, Seaman said.

“There are no judgments here,” Seaman said. “You don’t have to worry if you fit in. You are welcomed in with open arms.”

Longtime client Julie Cole appreciated these aspects of the training, making her feel comfortable in her own skin.

“I am very grateful for Bud, for creating a haven, where you can feel safe, loved and encouraged,” Cole said.

Sandy Carrell teaches a spinning class at Bud’s Ultimate Fitness and admits there are still days when choosing to get up and exercise is difficult.

“I never want to back off though, no matter what is going on, I know I can come here and talk through it,” she said.

Ron Lynch came to Bud’s Ultimate Fitness through a referral from his therapist, hoping to find ways to develop a healthier lifestyle to better manage his diabetes.

Three years later, he’s lost 60 pounds, gained control of his blood sugar and regained his ability to enjoy life again.

“I can now go on walks with my family and play with my 8-year old granddaughter,” Lynch said.

“The biggest thing for me is the caring environment and the focus on helping me improve my health,” Lynch said. “The regular exercise and emotional therapy has helped me to grow a lot as an individual and helps keep me on track.”

Even as the outer person shrinks, it’s the inner growth that means the most, Seaman said.

“I am thrilled for them,” Seaman said. “I’m very attached to all my clients. I know they are changing their lives, saving their lives, and it’s that inner change that’s important.”

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“Star Causes” Program
CBS Sports Radio 810

Ultimate Fitness on the Radio


Plus-size exercisers find comfort in gym class for obese

By Marni Jameson
March 1, 2013

Gyms can be intimidating. All those beautiful people, hard-core exercisers, pushy salespeople and that complicated equipment can send the average mortal running right back to the couch. But for those who bring with them an extra 100 pounds, gyms are downright terrifying.

“I don’t want to be in a gym where everyone is in significantly better shape,” said Ron Lynch, a 59-year-old insurance executive from Winter Springs. “I’m embarrassed.”

Recognizing that gym aversion is common among those who can most benefit from regular exercise, Winter Park trainer Rosemarie “Bud” Seaman, has created a gym for the heavyset. At her Ultimate Fitness, all machines are designed to handle at least 350 pounds. Her massage table can hold up to 700 pounds. And, she offers gym classes exclusively for plus-size participants.

“These are people who had trouble coming into a gym; they felt shame and guilt,” she said. “They were so fearful of what others might say, or that others would stare.”

Lynch, who has been attending Seaman’s class for a year, tried traditional gyms. “In spin class or zumba, I couldn’t keep up. That made me not want to come back,” said Lynch, who once weighed 330 pounds.

He also had trouble fitting into the equipment and had to force himself between the handles. “I was afraid people would see me not fitting.”

At Seaman’s gym, Lynch not only fits in, but he also fits.

“When they can’t get into a machine or worry that the [treadmill] belt will break, that just feeds into the whole problem,” said Seaman.

Although one in four Americans is obese (and 26.6 percent of Floridians), few gyms offer programs specifically for this population, said Justin Hazlett. He worked for the nation’s top big-box gyms before helping to launch a “gym for the fat not fit.”

Downsize Fitness opened in Chicago in 2011, and a second location opened in Dallas last fall. Members must need to lose 50 pounds or more to join.

The company is looking to add another gym in New York, and Orlando is on the short list, said Hazlett, who heads business development for the new concept gym. “We get a ton of requests from Orlando.”

Must be obese

To make the cut for Ultimate Fitness’ exercise class, clients must be obese or morbidly obese. “Most clients need to lose 50 to 150 pounds,” Seaman said.

Clinically, individuals are considered overweight if their body-mass index is 25 to 30, obese if their BMI is 30 or greater, and morbidly obese when BMI reaches 40 or more.

Seaman records clients’ body composition and weight weekly. At each class, participants do 30 minutes of cardio work and 30 minutes of weight training.

“I think the class is amazing,” said Sharon Krzyzanowski, clinical coordinator for the bariatric-surgery program at Florida Hospital Celebration, where she counsels obese patients about their lifestyles. “I love the concept. It puts people on the same level.”

Krzyzanowski hadn’t before heard of a gym dedicated to the obese, but she’s familiar with gym resistance.

“Three out of four patients I see at the center avoid the gym,” she said. “They feel embarrassed in front of others, particularly those women in tight little outfits and men in muscle shirts.”

Add to that the worry that they can’t do what others do because they quickly get short of breath or have joint pain, and they stay away, she said.

That’s a shame because exercise is especially important for this population. “It can help boost metabolism, aid and help maintain weight loss, and lift depression,” she said.

Group therapy

Heather O’Brien, a 50-year-old real-estate developer from Winter Park, likes Ultimate Fitness’ comfortable, small environment and the bonding that happens in her class.

“You don’t have to worry about looking like you’re not in shape,” she said. “We’re all working on the same weight-loss goals. I don’t feel I stick out, and I feel I’m being supported.”

Part of what motivates her to get up in time for the 6 a.m. class three times a week is the bonding. The group talks a lot about the emotional ups and downs of being obese.

“It’s like group therapy,” Lynch said.

“I like being with others who struggle with the same issues I do, the challenges that go along with having to lose 100-plus pounds,” said Lynch, who, since starting the class, has watched his weight go from a high of 330 pounds to his weight today of 270.

Though his ideal weight is around 165 pounds, Lynch who is 5 feet 10 inches tall, would “be a happy man” if he weighed 200.

O’Brien had been working with Seaman off and on for three years but got serious about losing weight in January. Since then, she has lost “close to 10 pounds.” She’d like to lose 50.

“My body is changing,” said O’Brien. “I’m tighter and stronger and have more motivation and energy. When that happens, the weight loss comes even faster.”

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed,” Lynch said. “You think, ‘Oh my God, I have to lose 100 pounds’ and want to give up instead of taking it one step at a time. That’s where Bud and the others help.”

Today, Lynch also feels stronger and has more energy and better mental focus. It’s easier for him to get out of the car and get on the floor to play with his granddaughter.

His blood pressure and blood sugar are down, said Lynch, who has hypertension and diabetes. But the best part, he said, “I am stepping back into having an enjoyable life.”

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Ultimate Fitness Owner Creates Save Haven for Obese Individuals
March, 2013

Rosemarie “Bud” Seaman, a former 1980 Olympic swimmer, Ironman triathlete and marathon runner, has owned Ultimate Fitness, in Orlando, Fla., for over 17 years. During her time as the club’s owner, she has had many plus-sized individuals come into her facility exasperated with the industry, and searching for weight-loss solutions.

“Many obese people would come into the club and say that they were uncomfortable working out in a traditional gym setting,” explained Seaman. “They said that they felt they were on display, or were scared they wouldn’t fit on the machines.”

Discouraged by the accounts of obese individuals’ negative gym experiences, Seaman decided to create her own solution. She made her gym a safe haven for the plus-sized and morbidly obese.

Seaman accomplished this by creating a weight-loss program specifically for individuals who needed to lose 50 pounds or more. As part of the program, participants receive meal plans, body fat and metabolism testing and weigh-in weekly. In addition, they have access to Ultimate Fitness’ “Plus Size” group fitness classes, and are encouraged to take two per week.

According to Seaman, the program is successful due to the support it provides. “The support and caring they get is something they wouldn’t necessarily get at other gyms,” said Seaman. “We’re really geared towards their size and physical ability.”

That support stems from therapy sessions. Seaman partnered with Sandy Canfield, a local psychotherapist, 10 years prior. As part of the program, participants are encouraged to take sessions with Canfield — it’s her job to get to the root of why a person chooses to overeat.

“People who are that overweight — obese — are really disconnected with their bodies both physically and emotionally,” explained Canfield. “They don’t know the difference between hunger and cravings. Through our programs they get really connected to their emotions, which is the real key.”

Canfield believes, especially in cases where an individual is obese, both therapy and fitness are the keys to true weight-loss success. “I think therapy is mandatory to success and gets overlooked,” she said. “I help them redirect their emotional distress and get to the real root of why they’re overeating.”

In addition to the program and Seaman’s partnership with Canfield, Seaman has also made the club’s equipment plus-size friendly. “I make sure all of my equipment accommodates plus-sized people,” said Seaman.

When searching for equipment it must accommodate 300 pounds or more, be wide and sturdy. In addition to the equipment, Ultimate Fitness’ massage tables accommodate 700 pounds or more.

“Many obese people’s fear is that the equipment in gyms will break or fall over,” said Seaman. “I always make sure that as I grow as a business I look for things that can accommodate my clients’ size,” said Seaman.

After Seaman’s clients have graduated from the weight-loss program, Seaman said they generally disperse into other areas of the club. “After they’ve lost the weight, then they start taking our group cycling classes or boot camps,” she said.

“There’s a real need for these types of programs and classes in our society,” continued Seaman. “People don’t see obesity as a disease. But just like people are addicted to alcohol or other drugs, obesity itself is a real addiction. It’s one of the hardest addictions to overcome, because you need food to survive. Sandy and I really tackle weight loss from the inside out.”

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Form a habit: Get fit, stay fit and live well

By Tammy Carter
Published June 15, 2006

It took Oprah 10 days of eating mashed potatoes and bread in Africa without exercising to tip her scale 10 pounds in the wrong direction. Now she knows for sure that “working out slows the aging process and makes you more vital.”

Meanwhile, Janet Jackson, who also struggles with her weight, spent weeks “just eating whatever I desired” to gain weight for a movie role. She added 60 pounds to her five-foot frame, creating a woman she couldn’t recognize in the mirror.

“My thighs got really healthy and hefty, and I got this really big stomach,” she says in the June 5 issue of Us magazine. “It was very different, being in that skin.”

I’m no celebrity, but boy, I sure can relate to their woes with weight. I have waged my own battle since I was about 5 years old. I lose weight, gain it back. I tried Weight Watchers and hired a personal trainer. I lose more weight, gain more back.

For my 40th birthday in 2002, I decided to run in a half-marathon. I trained and ran myself into a slimmer, healthier lifestyle, but did I keep it off? Fat chance. A serious foot injury nixed those plans.

Last month, I realized as I looked down the barrel of a size 16, I was the biggest I had ever been. Like Janet, I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.

I saw before me a life of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, cancer and limited mobility. That’s when I decided to join a 30-day weight-loss program run by Rosemarie “Bud” Seaman.

Her program, Bud’s Total Body Boot Camp, is touted as “a 30-day transformation, life-changing experience.” That’s just what I needed.

I walked into her Lee Road gym on May 1 feeling tired and disgusted, but determined to lose up to 20 pounds by the end of the program. I had my work cut out for me.

I had to adopt Bud’s meal plan consisting of egg whites, fruit, turkey, fish, chicken, plenty of greens and vegetables, and 100 ounces of water a day. No salt. No carbs. No sugar. No fat.

I exercised twice a day — for a total of three hours — five days a week. And those workouts were intense. I had never cried during a workout until I met Bud. Her treadmill is just plain evil.

The program includes four coaching sessions to help participants determine what triggers them to overeat. The sessions with therapist Sandy Canfield of Winter Park were enlightening, and not as painful as I expected.

The best part of boot camp is working with Bud. She knew just what to say when I didn’t lose weight.

“You lost 3 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of muscle for a zero net loss,” she told me. “Muscle takes up less space. You lost 10 inches. Look at the whole picture.”

Talk about spin control, but it worked. Despite those days of not wanting to complete one more spinning class or walk another mile on the treadmill or lift another weight, I survived Bud’s boot camp. In just 30 days, I lost 14 pounds, two dress sizes and 23 inches. I have more energy and stamina. I also have improved my eating habits, though I still crave pretzels. Just 26 more pounds to go.

“When you nurture your body, it reciprocates,” Oprah says in her June magazine.

“We don’t call it a diet plan,” Janet says. “It’s a way of life — good portions, nice, balanced meals.”

These are great lessons to learn about weight loss. Thanks to Bud, I have learned something else: “You can do anything for 30 days.” And turn your life around.