Ellen Latham: She’s in the Orange Zone

September 5 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Body Language

Let’s start today with a loaded question: How do you feel about your body on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being totally confident? As women, many of us complain about the way our bodies look. There’s plenty of rhetoric out there urging us to get off the self-condemning train and love our bodies. It’s a great idea, yes, but maybe, just maybe, the thought of trying to bring our body-confidence level from 1 to 10 is holding us back. Perhaps our goal should be to feel more neutral, neither obsessive nor critical about our bodies. After all, that’s an attainable goal. And from there, a jump up to L-O-V-E is totally possible.


I recently completed a survey about how I feel about my weight. It revealed how other participants responded as well, and nearly every woman admitted she wanted to lose weight. Isn’t that the constant female struggle? As if we weren’t hard enough on ourselves, the American government has something to say about it too. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the annual cost of being an overweight woman in the U.S. is $524, and an astounding $4,879 for obese women, with much of the cost being related to treating health issues, like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as work-specific expenses like absences and disability coverage.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Ellen Latham, Founder of Orangetheory Fitness

Now that we’re all bummed about the obesity epidemic and our own struggles to stay in shape, let’s focus on what we can do about it. For many women, the only way to stay accountable to our bodies is to blast off the pounds in a structured class or workout program. And today’s Woman to Watch has dedicated her blood, tears and, oh yeah, a whole heck of a lot of sweat to create a fitness biz that’s quickly becoming a widespread phenomenon. Ellen Latham is the founder of Orangetheory Fitness, currently ranked at number one on the Women Presidents’ Organization’s list of the 50 fastest-growing women-owned businesses in the country.

In the 1990s, Ellen ran a fitness center in Miami. With her master’s degree in exercise science, it was a good fit. However, when she was laid off, this single mom faced an uncertain future. But like many savvy entrepreneurs we feature, Ellen saw this as a challenge, one she could overcome with thought and hard work. So, she turned her spare bedroom into a Pilates studio, training clients one on one. Eventually, emboldened to help her clients further blast fat, Ellen developed an interval-focused full-body workout, turning that spare bedroom into a full-blown studio, and Orangetheory was born.

Through short bursts on rowing machines, free weights and treadmills, Orangetheory participants enter what Ellen calls the “orange zone,” which occurs when their monitored heart rates reach 84 percent or higher of their usual rate for at least 12 minutes. Best yet, this produces an after-burn effect that enables exercisers to keep burning calories for as long as 36 hours after the Orangetheory workout!

By 2010, Ellen opened a gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida based on this concept, and when the experience caught on, she turned Orangetheory into a franchised business that has continued to gain steam, now boasting more than 700 gyms throughout the country.

Ellen believes she’s changing the world one heartbeat at a time, empowering participants to stretch their boundaries to become happier, healthier versions of themselves. And that’s a theory we can definitely support!


The biggest hurdle to working out is often getting started. Pat yourself on the back for rising to the challenge. Even Venus Williams, one of the all-time tennis greats, had to start somewhere. As she said:

“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and at some point, you will.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Get On The Dot in your inbox each day.
Copyright 2018 © On The Dot Woman - All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy