By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
New Year’s resolutions crop up like weeds … and wilt almost as fast. But the Professor has found a couple of fellow QC Big Losers who are determined to keep their 2017 promises to lose weight and keep it off. Tune in next month for another update!
Amy Jones says you have to be ready. And as the New Year and her 37th birthday approached, she was ready to focus on her health.
“I want to be really healthy now,” Jones said. “I want it to become a part of my life going forward.”
Amy is busy with a growing career and an active family. She’s the associate director of development for the Trinity Health Foundation.
It’s hard to turn the focus on yourself at this stage of life, but she doesn’t want to wait until her kids are grown to concentrate on her fitness.
So she signed up for the QC version of the Biggest Loser Contest that worked for me. So far, she’s upbeat about the changes she’s made .. even though, on weigh-in day this week, she was only down one pound. That’s despite being down 5 pounds mid-week.
“I was dismayed when I stepped on the scale,” Amy said.
“Not good. I was really discouraged, but I have to keep it in perspective. I’ve got to think about the long game. It’s nice to have focus for 12 weeks.”
Amy is a goal-setter and she has goals for this contest.
One of her goals is to run the St. Patrick’s Day 5k and set a personal best. She downloaded an app, Couch to 5k, to help her. And she is going to the Bettendorf Y 5 days a week, at 5 a.m. She runs on the track 3 days/week, and on the other days, she attends a cardio class.
She also had some success last year with the Whole30 Program, which eliminates whole chunks of your everyday diet, such as sugar, gluten, and dairy. This year, she’s modified the program to fit better with her lifestyle and body needs.
Amy found that sugar (a hidden ingredient in a lot of foods) made her sluggish, and when she worked to reduce her intake, she had a lot more energy.
So for one thing, she makes her own mayonnaise –which she says is really easy – so she can eliminate the sugar in it.
Amy also plans her meals for the week.
“I do a ton of cooking on Sundays,” she says, “and I pack some lunches for the week. I find if I make a little extra for dinner, I’ve got my lunch for the next day.”
So far, this is paying off.
“I work in an industry where eating out is a part of my job,” Amy says. “ My biggest achievement, so far, is that I have not gone out to lunch a single time.”
She knows that can’t continue, but as her new lifestyle becomes a habit, she says it’ll be easier to make healthier menu choices.
And her healthy choices are not only helping her, they are helping her family.
Her husband, Jason, is now running regularly again, and her kids now know that an apple is a better snack to ask for than a muffin.
Amy is the second person I’m following during this year’s Biggest Loser Contest. The other one, St. Ambrose Track Coach Dan Tomlin, says the first couple of weeks have been a roller coaster. In Week #1, he dropped more than 6 pounds, but Week #2 he only lost another half pound.
Amy and Dan, take it from this Big Loser: don’t be discouraged. You have 12 weeks. There will be good weeks and weeks that aren’t as good. Changing your lifestyle is not easy … but it’s worth it!