meet john: a change challenge success story
Breaking Point My blood work came back in October 2012 and my total cholesterol was up to 201. I snored. My mother suggested I take a snore test and get a sleep machine like my dad. My doctor asked if I wanted to take cholesterol medication. At 43 I had enough and felt I could work on my fitness and bring these things under control naturally instead of masking things with medication.
Change Challenge Accepted! Heather Frey asked me to review and give feedback on her Change Challenge program. I loved it. It is great for every person regardless of where they start. I told her I would start to work on making changes as I kicked myself into gear and keep her posted on my progress.
Goals Primary goal was to control all I could to ensure I will be around as long as possible for my family. In other words, work on all the things I could to be in the best shape possible. Secondary goals were to drop 40 lbs., fit into size 32s, start longboarding again, drop 10% bodyfat, reduce my total cholesterol and lower my blood pressure.
Deletions Sitting on my tail. Bread, pasta, rice, candy, ice cream, beer, wine, soda, coffee, juice, fried food, breaded food, potatoes, regular milk, pre-mixed yogurt, sauces, dressing, high sugar protein bars. Carbs and sugar across the board. Going to sleep past 11pm and working out when I found time. I also dropped (after consulting my family doctor) a medication she prescribed to me that I may have contributed to my weight gain.
Additions 1 hour a day of activity. At least 1 gallon of water a day. Green veggies, apples, berries, chicken breast, Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk, vodka/soda, lean meat such as filet, tilapia, tuna, more green veggies, Quest protein bars, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein. Going to sleep no later than 10pm and getting workout done before 7:30am each day. Daily vitamin and vitamin E supplement (at my doctors request).
Help! Not everyone can do it all on their own. I decided to start working with a trainer here in Austin, TX and was referred to a fantastic one…in fact the best I have ever worked with. I just cannot mix up the workout routines and am not that great with fine tuning food choices and caloric intake. Nicole Mendlik from MetaFitness here in Austin, TX kicked my tail into gear for the past 12 weeks. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I would get up early and do the group workout at their gym. She made me log my food, gave me homework the other days and mixed it up weekly. Halfway through I also found out that Nicole is a military veteran which I love and respect. It also explains the workout routines.
Fun Challenges I am fortunate to work with a fun group at a company that promotes and supports employee health and wellness. Every month the Well at Dell gym has challenges and in November the challenge was rowing as far as you could in 2 minutes on the ergometer. I rowed in college and worked hard through that month until the last day I gave it a try and won the challenge by 3 meters (632 meters). Challenges with friends made it fun to get some additional exercise in and break up the routine. A definite add!
Results My total cholesterol dropped from 201 to 149. My weight went from 250 to 211. Bodyfat dropped 11.3%. Blood pressure went from 135/90 to 117/72. I dropped from a size 40 to 32. And my oldest son Evan and I started hitting the streets on our longboards during the holidays and I stopped snoring. BAM!
Strangest observation Cucumbers always tasted bland but at 6g of sugar per cucumber, they started tasting sweet after about 9 weeks of really no sugar.
Updated goals Log my food every day. Drop 4-5% more bodyfat. Ignore the scale now that I am transforming more weight to muscle. Do a masters swim class once a week.
Change happens for everyone differently and it is an ongoing commitment. Best thing is to get started and make simple changes you can adapt to and build upon those over time. The Change Challenge is great for everyone and with Heather Frey we have a positive, experienced, friendly and motivating leader to help guide us all. Cheers!