I didn't do a great job last week. In fact, it was my worst week so far.
I was hungry all the time. I made poor food choices, had no energy and didn't work out hard enough or often enough. Most nights I was in bed by 8 p.m., usually right after eating a high-calorie dinner. (Thursday, for example, I ate a healthy salad for lunch but consumed a mass of junk food at supper.) My weight stayed the same, but that's about the only good news.
I need some inspiration, so this week, I'm turning to a few of The Oklahoman's fitness superstars for help. You may recognize their names — Julie Bisbee, Jenni Carlson and Bob Doucette — but you probably don't know their personal stories.
So here they are. I'm letting them tell their tales in their own words.
Julie Bisbee, Capitol reporter
"When the scale reached 170 pounds, my heart sank. I'm sure I chalked it up to water retention or some other excuse. But deep down, I knew I didn't want to be that dangerously close to 200 pounds. In the fall of 2007, I started Weight Watchers. I'd like to say improving my health was the primary motivator to drop nearly 30 pounds, but it wasn't. It was vanity. I was getting married in the spring of 2008. I didn't like the way I looked in my engagement pictures. Chubby arms, full round hips, a little bit of a double chin and a paunch belly. Wedding photographers aren't cheap. If I was going to lay out the cash, I wanted to love how I looked in my wedding pictures.
"When I started Weight Watchers, I didn't think my diet was all bad. I ate a lot of veggies and didn't drink pop. The program helped me to realize that little bites before making dinner or nibbles off somebody else's plate have calories too. Some days I just had to think about food as fuel. Not something that would make me happy, curb boredom or end depression. Other days I could indulge and realize that when I fall off the healthy eating train, I've got to hop right back on the next one.
"I never thought of myself as athletic. It is a well worn joke with family and friends to talk about how I am so uncoordinated. I decided to ignore all that and pretend to be a runner or some other type of athlete. Maybe it would feel right eventually. It did. At the end of the process I ran a 5K in under 30 minutes. I've kept the weight off nearly three years now. In that time, I've had a baby, gained 50 pounds and lost it. Using habits learned in Weight Watchers and being a busy mom, I've lost the weight and now weigh 143 pounds."
Jenni Carlson, sports columnist
"I had an 'aha' moment in October 2007. I saw a picture of myself and couldn't believe it was me. I decided that I had to make a change.
"I'd tried several fad diets before, so I knew from those failings that I needed structure if I wanted to succeed. I joined Weight Watchers, and the combination of the plan, the meetings and the accountability worked for me. I started out at 194.4 pounds. I've been as low as about 135 pounds, but now I am maintaining around 145 pounds.
"I've changed my eating habits, though I still like my chocolate chip cookies. But while that was a big deal, I never would've dropped the weight had I not started running. I run three miles four to six times a week. Truth be told, I really don't like to run, but I like to eat more than I hate to run. It was a huge deal to have lost that weight, but frankly, it's been ever bit as empowering to be able to maintain my weight loss for more than two years. It would've been easy to gain it back."
Bob Doucette, breaking news reporter
"About 10 years ago, I weighed 206 pounds (not good on a 5-foot 9-inch frame) and had a cholesterol level in the 280s. I'd been hitting the lunch train a bit too often with co-workers, and my inability to take on relatively mild physical exertion without feeling totally spent weighed heavily on me. I knew I had to make a change, or I was headed for trouble.
"I'd heard about a fitness program called 'Body for Life,' which used a combination of weightlifting, interval cardiovascular exercise and a diet consisting of healthy foods consumed in six 'mini-meals' per day. In 2003, I followed the program for the prescribed 12 weeks and dropped to 176 pounds. My cholesterol plummeted.
"Suddenly, a whole new world of activities opened up. I'm not 176 pounds anymore (more like 185), but I'm still relatively fit. At 40, I enjoy participating in all manner of sports and have started taking on things like backpacking and mountain climbing. I still follow the principles of diet and exercise I learned back in '03, and I try to stay off that dreaded lunch train."
Staff Writer Ken Raymond began a yearlong weight loss and fitness journey on April 1.Here are his stats:
Height: About 6 feet 1 inch
Beginning weight: 307 pounds
Current weight: 273 pounds