Contestants Final Blog
Rhonda Matthews –
Well we have completed our last weigh-in and it was a good one. Purple Team came out on top. Muriel, my teammate won overall. She lacked 1 pound losing 40 lbs. What an accomplishment. I came in second place, to my surprise. I wasn’t expecting that. This was such a wonderful experience, a lot of work and sweat but so worth it. A special thank you to the team of people who allowed me to be a contestant, a special shout out to Erin, much thanks and to let you know how much we all missed you the last couple of weeks. Natalie, A.D., and Jeremy, you guys rock. Baptist Health is so blessed to have you guys. You are all genuine, caring, and so hard working. We’ll miss you guys helping us. Finally, thank you to Baptist Health for sponsoring this competition, you have allowed me to get to the point where I’m no longer a risk to my insurance company per my Baptist Health life coach. That’s amazing in itself, plus the inches and lbs. off, have truly helped me feel great. Thanks to all you behind-the-scenes people for your hard work also. We’ve seen you sweat right along with us. Can’t wait to keep going to the gym and see all my new and cherished friends. Congrats to all our contestants we are all winners! Baptist Health really means it when they say “all our best” begins with me.
Robert Furrey –
It’s finally over! But really, it’s just the beginning in a new form. When I reflect back on how much I’ve learned, and how much I’ve changed, it’s a little overwhelming. But I can tell that doing this for three months has really ground into me better habits and a more healthy lifestyle. I don’t think I’ll ever look at food or a gym the same. I appreciate all the support and all the time people invested into me and the rest of the team. It is a significant investment, and I really appreciate it. This program has changed my life, my family’s life, and even some of my co-workers and friends. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I promise not to waste what has been given me. So I’ll finish the competition with one last thank you to everyone involved because the list would be too long to list them all individually and then start my new life at the same time. “THANK YOU!!!”
Michelle Cox –
This is my final blog for the UFC, and I can hardly believe that it’s over! Twelve weeks ago, the time seemed to stretch out forever, but it really went by quickly. I can’t honestly say that I enjoyed EVERY minute of it (the dreaded stairs) but I did enjoy parts of it, and most importantly, I learned a lot about fitness and about myself. I learned that I can do things I thought I couldn’t do, that I can fit a workout into my schedule, and that people can be incredibly supportive. The best part is how much better I feel, both physically and mentally, and the positive effect this has had on my family. My husband Cary has participated right along with me and he looks great! My daughter has started working out and my boys have learned (albeit reluctantly at times) to try some new and different foods. I have a new set of friends in my fellow contestants and a lot of support to continue what I have started from AD, Natalie, and Jeremy. Although I didn’t reach my weight-loss goal, I am confident that I will reach my goal with continued workouts and good eating habits. The final weigh-in was a lot of fun, and AD, Natalie, and Jeremy were good sports about the “challenge” we had planned for them! I am so proud of all of us for sticking with it and sticking together to encourage each other. Muriel was the overall winner and the Purple Team (Muriel and Rhonda) were the team winners and I am very proud of both of them and excited to see them continue on this journey. Portia was an awesome partner — she can always make me laugh! Jamie and Robert never failed to offer encouragement and support. We are all really winners! There are so many people to thank for making all of this possible that I’m afraid I will miss somebody if I start naming names. It has truly been a privilege to participate in the UFC and I am so glad that I gathered the courage to apply for it and grateful for the opportunity. I would encourage anyone who wants to make their health and fitness a priority to go for it in the next UFC!!
Week 9 (5-28-12)
It’s hard to believe that nine weeks have already passed! This was a good week for the Red team — Portia lost the most weight and I lost the most percentage at this week’s weigh in. The challenge, a scavenger hunt, was tough but fun. I think the Red team did great, placing second in the challenge! Everyone is working so hard, and I am still amazed at the support we all are receiving from everyone we meet. The next few weeks are crunch time (seriously, 100 crunches a day!) and I am nervous about spending the next week doing this on my own without AD’s direction. The toughest part is still managing the eating and dealing with cravings, although it’s not as bad as it was at first.
This past week I did really well and made up some lost ground, but then the holiday weekend rolled around and I’m back to where I was last weigh-in, ha! I know I’m doing the right things and I just need to keep hitting it hard and staying disciplined. I’m still losing inches and feeling great day-to-day, and that’s what I really care about. I’d love to win the whole thing, of course, but I’m in it for the long run. This next week is a little scary to do without a trainer, but Jeremy has done a great job teaching and coaching me. I’m ready for it, and kind of look forward to it.
Hello everyone. It’s been a bad week for physical activity. My doctor took me off work ’till Tuesday, May 29. Bed rest with muscle relaxers and pain meds. It seems as if I have over done it, a little. My back has been knotted up and has given me terrible pain. The rest seems to have helped some, but it’s still there. I have returned to work today and hope to be able to work out this week. This week we work out without our trainers for the first time. I’m so hopeful I can complete this fitness program with as little pain as possible and as great results as possible. I will have some followup test done on the 9th of June to make sure my pain is just muscle related. Please pray with me that all comes out good. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Have a great work week Baptist employees!
Week 8 (5-21-12)
Whew! What a week! I knew that this was going to get tougher as I got farther into it, so it was not surprising that I found myself sweating a lot more this week. From stairs to stair climber and everything in between, this has been one tough week for me. I think my past several weeks of work and family activities are catching up with me, so I am looking forward to this weekend with very little planned activity (except for workouts and walks, of course!) Eating right continues to be my biggest challenge, and while I think I am doing good, it’s getting harder to come up with supper ideas that are within my food plan that I can also feed my family. My boys are thoroughly tired of chicken, and to be honest, I don’t look forward to my salads like I did eight weeks ago! So this weekend I am planning to spend some time looking at recipes and ideas for healthy evening meals for all of us. We have tried some new things, like lentil soup, which my teenagers actually liked! My partner Portia and my fellow contestants are continuing to work hard, too, and are such inspirations. I continue to be grateful for all the support I am receiving from my family, BHRI family, and friends. What an amazing adventure this has been so far!
I’m so excited everyone! I exchanged clothes with my mom this week. I have lost so much weight my clothes are way too big! My mom needed the bigger size I was wearing so we swapped. I’ve gone down two sizes in my tops and pants… even my shoes are too big. I’ve had to buy new work out shoes. The weight alone is not the contributing factor it’s the inches. I weighed yesterday at the gym, which is something I rarely do between our bi-weekly weigh-ins. Looks like I’m down quite a bit from last time. That just encourages me to work harder. Things are looking up for me at this time in my life, I feel better than I’ve felt in years. I can see it on my teammate’s face and all the other competitors also. Everyone seems so determined to make this experience the best it can possibly be. I hope to be a positive role model for my mom, she has gotten to the point in her life where she has retired and say’s ‘I’ve spent all my life on my feet working and now it’s time for me to sit and enjoy myself.’ I want her to keep on her feet and keep going. She has gained weight and feels such low self esteem. I love her no matter her size, but I do worry about her health. She can barely walk across the room without running out of breath. I hope to get her out of the house and out walking soon. Only four more weeks to go, so I’ve got to get busy and work extra hard. I told Jeremy, one of the trainers, I have a special goal I’m shooting for, if I reach it I will be finding him for that special picture I spoke with him about. My goal was 40 lbs in 12 weeks… maybe? I’m almost half way there now! Watch out Jeremy! GO PURPLE TEAM!
Another week goes by, and the scales aren’t favoring me. But I’ve hit a few little milestones that keep me going. My favorite one is that I don’t have to hold my breath to tie my shoe anymore! And I’m looking for a scrap booker to let me borrow a leather punch to add a notch in my belt. Those are enough results for me for sure! The habits are starting to form, though, and I’m noticing more and more of the behaviors showing up in me naturally. I’m getting better and better at balancing meals and choosing healthy foods without even thinking about it. I bought some whole grain crackers and whole grain spaghetti and such this weekend and didn’t really even consider that as strange or was tempted to get any other kind. It’s a little weird, but that’s what we’re all here to do!
Week 7 (5-14-12)
Well… here we are at week seven. Only five more weeks to compete. I was proud of my 2 pound loss this week and a little disappointed also. Two pounds didn’t seem like a lot until one of my coworkers said that’s 8 sticks of butter! That is right and so far I’ve lost 52 sticks of butter… that sounds amazing! The best part is my co-workers are really beginning to notice my body is changing. Inches are coming off and I’m toning up. My energy level has increased so much over the last seven weeks. I actually feel like doing the things I use to let go in the afternoons, after my workouts. I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day weekend. I’ll be spending it with family and friends and as always, food! I am determined to lose more than 2 pounds this week so I’m gonna be a good girl and stick to my diet. My family is aware of my special diet and they are so good to fix things I enjoy and that are in my calorie range — except my sister-in-law’s stuffed mushrooms! God has been so good to me through this adventure and I look forward to the next five weeks. I will continue to go to the gym after this competition is over because of the way it’s making me feel both physically and mentally. I love Baptist Health. Go purple!
Wow! The Red Team rocked this week! At this week’s weigh in and challenge, Portia had lost the most weight percentage and I won the challenge! The funny thing about the challenge (holding a 16 ounce cup full of water in each hand with arms outstretched for as long as possible) is that I didn’t realize that I was the last one until I heard Portia saying “Michelle, it’s over! You won!” I still can’t believe that I held those cups like that for almost 5 minutes. It really made me realize just how much strength I gained in six weeks of AD’s “Arm Day” exercises! Everybody did great this week with weight loss and with the challenge. Like Robert said last week, even though there is a spirit of competition among us, there is also a spirit of “we are in this together” and I continue to find inspiration and encouragement from Portia, AD, and all the contestants and trainers. One thing that I think I am realizing more and more is that this is not really about winning over everybody else, but it is mostly about winning over myself — changing my attitude, my eating habits, my exercise habits (or, rather, establishing exercise habits ;0)) and doing it for the right reasons. I know the next five weeks aren’t going to be easy, but I have come too far to stop now. On a personal note, may I brag for just a minute? This Saturday, my daughter Elizabeth will graduate from Hendrix College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She will graduate with distinction, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. We are so very proud of her!
I lost a few extra pounds from being sick for last weigh in; however, I need to maintain it now, haha! Things are going pretty well, but I’m still worried on how my workouts will become of normal life after the competition. We have two small children, which makes it difficult to get away for an hour especially if my wife and I are both trying to work out and get healthy. We’re still figuring it out, but we’ll get it down because we’re both determined to. We’re starting to get the food down a little. We’re still working on recipes and systems that get us healthy and balanced meals, and I’m realizing that takes a pretty significant amount of time and dedication as well, especially with a picky wife and kids! I’m really excited about this coming week and next because my wife is going to start training with Jeremy! She’s been so supportive and has always wanted someone to train with, and after seeing how much these guys know, and can drive you, and teach you, it’s well worth the time and money! She’s going to start soon, and we’ll have a good partnership going on our workouts to keep us going well after UFC is at a close.
Week 6 (5-7-12)
It’s hard to believe we are at the end of week six and are halfway through the UFC! Sometimes it feels like I have been doing this forever! Everyone is still working so hard and even though I may get discouraged sometimes, it seems like my teammate or trainer or fellow contestant is always there to offer encouragement. I have taken Rhonda’s advice and started counting my blessings while walking up stairs, or on the treadmill, or on the dreaded elliptical and stair stepper! It really helps to make it a positive mental workout as well as a physical workout. The hardest part of this is still the battle with cravings, especially the bread and sweet stuff. Grocery shopping is definitely a no-no when I am hungry because everything in the bakery looks good, even stuff I didn’t like before! The exercise has been hard this week, too, but I actually was able to walk all the way to the 11th floor at BHMC TWICE the other day. I have had to increase my distance on the morning walks because I was getting home in about 23 minutes. And, I had to go buy a belt because my pants are too loose and I was tired of constantly having to pull them up! These are all positive changes and I am happy with them. Now, I want to see the scale move down some more!
It’s finally Friday! Weigh-in Monday is just around the corner… I really have to get busy this weekend. I have lost weight this week but not the results I would like. I am determined to lose at least 4 pounds by Monday. Due to Natalie’s schedule we had to do our workouts on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week. I am so sore and tired right now that I am dreading the workout today. I will push through some how. Three days in a row is a killer! I feel so much better after the workout, some workouts are easier than others. I’m sure it depends on how I’m feeling that day. All is well with my blood sugar. Since I changed insulin, no more drops in the middle of the night. I hope Baptist Health will continue this program in the years to come, it really can make a difference in peoples lives. I’m so proud to have been chosen to participate in this year’s competition. I have so much fun just watching my body change. My legs amaze me, they are so toned… the flab is melting away before my own eyes. My partner Muriel is looking great also. I can really see a change in her body. She is such a trooper. Natalie is pushing us more every week. We’re doing new things and that keeps it interesting. I can’t believe some of the things my body will do now. GO PURPLE!
Week 5 (4-30-12)
Rhonda Matthews — Team Purple
What a beautiful life I live….God is in control, when you let him do the directing, everything works out so good! I saw the doctor this week and he has helped me beyond belief… changed my insulin and has cut it half… he says I may not even need to be on it if I keep losing weight and eating healthy. According to him I have lost 17 lbs. since I last saw him. He had the biggest smile on his face, I could see how proud of me he was. He has been my saving grace so many times in the past year. He is a spiritual man of God and he knows me better than I know myself. I’m so blessed to have him as my doctor and my friend. My workout has been good this week. I was the winner Monday at our weigh-in…I lost the most % of my body weight and my partner Muriel won the weekly challenge. GO PURPLE! I have learned to never give up, when I think I can’t take another step, I begin to pray. When you thank God for all he’s done for you, it takes a while! Before you know it, time has passed and your almost finished with the task. I use to have the habit of counting my steps and that was bad, it seemed to take hours to walk 20 minutes on the treadmill. Now, I close my eyes and ask God to give me strength to finish, and he always does. I love seeing the weight loss on my body… things that were flabby are now feeling tight. I’m even losing in my stomach, which is my biggest problem. My family carries their weight in the same place I do, right smack dab in the middle. I am determined to lose this stomach and my goal is 40 lbs. by the end of our challenge. As I’ve stated many times, I love Baptist Health and what it stands for “all our best.” By allowing us this opportunity to participate in this challenge, shows how much they really care about their employees. Thanks as always to Natalie, Jeremy and A.D. for all their support!
Robert Furrey — Team Green
The last weigh-in didn’t go as well as I was hoping. I know it’s a cliche thing to say, but I really feel that my lack of weight drop can be attributed to muscle gain. I’ve noticed that over the last month, I’ve been able to lift much heavier weights, do more pushups in a set, and run much farther. I know that I am much stronger and feel better than when we started. Also I can tell that I’ve been losing a lot of fat weight because I’ve tightened my belt loop up 3 notches. Today was the first day that I set it on the 3rd notch down from where I started. So even though the scales aren’t reflecting my effort, I can tell in inches, strength, and energy levels which is really why I started doing all of this! I’m also so proud of my teammate and the other contestants. This is such a hard change to make, and they’re really giving it their all. There’s still a spirit of competition, but I think we all see each other as one team and encourage each other. I was nervous signing up for the competition, and I’m definitely glad that I did. Not just for my personal accomplishments, but to see everyone working so hard. It really is inspiring. Go UFC!!!
Week 4 (4-23-12)
Rhonda Matthews — Team Purple
Week four of our fitness challenge… as I sit here at my desk this Friday morning, I am so thankful to be here. Last night I had the worst feeling in the world. My blood sugar dropped to an all time low. I struggled to even stay conscious. I couldn’t get to my phone, as I was so weak. I made it to the kitchen grabbed some fruit, to the chair and turned on the fan. I had broken out in a cold sweat and was shaking uncontrollably. I prayed for strength to overcome the situation. With God’s help and lots of fruit being shoved into my body as fast as I could eat it, I overcame it. It brought back a memory from one of my favorite movies, Steel Magnolias. Julia Roberts played a diabetic in this movie and had the same problem… her mom played by Sally Fields rushed to pour orange juice down her throat. This is a learning experience. I have cut my insulin in half, from 50 units in the morning and at night, to 25 units. Looks like I still need to adjust as I lose weight and become more active. I feel so bad that I had to eat all that fruit and consume all those calories. It seems like I have done harm to all my hard work. I know God will help me overcome these issues because it is he who brought me to this. On a brighter note, I walked on the elliptical for 15 minutes Thursday… did 100 crunches and walked the stairs. If you had told me 4 weeks ago that I would be doing any of these things, I would have said impossible! My peeps at work, are so encouraging to me… First thing this morning, after feeling so bad last night and fearing I had messed my diet up, Ms. Lee, my coworker who is always so positive, looked at me and stated “Ms. Rhonda, your slimming on down.” I really needed to hear that this morning. After our morning huddle, we always have someone who volunteers to read an inspirational story… this morning Belinda read a story which the moral was, “God is always on time.” He knows our needs even before we do. I love Baptist Health and I love all my co-workers. I have made so many new friends thru this fitness challenge and I feel like they will be friends for life. Natalie, my trainer really believes in me and she pushes me to be the best I can be. Even when I think I can’t take another step, I do, because she see’s the person in me who’s screaming to come out. The other trainers and contestants are just as supportive of me as my own trainer. What a great group of individuals. We weigh in on Monday for the second time, I will work extra hard this weekend to hopefully erase some of the damage from last night. My goal is to loose 5 lbs this time. I know that’s not possible every weigh in, but it would be nice… I CAN do this! GO PURPLE TEAM!
Michelle Cox — Team Red
I can’t believe it’s already the end of week 4 and almost time for the next weigh-in. AD has had us working (sweating!) really hard this week and I must admit to being a little sore in the mornings. Eating right along with the exercise remains my biggest challenge, but I really do feel like I am doing better with this. It will be tough to get through a family reunion next week without overdoing the food, but my sister has been helping plan some things that she and I will take to the potluck so that I can stay on my eating plan without feeling deprived. Getting ready for the weigh-in is making me nervous. I haven’t stepped on the scale at all these two weeks, but I am feeling a real difference in how my clothes are fitting and my energy level has been good. I am anxious to see what the scale says! My teammate Portia continues to work really hard, and we are receiving so much support from our BHRI family! I am so proud of Portia and our fellow contestants. Everyone is staying positive and encouraging each other so much!
Robert Furrey — Team Green
The past week has been a struggle. Mostly because I track my own weight at home and I’ve not seen much loss. However, I know that I’m losing a lot because my clothes are a lot looser and I’ve dropped two belt loops. But I must be building a lot of muscle to replace the fat, I guess. Not that I’m not down, I’m just not as down as I want, haha! Jeremy has been great and keeps reminding me to keep my eyes on the long term goal and not the immediate weight-ins. I can tell that I feel better, am stronger, and have more energy than when I started, and that’s enough to keep me going! My teammate is doing great too! I’m so proud of her! I know it’s hard, and she and I can feel the weight of the challenge, but I know she’s got the fire burning to push her through. GO GREEN TEAM!!!
Week 3 (4-16-12)
Michelle Cox — Team Red
Getting the first weigh in over with was a milestone. Everyone has worked so hard and got such good results this week! I am so proud of all of us! I cannot lie about this, though: I was disappointed when the scale showed that I had actually gained .4 of a pound. AD had told me from the very beginning that it might happen that way, because I am building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle also burns fat more efficiently, so as I add muscle, I will begin to see a decrease in fat and will lose some weight. He also said I would start to feel a difference in the way my clothes fit before the scale shows a big loss. He was right about that, too — my clothes seem to be fitting better and are more comfortable already. The first challenge was tough… especially for the shortest contestant! Getting down the length of the pool and back 6 or 7 times really wore me out, but I think Portia and I did a respectable job! We have done a lot of strength work this week. Monday was “arm day” and Tuesday was “leg day.” I’m a little nervous about today’s special! I continue to be amazed and humbled by the support I have received from my family, my friends, my BHRI family, my fellow contestants and from AD, Natalie, and Jeremy. It really helps to strengthen my resolve to see this through!
This has been an intrusting week… my body seems to be rebelling against itself. My Monday workout went fine other than feeling extremely tired… could have been that weekly weigh in challenge in the pool… that was tough. Will my team ever win a challenge? We did, however win the most important challenge, the weight loss percentage. I’m so proud of my team mate Muriel, she’s so committed and determined. She, like myself, has joint issues and this program has truly stood up to it’s name “challenge.” Natalie our trainer has been so kind as to avoid the problem areas we both have, and plans a special workout to avoid our joint issues. She always ask me “Rhonda, are you ok?” I guess it’s because I look like I’m about to pass out after every exercise. Muriel told me when she’s walking to her car after every session that people stop her and ask if she’s ok? We look pretty bad now, but by week 12 hopefully, we’ll be jogging to our cars. Wednesday, I wasn’t able to work out with my trainer. I developed a pain in my left side about 1:00 p.m., not sure what it was, I just walked on the treadmill for 20 minuets and rode the bike for 10 minuets. I rescheduled my session for Thursday, and everything was back to normal. I have still had issues with my blood sugar this week. It dropped last night at 2:30 a.m. to 62. I’m so glad that it wakes me up when this happens so I can eat to correct this. I will be so proud when I lose enough weight to get off the insulin. That is my ultimate goal! The girl’s in my office have been commenting on my clothes looking so big on me… their so kind and supportive. Maybe I’ll be able to buy a new wardrobe when we finish the fitness challenge. I’m meeting a classmate I haven’t seen in over 35 years tomorrow (since high school). I’m so thankful I have had the opportunity to work out and lose a little weight already. Can’t wait to see him, but a little scared also, I’m about 30 pounds heavier now. I hope to be at my high school weight, or smaller, when we complete our program. Thank you God for sending me to work at Baptist Health and for being chosen to compete in this amazing program. Good luck to all the other contestants on the other teams, “GO PURPLE TEAM.”
Robert Furrey – Team Green
The 25% mark is just around the corner, and I can tell a lot has changed. My dress shirt’s neck size seems to fit a lot better, and I’ve had to tighten my belt two notches tighter. So I can’t complain about that! Not to mention everyone says my face is a lot thinner, ha! My biggest struggle is still the diet. It really takes a lot of work to build nutritious, balanced meals. And it’s even more frustrating how many restaurants you eliminate from your list because they don’t have any veggies! But the workouts have intensified. There definitely wasn’t any time to celebrate winning the first weigh-in! I was expecting it to be that way, and I’m glad it was that way. I look forward to the next weigh-in and challenge. I know the ladies have been working even harder, and I won’t be surprised if they take the top spot this weigh-in. I’m also really proud of my teammate. She’s doing an amazing job and pushing herself. GO GREEN TEAM!!!
Week 2 (4-9-12)
Michelle Cox — Team Red
Week two is coming to a close, and it has been busy and challenging! I am getting nervous about the first weigh in on Monday! AD has had us do more cardio in our workouts this week, which means more sweat! AD seems to enjoy making people sweat. Go figure. The challenge this week has been to push my body to do things it doesn’t want to do and to push through the hard part. Tuesday was a particularly tough day for me, but seeing my fellow contestants working hard and having them encourage me to keep going really helped. The support I have received from everyone has been wonderful — every day, someone manages to give me a hug and tell me how proud they are that I am doing this! Portia is really hanging in there, and I can already see a difference, especially in her face. She is so upbeat, and it makes me smile to listen to her singing while she walks on the treadmill (she has a lovely voice, by the way!) One thing I am going to have to work to on is getting to sleep earlier… I am very bad to get involved in a book or the computer and stay up too late. It makes it really hard to get up in the mornings to go on that walk! Changing eating habits has been a big focus of this week. I love, love, love bread and starchy foods, which I have had to cut down on especially at the evening meal. My real challenge was at the conference I attended last weekend. I did great at breakfast, but had some issues with lunch and supper that I could have done better with. My goal this week is to make every day count, food-wise, to get me to a healthier place. Finally, I’d like to wish my husband Cary a happy anniversary today (April 6)! I hope our next 27 years are healthy and active because of the changes we are making now (and yes, he is still getting up at 5:30 to go on a walk with me!)
Rhonda Matthews — Team Purple
Today is my second blog of the fitness challenge. As I anticipate the weigh in on Monday, I am a bit concerned. I was not getting in all the food and calories that my trainer requested. I’ve always been told, you gain weight because you eat too much. Natalie, my trainer, looked over my spark people calorie counter and noticed I was not eating the recommended daily allowance of calories. She stated, “Rhonda you’re going to gain weight if you don’t eat enough.” She explained your body will store the calories you do not eat because it doesn’t know when you will feed it again. This is a lesson well learned… I just hope I don’t pay for thta in my weigh in on Monday… The hardest part for me is getting in breakfast, a proper breakfast. I’ve never been one to eat breakfast although I’ve done much better this week. I have seen so many changes in myself over the past two weeks. Not only physically but mentally. My mind set has completely changed. I think it is due to the fact that my body is getting waht it needs now and before I was feeding it what I wanted, with no conern as to what effects it was having on me. My blood sugar is way down now and I’m not drinking water like I should. When my sugar was up, I stayed thirsty all the time… it’s a good thing for my sugar but not so good that I’m not taking in all the water I need. I’ll continue to work on that. I have had to reduce my insulin shots. This is also a good thing but it can be tricky. My blood sugar has dropped on me twice this week. It’s very scary feeling when you live alone. It’s hard to even walk into the kitchen for joice to bring it back up to normal. I will also continue to work on this as now I keep something by my bed in case it drops again. I look forward to spending Easter Sunday with my family. There will, of course, be a family meal. I will go prepared with my salad just in case. I don’t need an opportunity to go astray. Once again I will say I have enjoyed every moment of the callenge. I honestly believe God is directing my steps everyday and allowing me to have teh strength to compete and also enjoy this amazing adventure at the same time. A special thanks to Natalie for her compassion and drive to see me succeed. Go purple team!
Robert Furrey – Team Green
Week two has gone by a lot faster than week one, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting used to the routine of working out three times a week or if life is just getting busier. The number one thing that I’ve learned this week that I didn’t expect was that the diet is the most difficult part of the competition. I can show up to the gym three times a week and work out really hard and even do my extra exercises at home, but having to plan and buy and eat the right foods four or five times a day is really tough! Learning how to balance your meal with protein, complex carbs, and veggies is not easy. Planning and prepping really is the key. Also, it’s been difficult trying some veggies outside of my comfort zone and trying to integrate them into my meals and learning how to cook new dishes. I’m just surprised how important diet is to success and how much more difficult it can be! Despite all of this, Jeremy has been great guiding me and Jamie. He’s very accessible and doesn’t mind me texting him a picture of my lunch to get his thoughts on it (which is usually add more veggies, ha!). I’m a little nervous about the first weigh-in, and I’m hoping we all do well. Jeremy has spent enough time explaining to us to focus on the three-month goal and developing healthy habits, and not just the first weigh-in. But a little part of me still wants to see a decent drop given all the effort I’ve poured in. It’s going to be fun, and I can’t wait!!!
Week 1 (4-2-12)
Michelle Cox — Team Red
This has been a challenging week, to say the least. The weigh-in and challenge on Monday was very exciting! I was happy to get started and to meet the other contestants. Most exciting was to learn that Portia is my partner and AD is my trainer! Portia is a very positive, upbeat person who never fails to make me or anyone else she meets laugh. I think we will be a great team! And then to get AD for our trainer… most people think we should be scared, but I know that even though AD is tough, he has our best interests at heart. Portia and I have both had some very challenging workouts with AD this week and more than a few of those “you want me to do what?” moments (like climbing up 9 flights of stairs!) It’s been very moving to have the support of my BHRI family (they are WAY more than just co-workers to me!) and also the support of my husband and family at home. This week, my sweet husband Cary has gotten up at 5:30 every morning to go on a 30 minute walk with me and my 2 boys have “tried” to eat some different, healthier foods, like quinoa and spinach salad. I’m a little nervous about eating this weekend because I will be out of town at a continuing education course. That means a hotel with a continental breakfast (read: table full of donuts) and eating out for several meals. AD and I talked about it and problem-solved some things. The main thing is to “Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared” according to AD. Wonder if he was ever a Boy Scout?? Looking forward to next week’s workouts and the first weigh-in!
Rhonda Matthews — Team Purple
How exciting to be chosen to compete in the Baptist Health Fitness Challenge. A month has gone by as I anticipate and wonder, what have I gotten myself into… you see, I’ve always had good intentions… but seem to always fall short of achieving my weight loss goals. Weighing in, in front of so many people was certainly a fear, maybe that’s why I waited until the last day to apply. When I was chosen for an interview I was shocked, there were so many applicants. Then, when I received the phone call, I was chosen, I thought, this is meant to be, it is given to me by God. I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer in May of last year. We had been married for 32 years and were high school sweethearts. It devastated me, I was lost and didn’t know who I was without him. Still to this day I cry myself to sleep every night. Life without him has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. Yet, as I look back I see that God has laid out a path for me. How was I to take care of myself? My health is so bad due to diabetes and high blood pressure, I wondered if I will be able to hold down a job? God had a plan. I believe he placed me here at Baptist Health. It’s been a blessing to work here. To be able to pray anytime I like anywhere I like. I have met some of the greatest people in the world at Baptist Health. God placed me in this fitness program and I feel he’s allowing me to have a new start in life. The people in this program are such caring, genuine individuals. From the trainers to the other participants. I’ve completed the first week of training and I will tell you the truth, it was so much easier than I ever dreamed. I have enjoyed every second of it. I’m a very competitive person and I hope I do Baptist Health proud as well as Natalie my trainer. I know it will get more difficult as we go, with God’s help I know I can take this wonderful opportunity and use it and give myself a true gift, a healthy body.
Robert Furrey – Team Green
It’s been one of those weeks that have felt long, but short at the same time. When I think about the initial weigh-in and team selection, I can tell it was only a week ago, but when I think about the amount of workouts and healthy eating choices that I’ve been doing, it feels like I’ve been doing this for a month already! I’m excited for me and my team mate because we are both stretching ourselves, and I know that it’s going to change our lives and our family’s lives. It’s inspiring to walk into the gym and not just see my team mate, but all the contestants working and pushing themselves. I love it! I’ve learned a lot already, and I’m realizing how much I thought I knew that I really didn’t know about nutrition and exercise. It has been difficult, but I’m already feeling the difference in my energy levels and health. The hardest moment I’ve had so far was going to a friend’s house for dinner with hamburgers and chips with cheese dip. I can decimate some chips and cheese dip. But I had one hamburger and brought some steam fresh sweet peas to eat instead of the chips. It wasn’t much fun to watch everyone else eat until they were stuffed while I shoveled 4 cups of peas (I didn’t realize how much I had, haha!) But the next morning, it wasn’t that big of a deal, and I felt great still. I know it’s going to be even tougher (I’ve tasted humus, and I know it could be worse), but I’m excited to push myself and see what can be done. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and the sacrifice that everyone is making to help me with my health. GO GREEN!!!