At the beginning of 2011, the food bank challenged its employees to get healthier by shedding some extra weight, rightly so with the kickoff of the Pound for Pound Challenge. Sixteen employees committed themselves to the challenge for 12 weeks. “The Biggest Loser” would be the person who lost the greatest percentage of body weight.
Our Leading Overall Loser was our Vice President of Development Greg Higgerson! Greg lost approximately 30 pounds. Our Leading Female Loser was Jen Gibson! Jen lost approximately 15 pounds.
Here are some words Greg shared on his experience:
“One of the biggest [things I realized] was that I didn’t need to spend a single penny on special foods, pills or even a gym membership. Every bit of equipment that I needed to experience a healthy and sustained weight loss was already inside me. I’ve lost weight before utilizing various popular methods, only to gain it back over time. It’s always been so discouraging that I have been reluctant to even try it again. This time around I realized that I needed to work on my mind before I worked on my body.
I took some time and really allowed myself to consider what being too heavy has meant for both me and for my family. And then I thought about what it would mean in the future if I didn’t change things. Illness, disability, or worse for me, and a true burden on the people I love most. They don’t deserve that.
What they do deserve is a husband and father who actually has some energy left at the end of the day to be involved with their lives. I came to understand that for most of my marriage and my kids’ lives, I’ve been guilty of what songwriter Robert Earl Keen calls a ‘dreadful selfish crime.’ That my being overweight wasn’t something that ‘just happened to me,’ but was something that I have consciously or unconsciously chosen for myself. That’s when I realized that I could choose to do something different just as easily.”
“For me, doing something different has involved making smarter, more conscious decisions about the kinds of food I eat, and how much of it. I decided, for example, to become two-thirds of a vegetarian. Eat plant-based foods for two meals each day, and then have some meat (if I choose) with the third meal.
As someone who has gotten most of his vegetables on a Whopper with cheese over the past few decades, I expected that to feel like a sacrifice. It hasn’t. In fact, I now feel genuine cravings for salads and vegetables in ways that I’ve not before. I look forward to those plant-based foods, and often find myself skipping meat all together for a few days at a time just by chance. Doing something different has also meant getting off the couch in the evenings and moving my body.
It’s meant dragging my rear end out the door after the kids are in bed to walk/jog three miles. I expected that to be a dreaded and painful routine as well, but it wasn’t. Not after the first week or so. In fact, I started looking forward to my hour on the road each night as an unwinding experience where I could hook up my ear buds and Pandora radio and start to experience my favorite music regularly again. It’s my ‘hour of peace’ each day. Now on nights when I can’t get out there for some reason, I miss it.”
“In short, I’ve been able to take some very bad habits and replace them with better habits that really aren’t any harder or more expensive than what I was doing before. And the result is that I feel better, I have more energy, I don’t snore as much anymore, and I’m even singing better in my band. All of these things add up to a big positive that I now don’t want to give up. Not ever.”
Hooray for Greg and Jen!! We hope their success will inspire you towards better health too! Thank you everyone for participating in the Pound for Pound Challenge.
Maria Ali, RD, LD/N