Living Fit: ISBA ‘buddies’ with attorneys to stay fit during the holidays

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

mcgoffI don’t know anyone, including myself, who has not gained weight over the holidays. You know, that dangerous time of year between Halloween and Jan. 2 when weight mysteriously creeps up on your thighs, stomach and other unmentionable areas. Every year, I tell myself I won’t gain the usual 10 pounds. I start strong but quickly weaken from the endless temptation of mini-size candy bars at Halloween, the Thanksgiving feast (eating as though it were my last meal), and the brownies, cake, pies, cookies, ice cream, beverages and other scrumptious treats that stare at me from the buffet table until I have at least one of everything.

To add insult to injury, I exercise and move less. I’m too busy attending parties, shopping for the perfect gifts and traveling to find time to exercise. The mornings and evenings are cold and dark, so I make excuses about getting outside to exercise or go to the gym. There is no maintenance needed in the yard, so I sit more. I park close to the door everywhere I go because it’s too cold to walk in from the out lot. I find myself layering on more clothes to keep warm (and hide the extra cookies I’ve consumed). I know I’m not alone!

This year, do something different! Your Indiana State Bar Association has launched the Maintain No Gain Buddy Campaign. This is your chance to stay healthy during the holidays, maintain your current weight, receive daily health tweets from me to keep you going, and win a Fitbit Pedometer, graciously donated by Court Call. Throughout this eight-week challenge, I will be following “challenge buddies” Kerry Hyatt Blomquist and Patti McKinnon and will keep you updated about their progress so you can be encouraged by their stories as you go through your own “buddy challenge.”

Like most of us, Kerry and Patti work full time, have families and are often over-committed and exhausted from their full days. Kerry is legal counsel for the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Patti is a solo practitioner in family law. Kerry is the 2013 Indianapolis Bar Association president, teaches a class at the law school, is a homeowner, the mother of two teenage sons and has two dogs. Patti has three very busy children (translation: mom drives them and attends their events) and two dogs. She serves on the board of her church, and she plays handbells and sings in the choir, resulting in many weekly practices and meetings, especially at holiday time.

Despite Kerry’s busy agenda, she realizes the importance of being aware of her health and keeping her baseline health scores (blood pressure, cholesterol and weight) stable from year to year. Despite this forward-thinking mentality, Kerry typically gains five to seven pounds over the holidays, mainly due to the abundance of food and treats at parties as well as the dark days that disrupt her outdoor running routine. Never one to give up, Kerry takes indoor cycling classes but admitted the motivation to go to the gym after work on a cold, dark evening is a challenge. Kerry’s goal for this challenge is to maintain her weight and get in better shape. She expressed that having a buddy to keep her motivated this season will be the support she needs to go to spin class and make better food choices. She will also rely on her mantra, “Take the path of least resistance,” or think about the choices you make now so that in January you don’t say, “I wish I hadn’t done that.” You don’t have to take the weight off if you never put it on.

Patti also knows how important it is to maintain good health. She currently attends a weekly pre-diabetes class with her husband and tries to stay active in the winter with Tai Chi and indoor biking. However, she admitted it is harder to stay motivated and dedicated to exercise in the winter. She tries to eat healthy but is tempted during busy times by the lure of fast food restaurants at every corner. Patti snacks more during the holidays because of the extra food choices at parties, and she forgets to schedule “me” time to exercise, resulting in no exercise or cutting corners on her sleep in order to fit it all in. She typically gains at least five pounds each holiday season and struggles to lose it. Patti believes this challenge will make a difference in her eating and exercise habits, and she hopes to lose weight. She is glad to have a buddy to keep her accountable and give her encouragement.

What are you waiting for? Let’s go! Grab a partner and do-si-do! You can sign up for the ISBA challenge by going to and clicking the “Maintain No Gain” story link under “legal news” on the homepage.

If you have a buddy challenge story to share, please email me at•


Sharon McGoff is a graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a certified personal trainer and health fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine, and a certified life and wellness coach with WellCoaches Inc. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

ISBA Maintain No Gain Holiday Buddy Challenge

Challenge rules:
1. Choose a buddy to help you along this journey. You are required to have a buddy who will also weigh in each week and encourage you along the way.

2. Register by with the ISBA by mailing or emailing your registration form to: (Entries postmarked by Nov. 30 will be accepted.) Cost to register is $20 per person (ISBA Member) or $30 (Non-ISBA Member). Checks and credit cards will be accepted.

3. Weigh in each week. Once you have signed up, you and your buddy should both weigh in to establish your starting weight. You do not need to let the ISBA or even your buddy know your weight, at any time, but you and your buddy should keep track of your progress each week in maintaining your weight (within two pounds). TIP: Each week, weigh yourself on the same scale, at about the same time of day, wearing the same amount of clothing.

4. Gain no more than two pounds from now to Jan. 6, 2014. Your success is independent of what your buddy does. The more weeks you maintain, the more entries you have to win a prize! TIP: Sign up for Twitter, follow @indianastatebar and watch for daily fitness tweets to help you maintain during the holidays.

5. Send an email each Monday by 5 p.m. to the ISBA at to let us know whether you maintained your weight goal for the previous week. Put your name in the subject line of your email. You do not need to report your weight, just whether you met the goal of maintaining your weight or not gaining more than two pounds from your baseline weight. This is your entry ticket each week for a chance to win a Fitbit Pedometer. The more weeks you maintain, the more entries you have to win! The last weekly email is due on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

6. Four Fitbit Pedometers ( will be raffled at the end of the challenge. You receive an entry each week that you have successfully maintained your baseline weight (within two pounds). Thanks to Court Call for sponsoring this challenge and donating the Fitbits!

7. All funds collected by the ISBA will be divided between: 1) purchasing foot peddlers for use during future CLE programs; and 2) a charitable donation to the Indiana Bar Foundation.

What you get:
1. Daily tips via Twitter to help with healthy eating, incorporating activity into your day, exercise, sleep, stress resiliency, healthy cooking, willpower and more.

2. An easy-to-use chart to help you on your journey by documenting daily exercise, daily fruit and vegetable consumption, and your weight.

3. The chance to win a Fitbit! (Four prizes will be awarded); and

4. Most importantly, a fresh, lean, mean, great start on the New Year!•



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Mr Smith, while most reading these posts are too busy making money or cranking out what passes for justice in our legal-techocrat order,I have often attempted to resist your cynicism, well thought out cynicism I admit. Please know that I give up, I can resist your logic no more. From Locknarian Platonic Guardians, through the incorporation doctine, to substantive due process, to Roe, to the latest demands that all states redefine the foundational stone of all civilized social order, the history of America's fall from Grace is inscribed on the dockets of the judiciary. From the federal judges' apostasy of a kind that would have caused John Jay to recommend capital punishment, to the state judges' refusal to protect the sanctuary of the state constitutions, seeing in them merely a font from which to protect pornographers, those who scream "f*ck the police" and pemubras and emanations following the federal apostates, it has been the judiciary, by and large, that has brought the Experiment in Ordered Liberty to an end. The Founders had great and high hopes that they had designed the third branch to save the Republic from such a time as this ... rather the third branch has allowed itself to be used to drag the Republic into rat infested sewers from which no nation has ever returned. Save me from tomorrow:

  2. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  3. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  4. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  5. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied