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Living Fit: Maintain No Gain participants stay lean

Sharon McGoff
January 15, 2014
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mcgoffIn November, I wrote about the Indiana State Bar Association’s Maintain No Gain Challenge: gain no more than 2 pounds over the eight-week holiday period. I told you about two eager lawyers who were willing to take the challenge and allow me to coach them along the way. Patty McKinnon and Kerry Hyatt Blomquist are busy lawyers, parents and community volunteers. As you read about Patty and Kerry, think about your actions or inactions during the holidays. Did you allow work, bad weather, numerous social gatherings, mountains of food, ever-flowing libations or travel to adversely affect your exercise, stress level, nutrition or sleep?

If you did, I hope you find inspiration and motivation in their trials and tribulations. I hope you realize anyone can make positive changes to their health, no matter the circumstances that impede your path. I hope you enlist the help of a buddy or coach to help motivate you to gain new habits and lose destructive behaviors.

During the first week, Kerry realized she could not exercise outside after work because of the dark and cold nights, so she begrudgingly changed her schedule to a morning routine of getting on a spin bike at 5:45 a.m., when nothing and no one could interfere with her time. Her biggest struggle was with the food choices during holiday time. She admitted, “no one was stuffing it in my mouth” and that it was up to her to pull away from the temptations: Starbucks introduced a new drink that became a very good friend and there was a variety of savory and rich delicacies at every holiday party she attended, each one begging her to “pick me.”

To make up for the additions to her food repertoire, Kerry increased exercise at the gym and at home. She began using an elliptical trainer that she bought a few years ago and discovered an old TV show (“The West Wing”) that was new to her. She began to lose weight thanks to Martin Sheen. Kerry made changes because she knew Patty and I would be checking with her every week. She finished the challenge with a trip to Europe, which translated into no fitness center and a lot of rich food, but also an increase in drinking water and walking to get around. Kerry gained just one pound from Nov. 20 to Jan. 6.

Patty began the first week of the challenge by exercising more, but wasn’t as careful with what she ate. A week later, her exercise time decreased because of a busy trial calendar, family obligations and numerous parties. Knowing that Kerry and I would be checking in with her, Patty creatively fit exercise into her day. When she took her son to choir practice at Butler, she walked flights of stairs for 45 minutes, keeping an ever-watchful eye on a spider in the stairwell, which made her walk faster through that section of the stairs. (Don’t tell Patty, but I strategically placed the spider there.) Patty also began lifting weights at the gym, something she had not done for months, and happily reported a “good hurt.” Her food choices also improved and she was doing well.

Then, another obstacle threatened to take her off course: Patty’s mom was hospitalized. Patty confided that she eats when stressed, but she was determined to refocus to avoid stressful eating. She ate just one small treat per day and ordered the heart-healthy meals at the hospital. When her mom was discharged, Patty was tempted to eat a fattening fast-food meal, but opted instead for a healthy version of the same, enjoying every bite!

Patty’s biggest hurdle came with a trip to Seattle: airport travel, hotel, eating out and limited exercise. Patty was prepared to do what she could to maintain. While at the airport, she purchased huge bottles of water and walked up and down the concourse before her flights. She took advantage of the elliptical machine at the hotel gym, but ate more than normal at the dreaded “free hot-breakfast buffet.” (I think we have all succumbed to this beast at least once.) Patty gained just 2 pounds from Nov. 20 to Jan. 6, and she is confident she will lose them in the next two weeks as she returns to her regular routine of exercise, nutrition and the addition of a Tai Chi class. She knows the newly fallen snow will not stop her routine because she feels so good to have kept her weight in check this season.

Like most of us, Patty and Kerry said the holidays will always be a challenge due to the plethora of baked goodies, socializing (with food) and interruptions in routine. They said the challenge and reporting to a friend and a coach was an excellent way to stay in control of their weight and wellness because they didn’t eat as much and exercised more than in past years. This is the fittest they have been, post-holidays, than at any other time in their adult lives!

It wasn’t easy for Patty and Kerry to make adjustments to not gain more than 2 pounds. It was a challenge to be challenged during this time of year. They didn’t give up. They gained new healthy habits, new buddies and newfound confidence that they can maintain their weight despite obstacles. They lost the demons of stressful eating, overeating and a sedentary lifestyle during the dark, cold winter. What a sweet payoff! Their experiences bring home so much more that “life” is never really routine and fixed. There are always things that get in the way and try to derail our best intentions, weaken us and throw us under the bus of temptation and bad habits.

Kerry and Patty weren’t going to allow those obstacles to quash their goals! They are looking forward to the second annual Maintain No Gain Challenge and highly recommend it for others. But don’t wait until November, make a pact with a buddy, set up an appointment with a coach, or boldly go solo in your endeavor to gain great health and lose bad habits in 2014, AND plan to sign up for the challenge in November 2014!•

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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.
 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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