January Jump-start Success Stories
Twany Beckham 30 Day Lifestyle Challenge Success Story written by Madeleine Pratt
"About two years ago, I was diagnosed with a mental disorder. I had been struggling with my identity and coping skills ever since, and finally made the decision to see a professional. At that point, medicine and therapy seemed to be the best options for me. I tried medicine after medicine with substantially drastic results. Until the last one that fueled a dramatic downward spiral and left me hopeless, lonely and suicidal. I was in the worst depression I’d ever experienced, for months. It wasn’t until my dad started to become visibly upset and concerned for me that I realized something had to change. I stopped taking the medication and with the help of a therapist and my family, I slowly started to pull myself back to the land of the living. I was no longer depressed and had the will to keep breathing, but I had lost my motivation and forgotten my goals. I was just existing, not living, not happy.
When 2017 started, I had made a resolution to pursue my goal of becoming a wildland firefighter. I began training with a weighted backpack to meet the physical fitness requirements. I also started looking into the course work needed to gain my red card certification. When my breakdown happened and I stopped wanting to live, so too did my passion and dream of becoming a firefighter. It wasn’t until an opportunity arose in November to continue my coursework for this goal that I started to remember my dream. Without knowing what else to do, I grabbed my backpack, stuffed it with 18lbs and took off walking. Shortly thereafter, I received an email for a “30-day Lifestyle Challenge” that included healthy activities meant to help guide a person into a healthier life. I knew that to achieve the physical fitness requirements for my dream, I’d need to change my health habits. I dove head first into this challenge, with all the excitement and anticipation that I hold for my dream. This past month has been difficult, yet rewarding to say the least. I have learned that just because I may be a vegetarian, eating fruits or vegetables for every meal is surprisingly tough. I discovered my love for stickers, as a small reward knows no limits! I found that meditation may be one of the best things I can do for my mental health. I am grateful to have been in a place mentally where I could participate in this challenge; and I am extremely proud to have successfully completed it. Because for me, this challenge is so much more than the sum of its parts. Knowing how far I can fall has motivated me to pursue a healthy lifestyle with every ounce of my being. I see a healthy lifestyle as my “medication”, and my pathway to achieving my dream. I ended up killing 2 treadmills. I made flyers for the office and home, got my journal prepared and laminated (with tape) a bookmark so I can always see what my goals are! When you break treadmills, you have to adapt. When I broke my mom's I finished my weighted walk outside in 9°F. When I broke mine at home, I did an impromptu body weight workout instead. I even had a post-work out support cat. He was very unimpressed with my efforts. Unfortunately for me, I did not end up getting my 10K steps that day. I am trying to build a custom fence in my backyard, so naturally I swapped a typical workout for digging fence post holes for the day. At 2 foot deep, it took 5 hours to complete 13 of these bad boys. Thankfully I had help, and only ended up doing 6.5, but maaaaaan was I sore the next day! Last day of the challenge! I even ran 2 miles without stopping for the occasion. I am so proud of all the hard work I’ve put in to this month that I do not plan on stopping this progress with the turn of a new year. 2018 HERE I COME!"
Twany Beckham 30 Day Lifestyle Challenge Success Story by Mike Halbleib
Last January 1st, my new year’s resolution was to lose weight and get into shape. I am a police officer and have a wife and 3 awesome children. As life got hectic I used food as a stress reliever and began to gain a lot of weight. I finally realized that it was my responsibility to get into shape so I could be there for my family! I have seen too many people die of diseases that I think could have been prevented by a healthy lifestyle. It’s sad that their families are the ones that suffer after they are gone. Last January, I weighed 223 pounds. On June 16, 2017, I weighed 161 pounds! I lost 62 pounds in just 6 months! I received your email regarding the 30 Day Lifestyle Challenge and realized that I had gained some of the weight back so I decided to drop a few pounds! On November 29, 2017, I weighed 187 and am now weighing 176! I lost 11 pounds in 4 weeks!
Here is my lifestyle change………..
- Cardio 4-5 times per week 25-30 minutes (HIT- High Intensity Interval Training)
- Lift weights 3-4 times per week
- My meditation consists of research/motivation on a daily basis. I have been social media free for a year and have used the extra time to watch exercise and motivational videos on Youtube. I realized that you can always learn more about fitness and nutrition. This has helped me create a nutritional and workout routine.
- I used to sleep an average of 4-5 hours each night. I have improved slightly and now get approximately 6 hours of sleep most nights.
- Nutrition!!! Below is how I have changed my nutrition! It was by far one of the hardest things I have ever done!
-I spend one day a week preparing foods. I then weigh all of my meals and place them in containers. This makes it very convenient when I need to make my lunch or dinner and I am in a hurry.
-I stopped eating fast food!
-I drink 8-16 glasses of water per day!
-I only have 1-2 cheat meals per week!
-I never have a cheat DAY!
-I eat 6 small meals per day. (Every 3 hours)
-I started at a restriction of 1200 calories per day and increased it a few hundred calories every couple of months. I now stay at approximately 1800-2000 calories.
-I increased my complex carbs, protein (200+ grams) per day, and fiber.
-I take multivitamins and fish oil everyday.
-I weigh myself every morning! I haven't missed a weigh-in in 363 days!
-I document my weight on a calendar so I can monitor my gains and losses.
-I also write in a journal and document my successes and failures.
-I take before and after pictures for motivation!
I am so much happier now! I decreased my cholesterol and decreased my back pain. I threw away shorts, pants, belts, and shirts! I hope that my story can help other people start a new life!"
Twany Beckham 30 Day Lifestyle Challenge Success Story from Hayley Franklin
"When the Lifestyle Challenge was announced, I knew this would be a perfect opportunity to help in regards to my preparation for Miss Kentucky USA. Little did I know it would help transform my overall health/wellness lifestyle and prompt me to make a leap. I have always been a fan of health and its components. After all I live it in my job and must motivate individuals in my community to get amped up about health also. I’m a Community Health Educator at Three Rivers District Health Department and my main priority is to help others achieve their health/wellness goals- whether it’s quitting smoking, joining a fitness club at our local gym or pushing them to be the best they can be. I get trained in it, I teach it and I live it. I want to set an example. In late November or early December, I quickly realized the astronomical fees attached with vying for the title of Miss Kentucky USA. I realized I would try to face my fitness challenges solo, rather than hire a personal trainer to try and offset costs in other areas. I completed this challenge solo with the help of my gym @Restoration Fitness and Fitbit Coach App.
When KEHP’s Lifestyle Challenge presented itself, I knew this was a perfect opportunity to jumpstart my progress. I decided to take this challenge a step further and make it my platform for Miss Kentucky USA. In each pageant, the contestant must come up with something they are passionate about, that can change the lives of those around them. My platform for this year’s Miss Kentucky USA Pageant will be “Health Happens Here!” A play on words from Three Rivers’ slogan but an encompassing goal for individuals to reach. Health can happen anywhere as long as they have the motivation and determination. Miss Kentucky will give me an opportunity to share my health journey with others and winning the title would give me the opportunity to share health and wellness to even more students across our commonwealth. Miss Kentucky USA is being held on January 27 and 28 so this challenge will be extended for me through the rest of the month and the months thereafter for the remainder of the year. This challenge may have jump started my training for a pageant but overall it has helped me be the best ME I can, while spreading that motivation to others in my community. This challenge may have only lasted a month but it will carry me through the remainder of 2018!
Just like the challenge criteria stated, I:
1. 10,000 step count-
- According to my Fitbit I averaged 17,242 steps per day.
2. 15 minutes of physical activity-
- Every single day I did not skip cardio and managed to squeeze in strength training and a Fitbit Coach workout 5-6 days a week, each time varying between 35 minutes and 145 minutes, according to Fitbit. A new challenge I made for myself within this one was to get cardio outside every single day, no matter the weather or temperature. It’s been a challenge to acclimate my body to the colder temps but I don’t enjoy the treadmill so I wanted to make this more about enjoying the journey and not loathing it so I’d be less likely to fail.
3. 10 minutes of meditation-
- This was difficult for me, I downloaded the “Stop Breathe and Think” app when it was first introduced and made it a fitness habit on Go365 but didn’t use it much until it became a part of this challenge. I realize the importance of mental health and know it is vital to a successful fitness journey. I found it hard to get my mind to slow down long enough to focus on the app, but accomplished it!
4. Get 6-8 hours of sleep-
- Accomplished this one with flying colors. According to Fitbit deep sleep was a challenge but overall I averaged 7 hours and 13 minutes of sleep through the month of December.
- Plan your meals. This will save time, reduce stress, and you’ll avoid last minute fast food grabs.
-This one was tough for me- instead of full force meal prepping (I don’t enjoy heated up food) I decided to plan in a different way and write down exactly what I would eat, the time of day I would eat it, where I would have to prepare it (Or if I had to eat an egg patty from Subway, lol). In conjunction with this, I kept a food diary like I normally would but started to track it daily and paid a small fee to MyFitnessPal app so I could track macros, protein, carbs, etc.
- Have breakfast every morning (Do not skip)
-This one was tough also- I’m not a breakfast person BUT I managed to squeeze in egg beaters, weight control oatmeal or banana nut cheerios with unsweetened almond milk to switch it up every now and then. If I was running late, I made sure to have a banana or something I could grab quickly on the way out the door. Special K Protein bars are also a favorite!
- Drink 32 oz. of water per day
-Easy! Staying hydrated is so important so I tried for 50-75 ounces every day. I logged this in my Fitbit app as well to stay on top of intake.
- Have fruit or vegetables with every meal.
-Fruits were easy, vegetables were tough. Those 30 second steamed bags you can get in the frozen section of Kroger were my saving grace.