Goals during six week Wellness Challenge can last for a lifetime
As Swift Current heads into the Centennial year of 2014, the City wants to ensure that its residents have many opportunities to stay active and healthy. The second annual Wellness Challenge began on Jan. 13th and runs until Feb. 23rd: This year’s theme is “a healthy start to the Centennial year”.
Dwayne Lavoie participated in last year’s Wellness Challenge and recently shared his success story. Lavoie’s motivation to take part in the challenge was to help out his team with something he wanted to do anyways, and during the challenge some great habits were formed. He went from reading a book at lunch hour to walking a mile and a half every day, and from walking his dog, Max, for 20 minutes daily after work to walking him for an hour and a half. To this day, Lavoie’s healthy lifestyle continues.
Lavoie started his lifestyle change about four months before the challenge because he had a work conference that he had to fly to. He’d heard about someone who had been asked to leave a plane because he was too large, and Lavoie didn’t want to be that guy. He didn’t want to be the guy who needed to buy another seat, to have to leave the plane, or to use a seatbelt extender. He didn’t want to be embarrassed.
In the 15 months since Lavoie began his lifestyle change, including last year’s Wellness Challenge, he has lost a total of 100 pounds. He feels a lot healthier, dresses differently, and his complexion is better. He has more confidence, a better self-image, and has much more energy. He plays noon hour volleyball, which would have been very difficult a year ago.
And the big secret to Lavoie’s success: no secret at all. Limit what goes into your body and monitor what you eat. Know how many calories you consume in a day, and measure and weigh your food — keep track of your food intake. Lavoie didn’t join a gym or weight loss program. He didn’t spend a dime — the streets and sidewalks are free. His program is called the “Max Guilt” program: his dog, Max, looks at him and makes him feel guilty when they are not going for a walk. And on top of that, Lavoie is saving money by spending less on food.
Lavoie does caution that setbacks will occur. There have been times when he’s hit a weight plateau, and has needed to make changes such as more water, more exercise or different nutrition. As well, holidays can be very challenging.
Ideally, he’d like to lose another 50 to 75 pounds, and weigh his lightest in 20 years. He realizes the next 50 pounds will take longer to lose, but he reminds us it’s a marathon, not a sprint. He’s lost 100 pounds before on a weight loss program, but it was not sustainable. Changing your lifestyle — walking, exercising and eating healthy foods — is sustainable.
More information on the Wellness Challenge can be found on facebook.com/CityOfSwiftCurrent.
Anyone interested in joining the Wellness Challenge can register by emailing Val at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (306) 778-2787.