17 pounds lighter, 7 inches trimmer, and down 2 percent body fat, mold-maker Andrew Fry placed #1 in the Tycos Wellness Challenge.
When Andrew quit smoking, his weight began creeping up. Over the years, it added up to 40 pounds. He took action, cut his daily caloric intake, and managed to lose all of it and more. He stabilized his weight and fitness levels for a number of years before an injury sidelined an essential part of this training.
“A year ago I hurt my Achillies tendon so couldn’t do any cardio. I put on about 20 pounds.”
It’s a familiar story. Injury, illness, change in personal circumstance… There are dozens of issues that can creep up unexpectedly, prevent us from eating right and staying active.
When Nicole Good, the Health Promotion Coordinator for Tycos, announced the launch of an 8-Week Wellness Challenge, Andrew found the impetus he needed to get back on track. “Thought this would be a good start to try and get back into shape.”
Nicole did an initial assessment on all 24 participants, including weight, body fat percentage and measurements, then repeated it again at the end of the challenge. She coached the group through changes in their diets and exercise. She provided meal plans and kept the participants motivated with educational tips and fitness challenges.
Andrew found the Monday and Friday communications helped keep his will strong.
“On Mondays I’d send a motivational tip,” Nicole explains. “For instance, the benefits of staying hydrated. I’d couple it with a related challenge, like drink two cups of water first thing every morning for the week. On Fridays, I’d send the participants something fitness-related, like how high intensity interval training (HIIT) can help burn more calories. I’d include a couple of examples of training plans to try.”
How did Andrew use Nicole’s program to win the Tycos Wellness Challenge? He cut out processed carbohydrates (no cereal, bread, pasta, or white rice), increased his lean protein (chicken and salmon) and kept to his one-apple-a-day habit. He started lifting heavier weights to increase his muscle mass and he cycled Monday to Friday, doing HIIT up and down hills for 10 – 15 minutes. “Bicycling was easy on the Achilles Tendon”, he explains.
Andrew, who enjoys hunting and racing snowmobiles, is determined to stick to his new lifestyle. “I’ve added a few more carbohydrates into my diet. I’m focused on maintaining my current weight.”
Perhaps the most notable change is his optimism and attitude. “I have higher energy levels throughout the day so I have the energy to do outdoor activities with my family.”
His advice to others who are trying to change their lifestyles: “It all starts in the grocery store. If you don’t buy crappy food you aren’t going to eat it.” To that he adds, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.”