The skinny on losing weight
By Nicki Anderson email@example.com July 3, 2012 11:02PM
Stephanie Tarrant of Naperville took part in a “slim down” contest. | Submitted
Updated: August 5, 2012 6:10AM
You may recall hearing commercials either on television or the radio with the very distinctive voice of Seattle Sutton.
More than 26 years ago, the nurse turned entrepreneur launched her meal replacement company out of Ottawa, Ill. Today, that company serves more than 80 million meals nationwide to those seeking a healthier lifestyle and weight loss.
Recently, Seattle Sutton kicked off a DuPage County weight loss contest. One of the 10 chosen participants is Naperville’s own, Stephanie Tarrant.
Stephanie lives in the Maplebrook area with her husband and two English bull terriers. Since her marriage six years ago, she’s not only gained weight, she has watched her blood pressure increase along with a nagging case of plantar faciitis.
“Since my commute to work has increased, I’ve stopped working out,” she said. “Then, when I get home late, my husband and I typically go out to eat. I was motivated to enter the challenge in an effort to lose weight and improve my overall health.”
In addition to Stephanie’s concerns about blood pressure and plantar faciitis, she and her husband are also trying to have a baby. Stephanie believes losing weight may improve her chances of getting pregnant.
“I really hope to reach a healthier weight (something closer to my wedding weight), as I feel that would allow me to have a healthy pregnancy,” she said. “Above that, I’d really like to lower my blood pressure to a point where I won’t need to be medicated anymore.”
The contest is a 15-week weight loss challenge that started June 4 and will run through Sept. 17, 2012. Meals included in the contest are breakfast, lunch and dinner for the contestants (21 meals per week), a total of 315 meals.
“The only thing I need to supply on my own is two 8 oz. glasses of skim milk a day, unsweetened iced tea and black coffee. Other than that, I eat what I get,” she said.
Stephanie enjoys her meals and likes the fact that her food rotates, so it’s not the same thing all the time. But there are some things she misses about her old eating habits.
“I really miss my Diet Coke and potato chips,” she said. “I crave my own home-cooked foods sometimes and think it would be nice to eat the same meals as my husband.”
However, Stephanie knows her efforts are leading to some very valuable life lessons for healthy living.
One of Stephanie’s biggest challenges of reaching her weight loss goal is travel.
“I travel rather frequently for work and arranging my schedule around weigh-in dates and having to bring my own food is quite challenging,” she said. “However, I’m invested in this process and I’m willing to do what it takes to stick to the program.”
To keep focused, Stephanie has changed her mindset to prepare for this weight loss journey.
“This time I really wanted to lose weight for my own health,” she said. “I look at being chosen for this challenge as a sign that it is time to get serious about being healthy.”
She has a great support system including her husband.
“We often go for walks after dinner to help with the weight loss,” she said. “I also have wonderful friends, family and coworkers that continuously encourage me and send kind words of support.”
“I’m learning portion control,” she said. “When I used to cook or go out to eat, I used to eat too much food. Now I better understand what an appropriate portion looks like and that I don’t need huge portions to feel full.”
If Stephanie wins the challenge, she and her husband will be off to Riviera Maya for a free trip.
“Even though a trip to Riviera Maya would be awesome, the real prize is that we are changing our eating habits to lose weight and become healthier individuals,” she said.
Since the start of the contest, Stephanie has lost more than 10 pounds. She is staying committed to her healthy habits and looking forward to feeling healthier and more energetic.
Good luck Stephanie, we’ll be rooting for you!
Do you have an inspiring story about your journey to fitness? Share it with columnist Nicki Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.