Finding motivation to Get Fit isn't easy

Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2015 Get Fit Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 21. This week, IB checks in with Steve Huck, general manager & certified building service executive with Coverall Health Based Cleaning System, who is competing in the individual challenge.

Not being happy with how I felt physically and emotionally, or how I looked, has been a longstanding struggle within.

Last summer I had a little scare. I found out I was close to becoming a type 2 diabetic. Having sleep apnea for the past three years, among other health issues, I knew the root cause of my health problems was that I was overweight. As the start of a new year came and went, my plan to buckle down and really get into shape went right along with it.

This was supposed to be the year of me, with both kids grown. I started to work out a little at home here and there, but there was no real commitment or effort to the cause. As I sat in my office one day, I heard the “bing” of a new email coming in. As the preview flashed across the lower corner of my computer screen, something about “Congratulations” caught my eye. I opened the email and at first glance I thought it was spam. But I read it again, remembering now how I filled out an application form for the Get Fit Challenge. Happy and excited about this new opportunity, a “bing” went off in my head. This is it, I thought, something to finally put my feet to the fire.

My main goal has always been to drop below 200 pounds. Even though this would still leave me in a moderately overweight zone, I can’t remember the last time I was 199 pounds or less, so this would be a major step in the right direction. I’ve been on every diet plan you can think of as well as joined three to five different gyms over the years. I’ve always gotten close to reaching my goal before returning to my old habits. In 2002, I joined an online fitness program that tracked what I ate and my overall progress. To this day I still have all my past weights in there, which is interesting to look at (okay, more like depressing).

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The closer the start of this competition got, the more I could feel myself getting overwhelmed with how I was even going to begin. I met with Jamie Zietlow, my trainer at Harbor Athletic Club, and she helped me put my goals into perspective. “Tracking what you eat is the number one thing you can do,” she advised. The MyFitnessPal app and a Fitbit have been two tools to help me see how good, bad, and ugly any day can be.

As April progressed, I struggled to find a rhythm or a routine. Being under the weather for weeks surrounding the IB Get Fit Challenge kickoff didn’t help. Struggling, I decided to reach out to last year’s winners. I needed something to get me going. Speaking with both was an honor and really helped me get out of my own head.

Brett Christensen faced great adversity with a sore shoulder that he was unable to use, yet he still came out on top and reached his goals. “Live in the moment,” he said before we ended our call. I smiled as I thought to myself about the Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) tattoo branded on my left shoulder. Speaking with Sally Greenwood was equally amazing. Turning 60 as she took on this challenge, she worked out every day and a year later she’s kept it up and lost an additional 20lbs.

Talking to both fueled me inside and made things clearer. I spoke with Jamie and set a new game plan in motion. Running most mornings through the UW Arboretum before hitting the gym has helped. I even have two 5Ks under my belt, one of them a wounded veterans run in Folsom, Calif., on Memorial Day. Finishing 184th out of 975 racers (124th out of 394 men and 14th in my age group), I managed to shave nearly a minute off my mile time. The event left me feeling liberated and my results continued to stoke the newfound fire inside me. Now that June and the halfway point of the competition are upon us, I’m no longer looking back at past failures but instead ahead at future accomplishments.

Meet all of the competitors here and see who wins at the In Business Expo & Conference.

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