Gilda’s Club’s exec director embraces change through fitness

Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2014 Get Fit Challenge, a spinoff of IB’s popular Fittest Executive Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 22. This week, IB checks in with Lannia Stenz, executive director of Gilda’s Club, who is competing in the individual challenge.

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” — Arnold Bennett

In my career, I have a history of embracing change. I am often energized and excited when new program opportunities and resources come down the pike. However, in my personal life, I have spent a great deal of time striving to accept myself as I am in this moment. That makes a focus on personal change more challenging for me than change in my professional world.

Change is hard, right? Back me up here. Nearly everyone who has made it to adulthood can speak to the fact that certain kinds of change get harder as we get older. Don’t get me wrong, I am not ready to chase kids off my lawn with a grumpy shake of a cane, but I do sometimes feel more set in my ways than I did five years ago.

As a part of the Get Fit Challenge, I have sometimes had to remind myself that the changes I am making are worthwhile. That can be tough when your progress feels slow. There are two key areas where I have worked to change my daily habits: moving more and making better food choices.

Moving more

CORE Health and Fitness in Middleton has played a big role in helping me move more. Trainers Kane and Kim have generously shared their expertise and provided me with group personal training twice per week. In addition to their guidance, I have been doing T25 workouts a few times a week at home and adding 10 to 15 minutes of movement into the middle of my day at Kane’s recommendation.

In truth, the fitness aspect of the challenge has been the less difficult part for me. The folks at CORE push me during my visits, but the energy I experience as a result of my activities has helped me stay on track. It has also been encouraging to see muscle definition in my arms, back, and stomach.

Improved food choices

Changing my food choices has been the tougher challenge for me. Unlike other folks I know, I don’t have obvious treats that I can cut out of my diet for easy weight loss. I am not a soda drinker and don’t keep ice cream or potato chips in my house.



That doesn’t mean I have resorted to making huge changes. I have focused on small, manageable changes that I can maintain, such as drinking a big glass of water 15 minutes before each meal; reducing my portion sizes; incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into meals; and limiting my sugar intake.

Progress is slow, but I am encouraged. In the first three months of the challenge I have lost both pounds and inches. When I started out, I set a manageable goal for myself to lose 10% of my body weight, and I just reached the 5% milestone. My clothes fit better and my energy level is higher than it has been in months.

As I near the halfway point of my Get Fit Challenge journey, I am seeking progress, not perfection, and am focusing on changes I can maintain for the long haul. I am excited to see where the rest of this journey leads.

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

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