Secret to ‘Get Fit’ is diving in with both feet

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 Bonnie Bailey, business development with SVA, who is competing in the individual challenge.

Now that I’m well into the Get Fit Challenge, I’m happy to say I’m very excited! I have to admit, the day I got the email telling me my application was accepted, I hyperventilated. There was pacing, cursing, and a general “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” attitude.

But it didn’t take long, thanks to my very supportive coworkers and husband, before I was on track to accept the challenge. And I didn’t waste any time. The next week I jumped in with both feet even before the official start of the challenge. So for me, March 2 was my starting day.

And when I say I jumped in, I did. I gave up my four to five cans per day of Diet Pepsi — cold turkey. The next couple days probably weren’t very pleasant for the people around me, but I persevered. Gave up sweets, fried stuff, and a lot of other things I really shouldn’t have been eating in the first place.

I’m, well, let’s just say over 55, pre-diabetic, and overweight. We just welcomed our fifth grandchild and I want to be able to play with all of our grandkids — like seriously play, on the floor and at the park, and not get winded.

This challenge is just what I needed. It’s highly visible — I told all my family and friends, and all are very supportive. The first two months I was 95% true to my good-eating goal and I starting working out at a health club. Seriously? Me? Yup! I really love the small group classes at Harbor Athletic Club.

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There were times when the third month was harder, as it was filled with family gatherings and other events that offered temptingly bad food options. However, I’m very proud to say that that for the past three months I’ve remained committed. I exercise and walk regularly, and try to stick to lean meats, veggies, salads, and avoid a lot of carbs. I’ve been pretty good at avoiding sweets, but do enjoy an occasional lower calorie ice cream snack — can I mention Skinny Cow in this blog? Yum!

Once the weight starting dropping, I started a “too big” clothes pile to give away. That was FUN! I didn’t keep any of my previous thinner clothes, because it’s been years since I fit in them, so I’ve also enjoyed a shopping trip or two.

At this point I’m 106 days into my challenge and I’ve lost 32 pounds! That’s a huge improvement for me and I feel better. I treated myself to a Fitbit to start tracking my steps and I have some persistent friends who issue me additional challenges almost every day. Just keeping my step count on my radar helps me decide to go for another walk, instead of sitting on the couch.

I am so excited to see what the next 100 days brings. Hopefully less pounds and more new clothes, along with some serious smiles as people start to notice the change in me. If I can get motivated, you can, too. Just figure out what your motivating factor is and jump in with both feet!

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

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