Surgical recovery fuels fire to Get Fit

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 the team from Connections Counseling LLC, which includes team members Mary Kay Aide, Shelly Dutch, and Skye Tikkanen. Stay tuned for future blogs from the team.

For us Connections Counseling folks, it’s been a challenge to keep Get Fit in mind. It’s summer, which is filled with lots of vacations, and as mental health and substance abuse counselors we work fairly independently. This has been a personal journey for the three of us. Here are updates from Mary Kay and Shelly:

Mary Kay Aide

My goal for this fitness challenge was to get back into peak condition — especially building my core strength back up — after a kidney surgery last November.

Prior to surgery, I was part of the Killer Kurves Program at The Transformation Center in Madison. One year ago, I was 54, overweight, coming out of a painful divorce, and needing to get started on the next chapter of my life.

The K2 Program provided group support to live and eat healthier, and workout with my K2 buddies three times a week. I was down almost 30 pounds and feeling strong when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. I needed surgery to remove a tumor from my left kidney. I was out of work for six weeks and on physical restrictions for another six weeks.

Did you know there are four layers of core muscles protecting your kidneys? After a 12-week hiatus, I committed to the Get Fit Challenge and returned to The Transformation Center to help rebuild my core strength and get back on track with food and exercise.

I’ve lost six pounds and have regained much of my core strength. I’ve had to be patient and go slowly making adjustments in my workouts to protect my back as I rebuild my core. My goal for the summer is to continue to lose pounds in a healthy way and gain more strength and flexibility. The Get Fit Challenge definitely helps me keep on track.

Shelly Dutch

Fitness goals in the summer are easier in terms of outdoor workouts and harder in terms of delicious summer treats!

I continue to take some amazing cycling rides throughout our rolling hills and beautiful terrain in Wisconsin. Yesterday, we rode 55 miles in northern Wisconsin, followed by a delicious cookout and ice cream cones! I continue to focus on cardio; however, I am looking forward to working with my Harbor Athletic trainer next week to begin doing weights or strengthening exercises.

Motivation for me relates to long-term health goals and a desire to feel healthier mentally and physically.

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

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine – your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.