The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Really, what IS a "Lifestyle" Change???

Weight Watchers? Slim for Life? Atkins? Body for Life? South Beach? Herbalife?  Jenny Craig? Nutrisystem?

There are HUNDREDS of weight loss programs out there and each have testimonials of results.  So how do you separate the fact from the fiction, the real vs. counterfeit?

A few days ago I received a facebook message from a curious friend that was the inspiration behind this blog, she asked, "Are you on any special plan?  WW, ATKINS, Eat Clean, Count Calories...I need help and I don't know how to push myself at all!!!"

The simple answer to this question is NONo I am not following any "special plan" and no I'm not on any of the trendy programs solicited on our airways and street corners.  With that being said, I believe most effective daily "diets" follow a bit of the truth that is mixed in with the chaos of ANY of these weight loss program and their theories.  Atkins preaches protein which protein is very important for our bodies to build, restore and fuel muscle (especially when working out) and burn fat more efficiently - however, eating the wrong meats in excess isn't healthy for your heart and you begin to overload your body with saturated fat.  WW & Count Calories plans make you more conscious of "how much" you are taking in your body versus what is going out which in theory is "good."  However, there are many followers who don't spend much focus on the nutrition behind what they are taking in, just as long as you stay within your daily "budget."  I've met numerous people (and used to be guilty myself), who would save ALL their points or calories to be spent on food such as ice cream.  According to these weight loss "diet plans" you are right on track because you didn't exceed your limit, but is that healthy?  ...anyone else see bad habits forming?

Do I disagree with those who are on the weight loss programs mentioned above, absolutely not! Do I think that you can save money by learning the tools on your own - ABSOLUTELY!

I guess the real question to ask yourself is, "Are they giving you the resources to continue on for life or are they giving you just enough to where you have to keep coming back and paying them MORE in order to be successful?

I don't have anything "negative" to say about Clean Eating because I agree that our foods have become so "filled" with fillers, pesticides, toxins, chemicals and JUNK that are unhealthy and unnatural to be in our bodies - it's no wonder that diseases steadily increase with each passing year.  The comment I have concerning that "movement" is it's typically seen as a faux pas if you don't stick strictly to 100% organic and unprocessed foods.  In a picture perfect world - that'd be ideal.  In a fallen economy where money is hard to come by and all-natural, organic, unprocessed foods are more costly than the "fresh" produce at your local Wal-Mart, you can't look down on those who simply are unable to afford this type of grocery list.

AS FOR THE "PLAN" I'M ON: I "try" to eat as clean as I can nowadays, but I don't feel like a failure if I have a processed or take out meal.  I love me some protein and earn my "activity points" with daily exercise.  I'm conscious of my calories but it hasn't become my part time job.  I wear a body bugg (go read this funny blog about a similar product) that motivates me to "move more and eat less" but I don't refuse myself anything completely.  Calories in vs. calories out really is important even if it's a subconscious thought in the back of your brain and I don't care what anyone tells you, there is truth to the theory but again, if my calories out offsets my calories in but my calories in all have detrimental effects on my body was it really effective weight loss?  Eating a balanced diet is important for given your body it's proper nutrients and fuel but I don't have a picture of the food pyramid on my plate (which isn't even a pyramid anymore) - although those plates are kinda cool. :) Skinny chicks really don't eat salads and you aren't going to find me shedding all my pounds by eating mainly salads either (don't get fooled by popular salads out there anyways, with some you might as well have enjoyed a juicy steak and let your muscles munch on the protein because by the time you add the high fructose corn syrup filled dressings and other toppings, you've ruined it anyways).  If I feel hungry, chances are I'm going to eat so I typically have 5-6 meals a day to keep my metabolism alert and active and it also helps because I know it's never long til my next meal.  To say I'll "never" about a meal is unlikely but that doesn't mean I'm unopen to having my personal opinion changed.  By no means do I feel that "my way is THE way," but it has proven effective for me.

I always tell people that I am thankful for the WW program because it was a stepping stone for me.  I lost my first 25 pounds on program before growing wings of my own and gaining the confidence that I really can do this!  I walked out the door of my last WW meeting with my 25 lb milestone award and have since continued on with OVER 125 MORE pounds lost by being more conscious!  Conscious of what goes into my body and the effects it has on me (either good or bad) and conscious of exercise.

But seriously, what does a LIFESTYLE change really "mean"?

I believe this is something everyone needs to take some time and define for themselves.  It wasn't until this past weekend that I really started to give this some thought.  I've noticed three main categories for weight loss if you will:
  • "Dieters"
  • "Surgery undergoers"
  • "Lifestyle changers"
I won't touch on the "dieters" or "surgery undergoers," but since I am personally opting for the "lifestyle changer" route, I think it's important to think a bit on what lifestyle change means to me?  There are some key factors that I believe are ESSENTIAL if you are calling this a LIFESTYLE change.

1.  Is it REALLY healthy?  Starving yourself is not!  Eliminating entire food groups is not!  Sticking to strict diet and throwing out exercise is not!  Aiming to lose "10 pounds or more" a week is generally not (although it's possible, I've done it, but realistically it shouldn't be a weekly goal).  Skipping meals in order to "cheat" is not.

2.  Is it manageable and realistic?  To say you'll "never" eat out again with your friends or "never" have a sweet treat or "never" go off your daily routine is unlikely when making a LIFE change.  I promise you, when you tell yourself you CANNOT have something, all it does it makes you want it 1000x's more!  Life happens and not everything is pre-planned in a food journal.  What about vacations, special occasions and holidays?  Is it realistic to refuse yourself the foods that may only come around once a year for the rest of your life?  Is it something you spend more time pitying yourself over or do you allow some room for grace?  Do you deprive yourself so much so that when something throws you off track or messes with your busy schedule that you are so ravenous that you have no sense of control? I've found that when I allow myself a little more "leniency" I'm able to make wiser choices when I eat out or go to an event because I don't have my inner "fat girl" trying to "make up for lost time," she's still living happy and healthy and not battling that uneasy feeling of being restrained & restricted.

3.  Are you able to really, truly enjoy your LIFE according to this plan?  Is it more of a chore than it is natural?  Who wants to live a dull, boring, strict life (even if it's only in their daily diet)?  I believe that with a real healthy lifestyle change you won't feel like your day-to-day choices are a chore and bore.  I know that I actually ENJOY the healthier foods I'm eating and it doesn't feel like a bland, boring fate.  Getting creative and experimenting with new ways to make your favorite foods healthier becomes FUN after awhile.  Concocting new shakes, recipes and treats is enjoyable and exciting to share.  Living this new life I'm creating is something I now WANT to do and not feel obligated to do.  I'm not going to lie, in the beginning it may take awhile to kick the old habits but if you are replacing them with something that feels more like an adventure than a assignment you'll want to keep travelling the road your new life has you on. :)

4.  DOES IT HEED RESULTS?  Is your new lifestyle change causing you to do more than just drop weight? Check with your doctor, run it by a physician.  Get your blood work done and other tests to evaluate if your blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat %, lean muscle mass and such are improving.   Are you becoming healthier on the INSIDE and out? Do you feel healthier and cleaner inside - stronger and more energetic on the outside?  When you are fueling your body properly, your body really does start to "feel" great!  It's amazing, what I used to think a "good day" felt like at 342.2 pounds.  I was so used to my body being achy, bloated, stiff and easily tired that I thought it was normal.  I now know that my BEST day then is like my worst day now.  I can move without losing my breathe, I can jump without hurting my knees, I can bend and touch my toes, I can sleep without my body stopping it's breathing.  I can fit in restaurant booths, shop at normal clothing stores, ride amusement park rides and use a normal bathroom stall.  I CAN LIVE A LIFE THAT I LOVE...

I challenge YOU, think a little about what a "lifestyle change" really means to YOU!  Don't base it off of what I'm doing or what you've seen your neighbor do - what is healthy and realistic for Y-O-U (I cannot stress the HEALTHY part enough)?  Write a blog defining YOUR lifestyle change if you are a blog writer.  I'm interested to hear about the journey YOU are on and what this change means to YOU - email me at if you'd like.  I just want to see people loving themselves (inside and out) and living a healthy & active life that they LOVE!


Verse of the Day:

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


There is so much SUCCESS in the weight loss world and I am daily amazed by awesome stories I hear on facebook, by blog, at work or by word of mouth. I often see people walking or jogging on the sidewalks of town and in my car whisper a "Good job," because it fills me with joy seeing people push themselves to become a happier, healthier person.

The "ONE STEP spotlight" recognition comes from the famous quote, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." You have no clue how many people you can impact in life just by setting an example. So here it goes...


T R I C I A   K E P K A
- 60 pounds lost -

Occupation: Mortgage Department Accountant

What is your favorite exercise?

Elliptical machine with my Ipod playing (I love to make new playlists and change the music around so I don’t get bored), also trying to jog a little more when I am out walking.

How often do you exercise?

I like to do 5 times per week, some weeks are better than others

Favorite healthy food/recipe?

I love fresh fruit or anything made with avocado.

Favorite guilty pleasure?

Chips, creamy dips, appetizer type foods

What inspires/motivates you?

Going shopping and fitting into smaller sizes, looking at old photos to see my progress, compliments from people

Tell me your story? When/Why did you decide to start this healthier lifestyle?

When I was younger I was always active and in good shape. As I finished college and started working desk jobs the weight started to creep on. I became a Mother and incidentally gained more weight from pregnancy . For a while I was content to ignore the problem and just pour myself into being a Mother, Wife, etc. Several times I lost some pounds for a big event such as my 10 year reunion but would just gain it all back later. A couple of years ago I joined Weight Watchers with a coworker with the idea of really learning the tools for lifelong eating. It has taken me over two years to lose the 60 pounds but I know that this time I have really adopted my new lifestyle and that the weight will not creep back on. For me slow and steady wins the race. I am not cramming for one particular event but rather a new more active and happy lifestyle. I still have approximately 15 pounds to lose and know that I will get there.

What would you tell someone asking for advice?

Weight Watchers is a great program which teaches you healthy ways to lose weight and adopt a new lifestyle as opposed to a diet. Make sure to find people to talk with for sharing and encouragement. You need to find out what works for you. There are some foods I don’t want to give up so I just have them in smaller portions or less often. Other people do better with completely avoiding those foods. I do better if I stay more disciplined during the week and allow myself a more relaxed day during the weekends. Make sure your splurges are worth it. If you want a dessert make it a good one so that you are satisfied. Keep trying new forms or exercise and activity until you find something you enjoy.

Anything else? Additional comments?

I would wish everyone good luck on their weight loss journey. While the course may seem long and hard, it will be worth it when you can enjoy the new lifestyle that you create for yourself.

Monday, August 23, 2010






2.       ‘LIKE’ KANSAS CITY FITNESS MAGAZINE’S FANPAGE (Some of you may already have it liked from voting for me)

Verse from ALI's blog header:
"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
-- Hebrews 12:11

Saturday, August 21, 2010


GO TO: then click on Weight Loss Challenge 3 for FINAL results!!!
9 weeks

12 original contestants

9 "sneak attackers"

***350 LBS LOST***


~2nd PLACE~


**32.6 POUNDS LOST in 9 WEEKS**

On Monday, August 16th, the contestants of the 3rd Kansas City Weight Loss Challenge by Kansas City Fitness Magazine all came together as a group after 9 LOOONG, hard, tiring weeks for the end of a great challenge, but also the continuation of what should be a life change.  For most, this was the first time to meet our competitors in person.  I say "competitors" although there really wasn't the feeling of competition in the air but rather one of happiness, support, SHOCK and comaraderie.  I'm thankful to have been a part of a group that wasn't cut throat, but rather encouraged one another the entire way.  There were playful jokes made here and there about finding Chris Wilson's home address and mailing anonymous goody packages, but other than that we pretty much opened our workouts to each other and even gave tips & advice on diet.

Previously we had all completed our 5th week before leaving for our "Homestretch Challenge."  The Homestretch Challenge added a new dynamic to this competition by removing the accountability of our public interviews, announcement of our results and the knowledge of our weekly standings.  For three weeks we were sent off to be disciplined and return with results that speak of our hard work "off camera."

I must admit, for the first 1 1/2 weeks of the Homestretch Challenge it didn't start off in my favor.  At one point I actually GAINED a pound before seeing the numbers turn around on my home scale.  Thanks to a well-known monthly visitor I had to cater to some water weight, fatigue and pain partnered with two back-to-back weekend vacations that resulted in lots of road stops for quick foods with sodium.  I made wise choices AND exercised on vacation, but sodium always wins!  Thankfully I was able to turn the ship around and get back on track when my "visitor" left and took a quick 7 lbs with her. :)

The final week of my time away from the scale at the KC Fit Magazine office, I laid everything I had out on the table.  Diet, workouts, more sleep - I played my "A" game and pushed harder than I ever have before.  It felt like I had a whole WEEK of "Last Chance Workouts."  I had family, friends, co-workers and fellow contestants right alongside me, running to the finish line with me!

All of the sweat, hard work and discipline proved to pay off when I stepped on the scale for the final time in front of family, friends and other participants.  It's funny because the scale is a very familiar encounter for me nowadays but needless to say I was nervous standing on it in front of other people.

"Demesha, you started this challenge 9 weeks ago weighing in at 222 pounds and left us in week 5 at 200.6 pounds. TODAY you are.....189.6 pounds for a total of 11.4 pounds lost over that past 3 weeks and 32.4 pounds lost total!!!"
WOW!  PRAISE GOD!  I went into this challenge for the accountability and chance to meet other people locally who are working towards better health and I left this challenge over 30 pounds lighter and with some inspiring new friends!  32.6 pounds landed me 2nd place with friend, Jera Leathers, right on my heels in 3rd place.  Chris Wilson ran the board all 9 weeks and took 1st with 42 pounds lost!  He's looking great just in time for his big wedding day next Saturday.

I'm extremely proud of EVERYONE who took on this challenge and tackled the fears of PUBLICALLY displaying their weight as well as their progress (whether up or down).  This challenge offered a platform to not only be encourage but inspire other people and each one of the participants did just that - INSPIRE.  It was amazing to see how family, friends, co-workers and even strangers rallied together to boost votes for our chance to be a part of this experience and even more exciting to know how much they stuck by our sides and encouraged throughout it.

In everything you do you should work your HARDEST and do your best.  I am able to say that I am proud of my accomplishments. In February, 2009 I began my weight loss journey at 342.2 lbs and have since lost over 150 lbs with various challenges along the way to help motivate me. With all that being said, at the end of the day CHRIST is still my #1 strength!  The days I'm not leaning on Him it's harder because I'm depending on me and I've learned that on my own I fail miserably.  Faith IS believing in what we do not see and I have faith that by God's grace I WILL reach my goal.  I am at a point of my journey where EVERYTHING is new and EVERYTHING is a celebration.  Every pound lost is unfamiliar territory, every size dropped is a new experience.  At 25 years old I am the smallest and healthiest I have ever been in my life for my age range.

I am thankful for YOU and other family & friends who have been an amazing support system in promoting a healthy and encouraging environment for me to continue moving in the right direction. THANK YOU for all of your LOVE, SUPPORT and INSPIRATION as I continue striving to successfully lose 200 pounds and KEEP it off!

LeAnn came to support me at the final weigh-in and made a cute shirt with my name on it and a cross. :')

I saw this quote on one of my good friends facebook status the other day and thought it was worth sharing:

"The most courageous people change before they have to.." -Bill Phillips

Don't wait until the doctor tells you that a healthier lifestyle is your only chance at life - BE COURAGEOUS - start today!

Verse of the Day:

"Now faith is being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN for what we do not see."

-Hebrews 11:1

"We walk by FAITH, not by sight."

-2 Corinthians 5:7

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


In most races the runners pace themselves in a way to not only finish but to give one last UMPH! of energy at the end for a SPRINT to the finish line.  This past week was my SPRINT to the final weigh-in for the Kansas City Weight Loss Challenge.

I stuck to my plan of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish), carbs and fiber primarily from veggies (broccoli, green beans, asparagus, carrots), limited fruits only eaten during the day to be burnt off (strawberries, canteloupe, avocado and pineapple), low sodium, LOTS of water and protein shakes as snacks and as breakfast meals (add banana and strawberries) on my busier mornings.  My newest protein shake recipe that I LOVE is "Banana Split."
1/2 banana
1/2 c frozen strawberries
1 tbsp fat free/sugar free banana cream jello pudding mix (dry)
1 tbsp benefiber
1 tsp flax oil (Source of Omega-3's and serves as nutty flavor for the nuts on top of your sweet treat)
1 scoop cookies 'n' cream protein powder
8 oz cold water
4-6 ice cubes
YUMMY!  Mine comes out to 303 calories jam packed with protein, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and FLAVOR!

Diet is essential in weight loss, however, coupled with a good workout schedule it is a recipe that heeds RESULTS.  ALL of last week felt like my "Last Chance Workout."  There was personal training with Brandon, bootcamp style training with Kim (wellness coach), retro aerobics, zumba, wii fit, racquetball with Dad, workouts with Ali, ultimate workout challenge class at Sylvester Powell Community Center and the hardest workout I've ever completed led by Franchesca Alcanter - boxing class!

On Saturday, I was excited to share one of my biggest "Last Chance Workout's" with supportive friends.  I don't know how many of those attending still call me "friend" after suffering through that 1 hour class though.  :)  You know a workout is intense when 2 people throw up, one drops out after the WARM-UP and ALL grunt, groan and whine from start to finish. WOW!  I've never felt like I was going to lose a weeks worth of meals like I did during that class but I LOVED every minute of it!  Call me crazy huh?

I burned OVER 2800 calories each day last week and went well over 3000 calories burned on some days (boxing day being an obvious one of them).  All the hard work paid off though...check back on Friday for the FINAL results of The Kansas City Weight Loss Challenge: Round 3.

BIG THANK YOU to Franchesca for planning a "special" workout for us to burn some serious calories in while having fun.  Thank you to JERA LEATHERS, fellow contestant representing orange, for sharing your trainer as well as encouraging and motivating me each and every week of this challenge by your hard work and support.  HUGE THANKS to my amazing friends Ali, Audrey, LeAnn, Jenn & Melody for attending Franchesca's special boxing class with me for a HIGH calorie torcher (both torching calories and TORTURE for those who attended). I love you all and am so blessed to have each one of you in my life.

Verse of the Day:

-1 Corinthians 9:24
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Homestretch Challenge's the final countdown of the "Homestretch Challenge."

With the conclusion of our fifth week, my challengers and I all walked away from the competition scale to battle it out at home for the 3 week homestretch challenge.  Eliminating the knowledge of how we "weigh in" next to the competition, it's been an interesting journey not knowing where we stand.

I finished off week 5 with a 2.4 lb loss not quite making my goal of being UNDER 200 lbs.  My official weight was 200.6 and dropping me from 2nd to 3rd place out of 21 contestants.  Dropping down a position stinks, but I must take my hat off to Jera Leathers who took over.  She as well as ALL contestants has been working hard daily to lose weight and is making changes to last a lifetime.  From the first time I watched her video, I knew she had the desire in her heart to do this for real, not simply as a challenge.  I don't see her as someone who will give up easily, I see her going the long haul and that excites me.  I LOVE being encouraged by the journey of others who are mutually on this road to better health and living.

As for how I'm doing with that "at home" portion of this 9 week challenge, well, it's been an interesting ride.  I've went on two weekend vacations out of our 3 weeks at home and it's hard to stay on target when you're covering the road...especially when that road leads you to the middle of nowheresville in Western KS.  One grocery store, two gas stations and limited fresh produce are typically a hard combination when you're looking for healthy FRESH eats.  Couple that with a montly visitor who is usually accompanied by fatigue, irritability and water retention and you are surely on your way to the lead right???  haha....

Those are the variables that really can't be avoided though, those that can I feel I've done a fair job handling.  I've continued to workout and even got creative over vacationing.  Walks, jogs, taking stairs and an entire stair workout routine at Drury Inn this past weeked in St. Louis.  I actually hit some of the highest calorie burns since I've got my bodybugg while on vacation, each being well over 3000 calories burned and nearly 20,000 steps in a day.  Definitely nothing to get discouraged over, although I must say SODIUM kicked my hiney over that past weekend...*gulp*.  Did I eat horrible? Nope.  Did I eat off processed foods off plan? You better believe I did.  Sodium doesn't even blush with shame when it shows up, making a GRAND appearance on the scale.  Most definitely not a respector of persons.  Did you know that you can gain 1-10 lbs just from restricting sodium and then reintroducing highly processed, sodium filled foods back into your diet EVEN when staying within your normal caloric range for weight loss AND working out?  Hmmm...I know first hand, I'll testify to that! :)

So all in all, I'd say I'm winning in the obedience/discipline arena of a lifestyle change but getting whooped in the "I'm in a challenge and need to step up my game" area.  The final weigh in is Monday, August 16 and the numbers are going to be interesting to say the least.  Did I do enough? That I really don't know but I can promise you that I worked hard and most certainly have made myself and hopefully friends & family proud!

...SATURDAY is my "Last Chance Workout" at Gold's Gym.  I'll be doing a 1 hr boxing class with friends and maybe family sweating it out with me and we'll see how I weigh in at our FINALE on Monday @ 9am!  I'll be meeting most of the contestants for the first time and we'll witness the final results.  Videos and the "after" photo shoot will all occur on Monday, I'm beyond excited...partially for it to be over.  (haha)  Stay posted!

Until then...gotta run to the gym folks!

Verse of the Day:

Mark 11:24

"Therefore I say to you, whatever you ask for when you pray, believe that you have received it, and you will have it."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

...starts with ONE step!

There is so much SUCCESS in the weight loss world and I am daily amazed by awesome stories I hear on facebook, by blog, at work or by word of mouth.  I often see people walking or jogging on the sidewalks of town and in my car whisper a "Good job," because it fills me with joy seeing people push themselves to become a happier, healthier person.  It's great having these reality TV shows that have inspired millions, but when you see your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family - people in your every day communities being successful, it often has a more realistic impact. "It hits home..."  Those are the determined individuals who we get the privilege of watching LIVE off the flat screen TV, the people that help us realized here and now that, "If they can do it, I can too!"  They don't have 24 hours a day at their disposal for exercise, personal dieticians and the opportunity to be secluded from the real world.  There are McDonald's & Burger King's on their every street corner, potlucks at work, kids to attend to, work to keep up with, meetings, appointments, gatherings, vacations and every other thing that has to be wisely approached to make the right choices.    I want to start occassionally recognizing some of those people and their stories right here on my blog.  This isn't just about "me."  From day one I've wanted to encourage others to step out and run with me on this journey and I believe these individuals would want the same.  This recognition is going to be called "ONE STEP spotlight," coming from the famous quote, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  You have no clue how many people you can impact in life just by setting an example.  So here it goes...


*!*!*BRAD YOUNGER*!*!*

Name:  Brad Younger

Occupation:  Bank Teller

Amount Lost:  -14.5 lbs in TWO MONTHS!!!

What is your favorite exercise? Walking with friends from work, other than that I like the elliptical machine and treadmill
How often do you exercise? 4-5 times a week
How does it make you feel now that you are getting active? I feel a lot better about myself because I am trying to get fit and lose weight.

Tell me your story?  I was skinny growing up and worked jobs that kept me active, but never really exercised my whole life. After I got married nine years ago, I changed jobs where I was not as active. My wife and I walked some and even went to the gym a couple of times a week but that didn’t last very long. I have gained about seventy pounds since I got married. It has reached a point that I just want to be in better shape and be able to do more things.

What is one thing you’d like to say, either to someone else as encouragement, summary of what got you moving or general closing statement?  I’ve been one that has always wanted to lose weight and get in shape, but for some reason I just couldn’t get off the couch. Mesha, you have been a great inspiration and I thank you for starting the walking club here at work. I’m still on the couch, but not near as much, you have got me moving.

I want to take a moment to brag on the first ONE STEP spotlight recipient.  Just eight weeks ago I started a walking club and invited co-workers, family & friends to come along to join me for a weekly walk. I initially sent the invitation out to employees who partipated in my past Biggest Loser Competitions at work as well as some personal friends. I wasn't being "bias," however, I didn't include any men in this invitation because I just wasn't sure they'd be interested. I had no clue how our walks would end up; Serious, would anyone show, boring, talkative, FAST PACED, slow and silly, girl talk??? At our very first walk, there were 3 of us girls present and about 2 minutes into the walk a familiar face joined unbeknownst to me...BRAD. He'd overheard about the walk from a colleague and decided to come along with us; It was the first time he'd went out with the intent of "exercise" in years! Within the first 1/4 mile his feet were hurting, he experienced some chest pain and we were a bit nervous about the rest of the distance. Finishing last, he made it the whole stretch and felt the pain of every step taken....but he did it! That ONE STEP has led to nearly 15 lbs lost in 2 months and inspired routine workouts far beyond our weekly group walk.  He's biking, walking, doing the elliptical and even a bit of JOGGING.  Since that ONE STEP, BRAD went from finishing last to finishing at the head of the pack last week AND he's the only walker who hasn't missed a group walk yet. GREAT JOB BRAD!

Verse of the Day:

- 1 Samuel 16:7

"...The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”