I’ve struggled with weight loss my entire life, but the past year with the pandemic was particularly difficult. It felt like things were changing constantly, and not knowing what was going to happen day to day was very stressful. Work was hard, especially when I needed to do physical tasks, and I was finding it more and more difficult to shop for clothes. I first heard about the Challenge from my store manager, Kevin, at a weekly operations meeting. I downloaded the app and was immediately intrigued — it incentivized me to try something different.
My initial focus was not what I ate, but what I drank.
I had to stop drinking soda and other sugary drinks. Now, I only have water and protein drinks. Within days of making this change, I felt more energized and started to get better sleep. Then, I decided I’d keep fewer things around that would tempt me. I started eating more veggies and eliminated most processed sugars and desserts from my diet. I’m spending more time with my wife, planning out meals ahead of time. Instead of eating out or ordering pizza, we’re looking in old cookbooks and finding online recipes for inspiration.
I’m walking more than ever.
I walk to the mailbox, park farther away from the entrance at work, and do a lap around the building when it’s time for my break. I set a goal of getting 20,000 steps a day, but depending on the day, I don’t obsess over hitting that target. I just cleaned out a room at home and got some exercise equipment in place. I’m hoping to start using that soon on top of my daily walks. I’ve lost 15 pounds so far, with a goal of losing 50 by the end of the year.
My relationship with my wife feels like when we first started dating years ago.
We are spending more time together, simply talking about our day or discussing what meals we want that week. We have decided that no devices are allowed in bed! It’s a firm rule we don’t break — and I’m getting one or two more hours of sleep each night because of it. I feel refreshed when I wake up and have more energy, which makes me better able to focus during the day.
My biggest tip: Celebrate small wins just as much as you would celebrate big wins.
Did you lose half a pound in a week? That’s just as big as losing five! You should also know what you want to achieve. Set a goal, but don’t worry if you don’t see immediate results — they will come. And have a support group. Knowing you have someone to turn to when you are struggling is huge.
—Brian Cayen, Supercenter #1200; Ottawa, ON; $2K Winner