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Journey to wellness: Catching up with Jennifer and Michelle

Editor’s note: Fitness coach David Freeze is working this year with Jennifer Payne and Michelle Patterson to help them achieve goals of losing weight, getting stronger and becoming healthier. The Post is following their progress.

By David Freeze

For the Salisbury Post

It has been since early June that we checked in with Jennifer Payne and Michelle Patterson as they neared halfway in their yearlong wellness journey. Both ladies had made huge strides from January through early June and were so determined and fun, too. With their coach away on a long bike trip, I felt good about Jennifer and Michelle’s resolve to keep improving.

I checked in with them several times during June and July and found them still exercising but losing a little steam. Outside exercise, which they both prefer, had become harder with the heat and the increased humidity of the summer. Work and family schedules for both hadn’t been particularly easy either. Both actually gained a small amount of weight.

Communication from both Jennifer and Michelle is really ramping up now as they will use their determination to have a successful August as a jumpstart to meeting their goals for the rest of the year.

“I have not met my weight goals for the last two months and I am not sure why,” Jennifer said. “I continue to try to eat right and meet my exercise goals. My food intake is good during the day, but I tend to slip at night. I have also joined Weight Watchers. I have made it a point that I will not be discouraged and will rock the rest of the year.”

Michelle feels that she plateaued during my time away.

“I am slightly frustrated that I have been consistently working out and watching what I eat without losing any more weight,” she said. “Summer seemed like it would be an easier time for me to lose weight, but it hasn’t been. A change in my exercise routine will probably be the key to more improvement.”

Similar frustrations have been in place for these last few weeks for both Jennifer and Michelle. Michelle is correct in that the exercise routine does have to change regularly, especially when weight loss is a concern. Jennifer is also right when she says that neither of them should be discouraged. She also knows that one of her keys is controlling food intake late in the day.

Now for the positives, and there are many. Jennifer has also started FAST Performance, a workout that uses circuit training.

“I really enjoy the soreness that results from this kind of workout,” she said. “With my running, daily walks and FAST Perfomance, I think the results will come.”

That soreness comment makes my own heart sing.

Adding more forms of exercise has been Michelle’s approach too.

“I have been taking the Kettle Bell class on Monday and the Butts and Gutts class on Wednesday, both at 5:45 a.m. My family says that I am more toned and I feel stronger,” she said. To make her joint workout with Jennifer on a recent Monday morning, Michelle even offered to do the Kettle Bell class and then go running afterwards.

Speaking of running, both have committed to doing the Sunset Run 5K that benefits the United Way on Friday, Sept. 2. Soon, we will begin training on portions of that fairly fast course. Michelle is also doing the Big Muddy Run at Patterson Farms, and I imagine that Jennifer will, too. From a slow beginning, running has become a staple and very productive part of their regular workouts. Of course, that makes their coach happy!

Now for the big positives.

“I still feel the results even though my weight loss stopped,” Jennifer said. “I am comfortable in a bathing suit at the beach and even allowed photos to be shared on Facebook last week during our vacation.”

Michelle and Jennifer both entered the year with a primary goal of dropping their blood pressure medicines. With half of the year complete, both have doctor’s approval after their recent successes to cut their blood pressure medication in half.

So, we move forward. Michelle wants to drop eight more pounds by year end and build strength to allow her to do more early morning workouts comfortably. Jennifer wants to regain her momentum and start seeing her own weight fall again. My goal for both is simple: keep working hard and use running as a base while including strength workouts with proper nutrition to reach those goals.

See you at the end of August!

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