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David Freeze: Mary & Karen — good news on two fronts

At the end of September, Mary’s progress had stalled and Karen was on the shelf with heart problems. The future for the rest of 2018 didn’t look as bright as I had earlier hoped.

“In a rut” was how one reader described the recent trend for Mary Burridge, project manager at Smart Start. I think Mary felt the same way. She said, “First, I changed my mindset. I had become so defeated by my lack of weight loss that I was slowly giving up and therefore slacking off in both exercise and nutrition. I prayed and asked God for guidance and strength. Psalm 28, verse 7 was my go–to Bible verse this month as it states, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”

“Indeed, He has helped me. I have taken back control of my thoughts and my motivation, and it has been wonderful. I have been exercising daily, and often two times a day. I started taking the cycling classes at the Forum as well as Rayna’s Body Blast class. I am finding that I love these classes. I have received so much encouragement from people I don’t know. There is no pressure to keep up with your neighbor or with the instructor. The idea is for you to do what works for you. That is what I did, and not once did I feel judged.”

Occasionally Mary had been mentioning what she called “gut distress,” and she proposed a cleanse. I needed more information to direct her on this because I had never done it. Mary and I talked with Rayna Gardner, the Forum GM, and then Mary visited with Ashley Honeycutt, owner of Juice Life. Mary learned what to expect and committed to a 3 Day Cleanse. She said, “This cleanse proved to be just what my gut needed. After just one day, the distress was gone and I was feeling much better. At the end of three days I had lost five pounds; this cleanse was the jumpstart that I needed. I am back to eating regular food now, but my choices are more nutritious, and the pounds continue to drop.” The cleanse option that Mary chose is all-natural produce juice and healthy additives.

The group and spin classes had been part of my prodding for most of the year. It does my heart good to see that Mary is making progress and that two more months of the same kind of commitment could top off a great year.

With those two months in mind, Mary said, “I have felt so much better this month that I would be crazy not to continue on the same path. My solo workouts will continue as well as my workouts with David. I also plan to continue taking the cycle classes as well as some of the other group classes. I am on track to achieve the 50 pound loss but I am planning to exceed that.” She is now down 48.5 pounds for the year.

Mary is taking her diet even further: “My maximum daily caloric intake is 1,000. This is a goal that I set for myself. This may seem very limiting but as I learn to consume healthy and nutritious foods, I am finding that I can almost eat continuously and still not reach my daily limit. I’m serious and love apples. I eat them all the time.”

I asked Mary how it feels to be approaching 50 pounds lost. Her reply was, “I feel amazing and I look amazing. Yes, I am bragging on myself. The feeling that comes from purging your closet of clothes that no longer fit is wonderfully motivating. I took myself shopping for new clothes this month and I loved it. This is something that I hadn’t done in a very long time. Compliments motivate me even more.”

Mary wants five more pounds lost in November and to maintain the motivation and determination that she has had throughout the month of October.

Karen Leonard, activities director at Oak Park Retirement, is hopefully about ready to rejoin us. A complete stress test found an issue with backflow of blood into the heart, which can cause some of the same symptoms as a heart attack. Karen has gained two pounds during her six weeks away. She is waiting on one final report that will dictate what happens next.

With that, if all goes well, Mary and Karen will both be back on board when we report at the end of November.

See you then!

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