Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Two local women take the challenge—Identities to be revealed in six months



LAPLACE -The goal for “Glennis” is to lose weight.

But to get to that goal, Glennis is anxiously looking to something that may be even more satisfying.

“To get to the point that it isn’t so hard on a day-by-day basis is what I am anxious for,” she said. “My goal is certainly to lose the weight, but I am trying to make a lifestyle change for myself that is not so hard to do every day. Right now, it is still hard on a day-to-day basis.”

Glennis is now three weeks into L’Observateur’s “Biggest Loser” challenge. However after losing nine pounds in the first two weeks, she reported no weight loss this week. Since the beginning of the competition on Feb. 1, when she weighed in at 197, she is holding steady now at 188 pounds.

As expected, the rapid weight loss since the beginning of the program has now leveled out.

“I felt like my eating was pretty good this week. No major slip ups,” she reported. “But I wasn’t able to get to the gym as much as I would have liked. I tried to make up for it with some home workouts.”

Glennis said the more she is involved in this competition, the more obvious it is to her how important it is to make the workouts and time to prepare food a real priority.

“There is so much to consider when trying to do something like this. You really have to schedule times to work out, and even to give yourself the time to prepare good foods to eat,” she said.

Talking to a fellow employee this past week, they were discussing how easy it is for individuals to make time for everyone except themselves.

“She was telling me how she was too busy at times to take care of herself, all because she was spending so much time taking care of others. But if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be in any condition to help others. I found myself speaking to me as much as her,” Glennis said.

Glennis admits to being a “junk food junkie,” and is still having trouble changing her lifestyle of grabbing that kind of food.

“I am still grieving the loss of that food,” she said. “I just loved to get a big burger or something like that. Now I’ll get it, but not eat the bread. And I loved sweet potato fries, but now I’m trying to compensate by always getting the freshest fruit. I have found that if you get really, really fresh fruit, it makes a big difference.”

Even though she is happy with the nine pound weight loss so far, Glennis said she feels anxious to see it happen faster.

“I want to look in the mirror and see the weight gone,” she said. “I can feel the difference in the way some of my clothes fit, but I still feel frustrated to not see faster results. And that is when it gets hard to stick with what I’m doing.”

She made a few particularly good moves this week when she made pasta with whole wheat pasta, and had boiled shrimp on her “date lunch” with her husband.

“It was hard to pass up the hush puppies,” she said with a laugh. “But we sent them back, which was good. Then I discovered Hershey’s makes a no sugar truffle. That helped me since I love chocolate so much.”

Glennis said she is recognizing the fact that she may have to lighten her social load and the many things she is involved with, and make a point of having the time to concentrate on her exercising, and time to prepare healthy foods.

“I’m still struggling with the time to do this properly,” she noted. “I’m going to have to be less involved with other things. Right now I’m not miserable trying to do this, but I still have to think a lot about it every day. And I’m looking forward to getting past that point and make it a lifestyle change that comes a little easier.”

Adding to her pressure this week is caring for her elderly mother, who is already blind in one eye, and now having trouble with her other eye. She lives in an assisted living facility in Kenner.

“It’s emotionally hard to see her go through that,” Glennis said. “And for me, I try to settle myself with eating. It’s almost like you are going to rehab in the way I’m trying to change some of my habits about eating.”



LAPLACE – Three weeks into L’Observateur’s “Biggest Loser” challenge, and things are starting to get tougher than ever for “Lisa” and “Glennis.”

The two local women, facing off in a six month challenge to see who can lose the most weight, have seen the third week of competition level off in terms of weight loss.

Lisa lost only one pound in the past week, now putting her at 182 pounds after starting at 194 three weeks ago. Meanwhile, Glennis did not lose any weight this past week.

“I know that you kind of level off after the initial weight loss when you start a program like this, and honestly it was very disappointing to see I had only lost one pound this week since I did very well with my eating, and with my exercise,” Lisa said.

“There continues to be times when I just feel like giving up, especially when I go from 7 p.m. at night without eating until the next morning,” she said. “But I never did anything to sabotage my progress this week and really was disappointed not to lose more weight.”

Lisa continues to stay with her plan to have good portion control of her meals.

“I’m doing well with the portion control, but I did have one night late this past week when I really wanted to eat something at night really badly,” she recalled. “But I didn’t do it, and when I got up the next morning, I really felt good about how I had resisted that temptation.”

She reports no missed workouts in the past week, and even though the week didn’t result in a bigger loss on the scale, she remains upbeat about the challenge she has taken on.

“When I saw I had only lost one pound I felt pretty disappointed, but then I got a little lift when my husband talked to me about it, then I tried on a pair of pants that I hadn’t fit very well. I could tell the pants were fitting better and it just reassured me that I’m building muscle and getting more lean, even if the weight didn’t show. I know in time it will if I stick to the program,” she added.

Lisa is preparing for changes in her home life, not only with her husband switching from his work offshore, but also as she prepares to go back to work after staying home with her 16-month old daughter.

“We bought a second car and that was exciting,” she said. “My husband is a contract worker and now he isn’t going to have to go offshore, so that is nice. And I will start full time back to work about May or June, so we needed the second car.”

She credits much of her success so far in the program to the stability she has at home, agreeing that turmoil in her personal life could make it harder to stick to her workouts, as well as her eating plan.

“I’m just real fortunate in that I have the perfect life,” she said. “I have very little stress, a great husband and everyone in my family is alive and doing well. I know that helps me.”

Then she got a little more encouragement when she went to work out at Shannon’s Fitness Center this week, where she was recognized by a woman there, even though the entire six month newspaper story has both participants anonymously interviewed.

“I had a lady who came up to me and asked if I was the one in the paper,” she said. “I could tell that people are seeing the story, and hopefully it is encouraging them in their own attempt to do something like this.”

Lisa said that she knows how easy it is to have excuses, just like the new baby she had just over a year ago.

“It is so easy to say, ‘well I have a baby, so I don’t have time to workout.’ But I hope some people see that I am doing it, and it will encourage them to stick with what they are trying to accomplish,” she said.

Besides taking care of her young child, Lisa is continuing to take one class at school a week, as she works on being certified as an EKG technician. That will lead her to start back to work full time later in the spring or early summer.