Published 12:00 am Monday, March 7, 2005



LAPLACE – “Glennis” admitted that she couldn’t wait for the interview this week for her place in L’Observateur’s “Biggest Loser” competition.

That’s because she got back on track with a three pound weight loss, after not losing any weight the week before.

“I just had a real good week working out, and with my eating,” she said. “I even changed my weekly date night with my husband to a date event of some kind. We’re just trying to get away from everything always surrounding eating.”

Glennis has now lost 12 pounds in four weeks since the competition began, starting at a weight of 197, and now standing at 185.

Glennis said she can see two things in her workouts that seemed to bring about better results.

First of all was a session at Shannon’s Fitness Center with a trainer, who helped her review the form she was using on her weight training, which consists of two days a week.

“I realized I wasn’t having the right form with some of my exercises. And the day after I worked out I could really feel the difference,” she said. “I have been using high reps with medium weights, but still have enough weight to make the last few reps difficult.”

But then she found a personal way to increase some calorie burning at home.

“I always used to do yard work, but had gotten away from it. Now I am trying to really spend some time working in the yard, and that is something I enjoy,” she said. “But I know it is still good exercise with all the walking, not to mention an increase in walking I’m trying to have even at work.”

The results were not only seen on the scale for Glennis, but also when she put on a pair of pants.

“It was amazing to see how loose some pants are starting to fit,” she said. “And there are some I honestly can’t wear anymore. I looked pathetic in some of them now, but that was pretty nice.”

Glennis is also finding that specific changes in her life in other areas are necessary to make this “lifestyle change” complete.

“I have tightened up my volunteer schedule to cut back a little so I have the time to do my workouts. It’s all part of really scheduling your life to care for yourself with your diet and exercise,” she added.

She was somewhat surprised to see how much she didn’t like even a bite of a cake, which was heavy in sugar, or the way she is turned off by the smell of smoke, after she quit smoking last year.

“Some people told me how I’ll always have that urge to smoke, but now I can’t stand to be in the same room with smoking,” she said. “And at the play I went to, I had a bite of a cake, but it actually seemed nasty with so much sugar.”

She showed some excellent control during the middle of the week when she was at a local store, and smelled a pizza shop just down the walkway.

“That was really tempting. But I just went to the store and bought a diet pizza. It was really something. Tasted just like pizza sauce and pepperoni on a piece of cardboard,” she said with a laugh. “But it kept me out of the pizza shop.”

Her personal life remains manageable, although her husband is a lawyer, and both are very busy with their professional life. Then her mother is facing serious eye problems, which has brought about some personal concerns.

“That’s why my husband and I have really committed to the date night,” she said. “And as for my mom, even the stress of dealing with something like her eye problems can put me in a position where I go to have food somewhere with someone. This lifestyle change is something that you have to think about from many angles. But I feel like the struggle is getting easier.”



LAPLACE – “Lisa” echoed the thoughts that have probably gone through the mind of every person who exercises.

“Sometimes while I’m exercising I can think of every excuse imaginable why I should stop. It’s really amazing all the ways you tell yourself it would really be OK to just stop,” she said, laughing about it. “I try to enjoy exercising, but sometimes I feel so worn out that it is hard to just start moving.”

Lisa was speaking honestly about the challenge to stick with her workout program, now finishing week four of L’Observateur’s “Biggest Loser” weight loss challenge.

But even admitting the mental challenge she faces every day, Lisa still is winning the battle as she reported another loss of two pounds this week.

Since the competition began on Feb. 1 and she weighed in at 192, she has now lost 14 pounds to get down to a new weight of 180.

Her workout program is consisting of weight work twice a week, putting in about 30 minutes each time. Then the toughest part she has found is to do the cardio, which she says she does for an hour, to an hour-and-a-half, each time she goes in on two other days.

She also does 60 sit ups every workout, all trying to stay with a program that she hopes will have her losing more weight than “Glennis” at the end of their six month competition.

“I try to enjoy the workouts, and honestly I always feel good when I do them. But some mornings I just don’t like doing it and the struggle is there,” she said. “But this week I could feel that I had more stamina and that is the kind of thing that helps me know I am progressing.”

She said she had two incidents this week when she felt like she slipped a little bit with her eating program, which is mainly geared towards low carbs and portion control of what she eats.

“I went to my mother-in laws house and was fixing this lasagna that she likes,” she explained. “It has five cheeses and I just ended up eating more than I wanted. That stuff probably has 2000 calories a slice.”

Then later in the week she ate a few more Hershey kisses than she really wanted to.

However these minor lapses seemed small compared to the overall discipline she has continued to show, evidenced in the steady weight loss.

“I wish I didn’t like junk food so much, but I guess that’s not practical to think any of us could just turn that desire off,” she said. “I am trying to make myself reach for a salad or fruit at those times when I get tempted, but it’s always hard. Hopefully in time as I work on changing my lifestyle, it will get easier.”

Lisa said that the change she sees even in the minor setbacks is that she has not let a little overeating turn into something more.

“I still think I did very well this week, because I never pigged out on anything when I decided to eat something I really didn’t want to,” she said.

Lisa is facing some changes in her personal life as her husband, who is a contract laborer, may be getting sent to Canada to work, meaning he could be gone for long periods of time.

Additionally, her stay-at-home mom days will soon be changing as she is getting closer to finishing her classes as an EKG technician. She will start work in May and is about to start looking for a job.

“When I start working it will take more time from my schedule and I’ll have to really adjust to that in terms of scheduling my workouts,” she said. “But actually having my husband gone is something I’ve been used to, and maybe why we have a good marriage. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and for us, that works.”