Being a better me begins with ‘Better U Challenge’

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Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 5.47.36 PMI have been given the gift of a fighting chance to change my destiny, thanks to the American Heart Association’s Commit to Get Fit/Better U Makeover Challenge.

My grandmother and great-grandmother on my mother’s side both died of stroke. My mom spent a few decades as a smoker, and even though she quit at 53, she died of complications from emphysema at the age of 86. My dad has been on blood pressure medication for decades. I can certainly see myself in their medical histories.

I don’t want to see myself there; I want to start a new chapter.

The program began three weeks ago, and so far I’m doing much better than I have on my own over the past decade.

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve felt healthy.

The program is co-sponsored by Catholic Medical Center and Executive Health & Sports Center, where I meet up every week with my “team,” some of them recruited like me through the American Heart Association; others, already Executive gym members.

I have a three-month free membership there, use of all the equipment and I can attend as many classes as I want. What a gift!

My story is not unique. By American Medical Association standards I’m “obese.” I work too much and don’t move enough – sometimes I forget to eat during the course of the day, which apparently launches my body’s “starvation mode,” making it even harder for me to lose the extra weight I’ve accumulated.

I want to wear fun clothes again, and exercise consistently without sore knees.

This is not my first attempt at getting in shape, but I hope it’s my last. So far, it feels different – I have great support from Tricia Benton Co-owner and Wellness Director at Executive. She is a wealth of inspiration and information.

To be honest, I waited a few weeks to write about my experience just to make sure I was really going to”commit to get fit” – I’ve kept both my appointments with my personal trainer from Executive, Jackie, and haven’t missed a meeting yet.

Although I’ve failed at keeping up with my daily food journal, I have followed the rules so far – week 2 was a cleanse, which meant no coffee and mostly fruits and vegetables. Week 3 was low glycemic foods. I’ve increased my weekly activity by 100 percent, since I had no regular weekly activity in my life.

My goal for the coming week is to exercise daily (I’ve managed to exercise every other day so far) and do better at writing down my meals – primarily to make sure I’m eating enough, which boosts metabolism.

And, finally, my goal is to write about my progress here.

Yes, it will keep me honest. But ultimately, I hope it can inspire others who, like me, would like to change their destiny by rising to the challenge of better fitness.


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About Carol Robidoux 5212 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.
  • Mimi guessferd

    Way to go, Carol! As another member of your BetterU/Commit to Get Fit team, I too, feel blessed to have been granted the gift of this program. I am so happy to be a part of it, and so motivated to use this gift well. Thanks for sharing your story…

  • Truckpartsgirl

    I love COMMIT TO GET FIT also, Carol! Being in a group of people dedicated to improving their own health has made my journey easier. I enjoy group exercise at least 3 times a week. My trainer Connor has introduced me to Sprint 8 program on the elliptical. It is a 20 minute interval program and I’m done! 20 minutes! It makes you challenge yourself. Hearing people’s struggles make my issues more doable.I feel I am not alone with circulation issues, painful knees, and bad eating habits…( all 8 devil dogs the day before we started because …why???) I am down at least 10 pounds since we started July 13th as are many of the others in class. It is nice to have a jumpstart and added knowledge weekly, along with Trish’s educational input, and the overall class jam sessions supply motivation and support. S
    ee you Monday!