In nine months, 12 people have lost more than 500 pounds combined, and they’ve done it with the help of Healthy U.
The Healthy U Class of 2015 has lost a combined 562.2 pounds since they began their healthy lifestyle journey in January, as of their third quarter check-in Thursday, Oct. 22. They only have a few more months until their final reveal during the Night of Inspiration in January 2016.
Each student has had their own unique experience through the Healthy U program, but all of them have reached some level of success, whether it’s running a 5K for the first time or reaching their goal of weighing less than 200 pounds.
“It’s been a rough few months. I have not really lost that many pounds since our last check-in, I think I’ve lost maybe five pounds, but I’ve lost like way more inches than I’ve lost pounds, so it’s made me rethink about what my views are of success,” Kristen Patrick said. “Before I was focused on pounds, but it’s not always about pounds. I can fit in clothes that are two sizes smaller now.”
Patrick has completed her goals of running a 5K and lifting heavier weights, and has new goals: teach a Zumba class and compete in a Crossfit competition.
For Ashley Peck, she has far surpassed her main goal of improving her running skills.
“I’ve gone beyond a lot of my goals. One of them was to be able to run better, to go back to running like I used to be able to do — I played soccer in high school,” she said. “… Just to be able to do that comfortably is huge. We did a half marathon; it wasn’t the greatest but I did it. (Three) weekends ago we did a 10K and along with the hills and everything in Warrensburg, it was the best run I’ve had since this started.”
Mike Jenkins hasn’t quite reached his weight loss goal — he hoped to lose 100 pounds and hit 54 pounds last week — but like Kristen, he is still pleased with his results.
“I’m doing things I never thought I could do. Running, I would’ve never thought I could run again. The body is just amazing, amazingly resilient,” he said. “I’m not on track to where I had hoped to be at this point in time … but I’m so far ahead of where I was this time last year or five years ago or 10 years ago. It’s impressive, it’s phenomenal.”
Jenkins is going through the program with his wife Tesa, and having that support system both at home and in Healthy U has made a difference in his success. He said the Class of 2015 even wants to continue meeting and working together once they complete the program.
“I never used to believe in group therapy. I never believed in going and sharing, putting all your stuff out there, but this group is aligned with what I want to do,” he said. “… You get together with people who are like-minded and they are going through the same things you are. They might have different solutions for a problem you haven’t thought of.”
All of the students said they have seen changes in themselves outside of weight loss. Peck said she has increased mobility, flexibility, energy and confidence. Patrick said she is happy to see her new lifestyle extend to her family.
“I like that my kids are excited about eating healthy things, excited about eating carrots and things that we may not have had before,” Patrick said. “Before this I couldn’t even play with my kids outside, I would get so winded, I couldn’t even do that. Now when I take them to the park I can run after them and feel good about that.”
Megan Webb, Healthy Living Action Group Co-Chair and Nutrition and Health Education Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension, said she is equally pleased with the efforts of this class.
“In addition to being impressed, overall, with this group — their cohesiveness, dedication and achievements — I am impressed with their involvement in community fitness events,” Webb said. “Most of our students have participated in events such as 5Ks, 10Ks, and even half marathons. Some have participated in CrossFit competitions. While it is nice to see yourself improve in these events, it also means that our students are involving themselves in community fitness. That involvement is likely to stick beyond their graduation from Healthy U.”
Patrick encouraged other Sedalians to sign up for the program — she applied three times before being selected in 2015.
“When I started this I was so thankful to even have the opportunity because I joke that I’m the person that never wins any kind of prizes ever and this is the biggest blessing God could’ve ever given me,” she said.
For more information about Healthy U, email [email protected] or visit Facebook.com/HUPettisCounty.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.