Tracey Dickson

1203-tz-dicksonTracey Dickson, 44 BEFORE 158 lbs AFTER 117 lbs

Although her job as a flight attendant forced her to eat out at least four nights a week, Tracey Z. Dickson, 44, of San Antonio, Texas, stayed trim by teaching cardio and boot camp classes and running about 20 miles a week. But in April 2008, Tracey discovered a cancerous lump in her breast. “My life hit a wall,” she says. Chemo sapped her strength, while steroid pills left her ravenous, so Tracey ate—and ate. “I decided that because I was going through a sucky situation, I would eat whatever I wanted,” she admits. In four months, the scale flashed up to 158. “I had never weighed that much,” says Tracey, who stands 5’3″. “I knew that couldn’t be healthy on my petite frame.”

THE CHANGE In September 2008, Tracey’s mom tried to motivate her to get off the couch. “She told me that my body was used to being active, so the best medicine was to stop lying around,” says Tracey. “The person in the mirror looking back at me was not me, so I got moving.”

THE LIFESTYLE After a double mastectomy, Tracey was declared cancer-free in October 2008. One month later, she stepped onto a treadmill at the gym, where she built up to running for 30 to 60 minutes five days a week; she also strength trained twice a week. By March 2009, Tracey was down 20 pounds. Encouraged, she began training for 10-Ks and tossed all junk food. When she hit 128 pounds in June 2009, she decided to “become stronger and leaner after cancer than I was before it.” After plateauing at 122 two months later, she added reps to her strength routine and was happy to reach 117 pounds in October. “I couldn’t believe it!” she says. “I hadn’t seen that number since high school!”

THE REWARD Tracey is more active than ever, running about six 10-Ks and half marathons each year—double her pre-cancer mileage. “I am stronger than I ever imagined,” she says. “I have all-day energy and believe I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

TRACEY’S TIPS Trick your sweet tooth. “Instead of dessert, I’ll have a baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon. It tastes like I’m eating sweet-potato pie, but for a ton less calories.”

Speak up. “When you eat out, ask what the dishes are cooked in. It’s your body; you should be able to decide what you put into it.”

Make a workout date. “You can’t blow it off without feeling like you’re letting down a friend, so you’re more likely to stick to it.”

From womens health mag

This full-time dad wanted to set a good example for his kids.

Body Transformation

KEN DROZ Hometown: Seattle, Washington Age: 35 Height: 6’4″ Occupation: Full-Time Dad Weight Before: 230 Pounds Weight After: 192 Pounds Duration: 12 Weeks

For the majority of Ken Droz’s life he was pretty sedentary. Diagnosed with asthma during his childhood, he was forced to avoid sports and extreme physical activities. But at 35 years old, Droz, now a full time dad with two children living in Seattle, wanted to set a great example for his two children—a five-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son.

When his son was born, he explains that things “got a whole lot more complicated and busier.” As a true family man, “the unyielding pressures of fatherhood” took their toll and Droz began to make excuses. Looking at himself in the mirror, he missed the parts of his body that he used to be proud of.

KEN’S ADVICE Stay in the Moment


“Focus in on today, not 12 weeks, or a long-term goal. Make a promise that in the morning when you wake up, that you’ll remain perfect until you go to bed.”

People close to him tried to bandage the situation by saying, “That’s what happens when you get older…you’re not 20 forever.” But he realized that being married and aging is not and excuse for letting yourself go. “I decided to tackle those myths because they’re so convenient and, for my benefit as well as theirs, show that parents can take control of their lives.”

Despite the lack of energy and time, Droz joined his local Gold’s Gym, and enrolled in their transformation program known as the 12-Week Challenge on January 23, 2012. Designed by Adam Friedman and Robert Reames, the program keeps you on track week-by-week until your fitness and diet goals are met. Setting a deadline on his weight loss made it easier for him to meet his goals.

Droz took things a step further and incorporated his own unique brand of motivation—he only let himself take showers at the gym. “I found that even when I would go in just for a shower, I would still be able to do some core work or quick cardio.” He also met with his trainer once a week to ensure that he was on track.

Before tightening up his diet, Droz admits things got pretty “sloppy.” He convinced himself that he didn’t have time to cook. He ate out a lot more than he should have and once he stopped counting his calorie intake, the foods that he used to consider cheats became “more standard.”

Now, breakfasts consist of steel cut oats and egg whites, while occasionally mixing in lean chicken breast or chicken sausage. After being on a strictly protein (Kurtosis) diet for nearly half of the 12-week challenge, Droz is slowly bringing complex carbs back into his diet. He also omitted alcohol, saturated fats and sugars.

April 15, 2012 concluded the 12-Week Challenge with astonishing results. Droz weighed in at a chiseled 191.8 pounds. In May, he competed in the Gold’s Gym 90-Day Challenge, where he not only took the title for his age group, but was named the overall winner for all age groups in the Seattle area. He advances to the national competition in June.

mensfitness.com

She Lost 65 Pounds

Krystal Sanders

Before: 185 lbs After: 120 lbs

Although she stands only five feet tall, 27-year-old Krystal Sanders was never petite. Growing up, she subsisted on fast food and “anything you could microwave.” A size 14 when she moved to Austin, Texas, in 2005 to work as a revenue services specialist, she continued to hit the drive-through five nights a week. When she began planning her wedding in early 2008, the added stress drove her to eat even more. “I was in denial and avoided scales, cameras, and mirrors,” she says. But she couldn’t avoid the size-18 tag on her wedding gown.

The Change When Krystal’s wedding photos arrived in October 2008, she didn’t want anyone to see them. “I looked at the pictures alone and I cried,” she says. “It was a reality punch in the face. I was embarrassed that I’d let myself get th1204-lose-winat large.” She knew something had to be done.

The Lifestyle Krystal emptied her pantry and fridge, tossing all chips, frozen pizza, and other junk. Instead of eating out, she started cooking healthier versions of her favorite restaurant foods, boosted her veggie intake, and measured portions. “It was an eye-opener to see the difference between what I would normally eat and what the serving size was,” she says. When she worked up the courage to step onto a scale, it read 185 pounds. She began jogging on her treadmill for 30 minutes six times a week. Over the next year, she added DVD strength workouts, cut out soda and processed foods…and reached her goal of 130 pounds. But she wasn’t finished. She began lifting heavier weights, and in December 2009, the scale flashed 120. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe the scale was broken,” says Krystal.

The Reward Now Krystal has the energy to log nine-mile runs and go biking and hiking with her husband. And she is anything but camera shy. “I used to run from cameras, but now I like what I see in photos,” she says. “I’m finally at peace with the way I look.”

Krystal’s Tips

 

Add iron. “Don’t be all cardio all the time—lift weights! Replacing fat with muscle means you can burn more calories without even trying.”

Greek out. “I use low-fat Greek yogurt in place of mayo in recipes, and it tastes great. It can also be used as a sour cream substitute.”

Be prepared. “Set everything out the night before: clothes, weights, water bottle. Then nothing can get in the way of your workout.”

Looking For Freedom?

iStock_000012442006XSmallToday I woke up at 0345 for a physical training (pt) test at 0530. Normally I’m nervous and so worried I would throw up. Incase you didn’t know, I’m in the military. The Air Force to be exact. In the past I have failed my pt tests and just barely passed if I even passed. So this morning, when I woke up, and wasn’t “shaking in my boots”, I wasn’t sure what to think.

Compared to my pt test, six months ago, I feel like a stud. I did 50 push-ups in one minute and 60 sit-ups in one minute. I lost four and a half inches on my waist for a measurement of 33 inches. I ran a mile and a half in 11:25, which isn’t what I wanted but is a lot better than the almost 13 minutes from my last pt test! My grand total score was a 92% out of 100%. The best I’ve ever done!

Now, there are the two reasons I tell you this story. Number one is, I attribute the reason I did so well on my test to the amazing diet I adopted for a life change. I’ve made all those improvements plus I lost almost 50 pounds. Staying healthy is key to happiness, energy, fitness and mental clarity.

Which leads me to reason number two. With sequestration in the Department of Defense, all branches of the military are trying to cut down on the manning to save money. What this means for a bunch of Airmen, Soldiers, Semen and Marines is; less jobs (getting kicked out), less rank, less benefits, less time with your family, just less everything. Just a few benefits that the military will be cutting out or reducing is; retirement, health care, travel, education and more. It seems as though the military is looking for reasons to kick people out because , I can’t keep count of the Airmen I’ve talked to that weren’t allowed to reenlist, just because.

My point is, every person with a J O B, needs a backup, just incase. Because even the military isn’t a sure fire job anymore! Well I’ve learned a way everyone can find security in their financial future, have as much free time as you want, stay healthy, live longer and make great friends! I have talked with people making six and seven figure incomes! I know that sounds a little out of reach but so is everything that is hard work and takes time to do. But if you just treat this opportunity like a hobby, you definitely make enough to make your phone bill, car payment, or even your mortgage… Heck, if you are paying your house payment why cant you make a living helping other people get healthy and FIND FREEDOM!

Who wants to be afraid of the future? There is no harm in just checking things out. So, do yourself a favor and contact me if you want FREEDOM!!

David Cote Introduction

58114_441635549264098_793185370_nHi all,

I’m sorry I haven’t gotten to you in a personal level. I’ve really been trying to get the information out for you. So, let me tell you a bit about my story.

First of all, I’m from Florida but moved all the time. I moved as a kid and as an adult, that’s how the military is. I’ve been in the Air Force for almost 10 years and I’m about to head to Afghanistan on my fifth deployment. I have a beautiful, smart, caring wife and Mother of my child. I love Jenny very much and she takes such good care of me and my son, Christopher.

At the beginning of the year I was 234 pounds, it took me 18 minutes to run a mile and a half, I had a 42 inch waist, and I ate like I was going to die tomorrow. I ate McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, etc, I think you get my point, but I ate like crap every meal. I was on my way to a heart attack. There is no telling when I would have died but I didn’t want to leave my family early. So, I made the best decision I ever made.

I’ve been cigarette free for 209 days. I have lost 50 pounds, I am making a 90% on my Air Force PT test, running my mile and a half under 11 minutes, my 34 inch waist pants fall off unless I have a belt, and I feel like a million bucks! I think I’m going to live a little longer and a little happier. I have so much more energy and I feel comfortable with my shirt off for the first time in my life.

Most people would think I did a lot of exercise, but I’m here to say no. You might think I starved myself, but I’m here to say no. I did what I had to but nothing extreme. I learned so much about being healthy and loosing weight that I have changed my life.

I have now dedicated myself to help others to lose weight too! I want others happy and healthy too. If your story sounds like the first me then you might want some help, and I’m willing to do it. Let me know if there is anything you need.

P.S. Be on the look out for more from me, David Cote.

A Mother Needs More

Jennifer Yueill: Food costs sting

Jennifer Yueill: Food costs sting

Jennifer with her daughter, Phoebe, and son, Gavin

Phlebotomist, 35, Omaha, Neb.
I am a single, working mom of two kids under the age of 8. I make $13 an hour as a phlebotomist and pay $500 per month in daycare alone. Making ends meet before was difficult, but it is nearly impossible now, and I lose a lot of sleep over it.
I have made major changes at our household to cut expenses. Nothing has been unaffected. I drive a lot less. Once I am home from work we stay home, unless we walk or bike. We don’t go out to eat. At first we replaced going out to eat with buying dinner from the deli at our supermarket, but we have cut that too.
We buy generic everything, and I do stock up, if I can, when things are on sale. Some groceries we have had to cut down on or even eliminate. We used to buy, and eat, a lot of fresh produce such as apples and oranges. My kids love cheese sticks and shredded cheese, but the cost has nearly doubled over the last year.
I am planting a garden this year. We are fishing too, not necessarily because we are that desperate, yet, but because it is inexpensive family entertainment. We used to catch and release, but we are eating what we catch now. Most of my friends are in the same, or worse, situation. When groceries run low we have potluck dinners.
Summer is here and my daycare bill will double because my school age daughter will be in daycare too. I honestly have no idea how I will be covering this cost. I cannot work another job because my daycare will cost even more.

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