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Resolution tips from a nutrition consultant
January 2, 2014 - Andy Flynn
This week: 457 lbs.
Last week: 463 lbs.
Start weight: 470 lbs.
Total lost: 13 lbs.
For about a year, I’ve been debating whether to keep my weight-loss struggles private or explore the problem in a weekly newspaper column, but a recent trip to Green Goddess Natural Market in Lake Placid pushed me to where I am today.
I already had the Lake Placid Diet idea in my brain for about a week, as I was searching for a unique series to boost readership in the Lake Placid News. But I hadn’t really committed myself until I was interviewing Green Goddess co-owner Wynde Kate Reese for a new year’s diet story — tips for people who made it a new year’s resolution to lose weight. I asked her for feedback on the column idea, and she liked it.
“I think it’s a lifelong change,” Reese said. “It is something that over the course of time, it is a lot more effective that trying to do something really quick.”
I admitted feeling guilty as a fat person working in Lake Placid because there are so many fit people here, running around, going to the Olympics, climbing the 46 High Peaks, running half-marathons and marathons and competing in the Ironman triathlon.
“But it can be inspiring as well,” Reese said.
“If you’re going to be inspired anywhere in the region,” I added, “I?guess it will be here in Lake Placid, where miracles happen.”
So my idea to see how Lake Placid could help me lose weight — over the period of a year — was put into motion at that little table in the Scape Cafe, sipping on fresh-made juice. I thought it could be fun, educational, inspiring and improve my health.
In addition to the healthy foods in her store, Reese explained that she’s a nutrition consultant. Although I already have an 1,800-calorie-a-day plan from my nutritionist at the Saranac Lake hospital (which sits on the kitchen counter, barely used), I figured Reese could give me some much-needed wellness education.
So I finally asked, “How can you help me lose weight?”
“I educate people to make the changes they want to be healthier, happier and live more fulfilled lives,” Reese said.
At the beginning of her program, Reese sits down with her nutrition clients for an hour and asks them a lot of questions about past history, goals and current conditions. She will write up an initial list of suggestions and then meet again to go over the list. She will also show her clients how the products in her store can help achieve their goals. Clients then take their lists and try the suggestions for a month. At a follow-up meeting, they will draft a game plan to move forward.
“What I found is that no matter what somebody is coming to me with, it’s not a change they can make overnight,” Reese said. “So having a dialogue with somebody, and really getting to know them, can help.”
Reese radiates healthful living, but it hasn’t always been easy. She’s also had to make some diet changes to get on a better track.
“I made some key lifestyle changes in my life over the years that have helped me find a good, manageable weight where I don’t necessarily have to watch what I eat all the time,” Reese said. “Ninety-five percent of the time I’m probably eating exactly what my body needs, and that allows me to indulge in things when I want to and not feel guilty and not worry about it.”
Reese attributes those changes to years of education and trying different things to see what worked for her body. She’s found that one of the major challenges is overcoming some bad habits and replacing them with good ones.
“It takes a lot of energy and conscious effort to change our habits,” Reese said. “And the longer we’ve had the habit, the harder it is.”
When people have help and a support system, success comes quicker, and Reese has had support from an early age. Growing up in a healthy household, she formed good habits when she was young.
“When I became a teenager, I pretty much threw those habits out the window and became the fast-food-eating, candy-munching, non-nutritious eater for a while,” Reese said.
Then she was traveling in Central America in her early 20s and saw the effect of the American diet on indigenous people, and her life changed.
“I felt really guilty for the first time, and I decided I wanted to do something to help educate people and myself on what foods are healthy, why they’re healthy and how we prepare them to keep their health intact,” Reese said.
Reese earned a bachelor’s degree from Clayton College of Natural Health, based in Birmingham, Ala., taking courses online while living in Central America. She was able to take that knowledge and help others while helping herself re-connect to those good habits from her childhood.
“I thank my mother every day for doing what she did for me as a child because those unhealthy habits I had as a teenager, once I embraced this healthy lifestyle, they were much easier to drop than I thought they would be,” Reese said. “I didn’t miss them as much as I thought I would.”
Reese found that living healthier means eating healthier. And that’s one lesson I took away from our interview.
“I think a lot of times we end up craving foods because we’re lacking nutrients, and our body is asking us to eat more food, but really it just needs more nutrients. And the more nutrients, the less food we need,” Reese said.
The other lesson I learned was to change habits a little at a time. For me, visiting the Green Goddess Natural Market for some healthier grab-and-go lunch items instead of stopping at McDonald’s for lunch is on my new-habit list. So is packing a healthy lunch when I have the extra time.
Reese is enrolling me in her nutrition program starting the first week in January. Then I’ll know exactly what I’m facing this year. There’s only one problem; I have to write down everything I consume for one week, including New Year’s Day, a holiday I usually enjoy binging on food and drink. Ugh!
Next week: I get tips from two fitness instructors.
Contact Andy Fynn at email@example.com.
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I found this newspaper clip from the Aug. 11, 1980 issue of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in a scrapbook my mother put together years ago. I was looking for photos of me at a younger age, perhaps more fit. I’m shown above at age 10 (back row, third from right) in my Littlefield Insurance uniform. My twin brother, Steve, is in the front row, third from right, with his Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department uniform. We both made the Pee Wee All-Star team that year, beating Massena 16-6 and Lake Placid 14-0 to move on to the championship game, in which we beat Saranac Lake 6-5 in 10 innings. This photo was taken at the Rotary-Lions Little League Tournament. I got three hits that game, according to the Enterprise. Yes, I was active at an early age and then slowed down my physical activity around middle school, although I did play varsity baseball as a senior at the Tupper Lake High School (mostly bench warmer).