What is the one common denominator that millions of us share? The desire and need to lose weight. Now, there is desire, and then there is commitment. Your desire for something only takes you so far. Unwavering commitment is the action that brings you to your goal.
This story is the definition of commitment. On Jan 8,a community weight loss project, Thinner Winners, was born in Milbridge. This project was put together by two people who also had success in losing large amounts of weight, myself and Steve Teegarden of the Pines Event Center.
Over 12 weeks, participants came to weekly weigh-ins at the Pines Event Center in Milbridge that offered an exercise session and guest speakers who taught them how to live a healthy lifestyle, inside and out. At the end of the 12-week session, the group had collectively lost 1,013 pounds! They surrounded themselves with many others who shared that common denominator and, in the end, found success.
The will and determination of one member stands out: Kenny Giger, 48, of Cherryfield. Kenny started the challenge because he was going to Florida on vacation with his son and wanted to ride the rides at Disney World with him. At his current weight he knew there was no way this dream would happen, so he made a commitment to himself and his son.
We all have obstacles to overcome: not enough time, too tired, bad knees, the expense of the gym. Well, none of our excuses hold a candle to Kenny’s. Kenny has a prosthetic leg. For most of us, this would be the perfect excuse to give up or not even try. But not Kenny. This was just fuel for the fire. He had a goal to be with his son, and nothing was going to stop him from reaching it.
After the first weigh-in, it was clear to him that what he was doing was not working. He had gained 4 pounds during week one. He decided that movement was the key for his success. So he started to walk every day, increasing his lengths each time until one day he was up to five miles.
Each week he attended the meetings, listening to the coaches and learning about the changes he could make for the success he longed for. On week five of the challenge, I asked Kenny, “How are you losing so much weight so fast?” I was concerned he was doing something that was unhealthy.
He replied, “I walk up to 10 miles a day, and I cut back on portions.” Astonished at how many miles he was walking, I said, “Ten miles! Doesn’t that bother your leg? What about the snow? We live in Maine, and it’s winter!”
He simply said, “Yes, it hurts like hell, but I just stop, take off the leg, rub it, put it back on and keep on going. As for the snow, you just do it!”
Kenny became the fire that led the team through the challenge. In the end, he lost 60 pounds and was walking up to 14 miles a day. Kenny walked his way straight to the winners circle with a whopping 22-percent weight loss in 12 weeks.
It does not matter where you are in life — Kenny is proof you can become a changed person. You just have to take the first step. Congratulations to Kenny and the whole Thinner Winners team. In my book, they are all winners.
Nikki Look organized the Thinner Winners Challenge in Milbridge. She is the owner of Massage Bar Harbor and Massage Milbridge.