Are you planning a healthy New Year’s resolution? These three Mainers kept their resolutions and are feeling better for it.
Stephanie Hurd, 27, of Milo
The resolution: Lose more weight than her husband
The result: She won, dropping 100 pounds
The game plan: Last New Year’s Eve, Stephanie Hurd and her husband entered into a friendly competition to lose the most weight in 2013. After giving birth to two children in three years, enduring a number of life stresses and making unhealthy eating choices, Hurd was obese and suffering from high blood pressure, thyroid disorder and borderline diabetes.
She joined a local YMCA in February and the couple began watching their portion sizes and cutting back on fast food and sweets.
Hurd won the competition, shedding 100 pounds by November. Her husband, who had less to lose, dropped about 20. Today, Hurd’s blood pressure is normal, she’s no longer at risk for diabetes, and her thyroid ailments have “dissolved,” she said. She works out five to six days a week for 90 minutes, a mix of cardio and strength training, with the help of the YMCA’s “tot watch” service for her kids.
“I want to inspire people, and try to do so on an everyday basis,” Hurd said.
Jason Urquhart, 38, of Carmel
The resolution: Quit smoking
The result: Smoke-free for five years and counting
The game plan: Jason Urquhart, who had smoked since he was 17, was burning through two packs a day in 2007 when he spotted a cigarette in his teenage daughter’s room.
“I said, ‘How can I teach her not to smoke if I’m smoking? So I just decided one day to quit,” he said. That day was Jan. 1, 2008, and Urquhart said he hasn’t smoked a cigarette since.
“I just put them down and never picked them back up again,” he said. “Cold turkey.”
He’d tried nicotine patches in the past with no luck. Then he just made up his mind to quit, he said. Simple as that.
“I’m a firm believer that if you want to do it bad enough, then you’ll do it. I know that from experience,” he said.
He feels “a thousand percent better,” finding it much easier to breathe and taste his food, Urquhart said. “I feel like I could run from here to Portland, although I wouldn’t because I’m fat and old and lazy.”
Anyone can quit if they truly want to drop the habit, he said.
“If you really want to do it, you can do it,” Urquhart said.
Luke Keyes, 32, of Yarmouth
The resolution: Perform 60,000 pushups in one year
The result: 60,042 pushups
The game plan: Luke Keyes, who tests himself with a physical challenge each year, figured 60,000 pushups made for a good number. His goal was rooted in the Sexagesimal numeral system, an ancient system based on the number 60 that originated with the Sumerians and was passed down to the Babylonians.
“Plus, 50,000 would have been less than 150 [pushups] a day, and I wanted to do more than that,” he said.
Keyes needed to do at least 165 pushups a day to reach his goal, so he aimed for 200, knowing he’d have off days or potentially an injury.
“I would usually do them the moment I got out of bed,” he said. “Roll out, bust out as many as I could, wait a few minutes, do another set to exhaustion.”
For variety, Keyes mixed in different types of pushups, incorporating chairs, placing his hands wide or close together, and working on a declining surface.
He fell behind over the fall, forcing a catch-up last December that included a couple 1,000-plus pushup days. He finished on Dec. 30, adding 42 more pushups in honor of Jackie Robinson, the American baseball legend who wore that uniform number.
Keyes, who stays fit operating his pet service Dog Joggers, has a new resolution for 2014: Run a five-minute mile.
“The closest I ever came was in gym class when I was 14 years old,” he said. “I wasn’t trying for a certain time, only trying to lap my cousin who was in the class. I did it in 5:07, which is my fastest official time. I was also wearing jeans that day because I forgot my gym shorts.”