2019 Lean & Mean 2019 Winner Kim Halchuk
Kim lost 52.38% of her initial body fat!
What made you decide to enter the 2019 Lean and Mean Challenge?
I have isolated photophobia resulting in migraines, caused primarily from fluorescent lighting. As you can imagine, it is very hard to go anywhere nowadays without coming into contact with some form of fluorescent lighting. Last year I went on a trip where I was exposed repetitively to these lights and I became very sick. It took me over 6 months to recover and in that time my health and weight really suffered.
Although I can’t control the effect of the fluorescents, I choose not to let it control my life and decided that I wanted to get control of my health again. The Lean and Mean challenge was just the right thing to help me on my way!
What strategies for nutrition and exercise did you put in place?
I have found that nutrition has become more important since I developed my isolated photophobia, especially the amount of processed and sugary foods I eat. If I eat poorly, I find that the chemistry in my body reacts and my migraines are worse. Since I have adjusted to whole grain foods and cut out sugar, I have more energy during the day. Exercise helps me both mentally and physically. Mentally I get those “I’m happy” endorphins flowing and physically I love the feeling of tired muscles, as I know I have accomplished something.
What was the toughest part of the Lean and Mean for you?
Being consistent, working out every day and not letting the scale determine my mood. It’s hard to go weeks without seeing the scale move and not get dejected. I have clothes that I use as my “scale” and as I tried them on from time to time, they were my gauge on how I was doing (not the physical scale)! Muscle is more compact than fat so my weight wasn’t changing as fast as my body was!
What was the most rewarding aspect of the event for you?
Finally being healthy again (after being so sick a year ago) and seeing muscle tone when I’m just doing day-to-day activities.
What did your friends, family (or spouse) think of what you were doing?
Everyone was super supportive during this challenge, especially my spouse. My family and friends really stepped up and helped out by adjusting meals when I was visiting. My spouse helped me get through those “I’m working so hard but seeing no results” days!! He was my rock and this win is as much his and mine.
What did you learn about yourself along the way?
I learned that the choices that I make in eating and exercise really affect my overall life and that they need to be lifelong. I realized how important routine and structure is to me and that I need that to maintain balance.
When you fall off track (eating healthily/exercise) how do you get back on?
My focus is on the future and not the past. I try to learn from my mistakes and I don’t allow them to overshadow my goals for the future. Everyone has weak moments. It’s how you choose to tackle them that counts. Accept where you are now and start fresh.
What are your goals now?
My isolated photophobia is a daily battle and I want my focus to be on staying healthy physically and maintaining what I have achieved so that I am strong enough to tackle anything that comes my way!
If you could give advice to another person who was struggling with their fitness what would that be?
Think of what you enjoy doing physically and make it part of your daily life. It doesn’t have to be “extreme.” It could just be going for a walk each day. The most important thing is that you enjoy doing it because if you don’t, it won’t last. Google says it takes roughly 66 days to make something a habit. Find something you love and make it a habit!
Any other comments/thoughts that you would like to add?
I would like to thank Codrut and Broden for all the great workouts they put together for me throughout the challenge. I especially want to thank Sandra for allowing the fluorescent lighting to be turned off while I was in the studio. If she hadn’t done that, I would not have been able to come and work out or participate in this challenge and achieve what I did. Lastly, I would also like to thank everyone who worked out before, during and after my work-outs, as your compassion in allowing the lights to be off during your workouts allowed me to feel “normal” for an hour each day. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.