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Published: Monday, January 26, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

Cindee Lyons of Everett (Contestant)

Week Twelve - FINAL

Starting Goal: My personal goal is to lose weight. I want to be happy, healthy and fit for the next phase of my life!! Do you feel that you accomplished your goal? I have accomplished my goal. I have lost weight and have gained a better perspective of what needs to be done to continue losing. I feel that I am now happier, healthier and ready for the next phase of my life! What are your goals for the future? My goals for the future are to keep taking the weight off slowly and steadily so there is less chance of me gaining it back. I’d love to lose another 70 pounds or so by my fortieth birthday in April. I can achieve this goal by losing nine pounds a month-very attainable! What would you tell someone starting their own Healthy Challenge? I would tell them not to get discouraged in the beginning when the weight isn’t coming off quickly enough. Your body really needs time to adjust to the changes you make and when it finally does, the scale will show it! I cried everyday for five weeks because the needle on the scale wasn’t moving much despite all my hard efforts. Stick with your plan and it will happen! I promise!

Week Eleven

• What did you find most challenging this week? My only challenge this week was trying to work my walks with the dogs around the rainy weather! None of us enjoy walking in the rain! • What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? I finally went shopping to replace the clothes that were falling off of me. I took a size smaller than what I am used to wearing into the dressing room and it was too big, I grabbed the next size down and it ended up being too big...I ended up going from a size 24-26 to an 18-20!! I almost started crying in the dressing room! What an amazing feeling that was. I haven't been in an 18-20 pant size in years! I am so proud of myself for what I have accomplished in the last 11 weeks. • What are your goals for next week? I wasn't looking for a full time job, but one found me and it was too good to pass up. I will now be a full time student who is also working full time. My goal this week is to find as much time possible to exercise and pack healthy lunches and snacks to eat during the day! • Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. I had a great week--even with family in town, I kept myself active and ate healthy foods. I am happier, healthier and excited to see what the future brings for me. There have certainly been many life changes for me since I was introduced as a contestant in the Herald's Healthy Challenge and I couldn't be happier!

Week Ten

• What did you find most challenging this week? Eating the right foods continues to be my biggest challenge. I have been doing great, but it is difficult to pass up all of the things I used to love! I have completely cut out all soda, sugar and pasta since this challenge started. It does get easier each week to "just say no." • What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? There isn't any one thing I am most proud of this week. I am increasingly proud of myself each week for sticking to a program and not giving up when things aren't as easy as I'd like them to be. My confidence and self esteem are so high right now and I am feeling so proud of myself in general. What are your goals for next week? My goal for this week is to keep a healthy attitude and not let myself get down when things are difficult or I don't meet the goals I set for myself. • Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. I am so happy with my results this far. I am feeling better and getting positive feedback from friends and family has been so encouraging. This challenge has changed my life. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this!

Week Nine

What did you find most challenging this week? Still suffering from a cough and cold this week and found it a little difficult to get through some of my workouts, but I did it!! What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? I officially got my name on the board for hitting 15000 Fitlinxx points at the Y. Tyler knew how excited I was and highlighted it. I was proud of myself as well for still exercising every day no matter how horrible I felt. I also did some searching on the TV and found that there is an "Exercise TV" on demand on Comcast. I looked through them and found some great workouts to do when I can't fit the Y into my schedule. They have everything from yoga to hip hop dancing. I can't wait to try them!! What are your goals for next week? Next week will be difficult for me because I have family coming in from all over for my sister's baby shower. I plan on achieving the same goals as I had last week because I totally blew it last week with meeting my goals! So I really want to get new picture for everyone to see, get to Laurie's cycling class and get together with Erin for a workout at her Y. So much to do, and so little time left!! Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. I went through my closet and picked out all of the clothes that no longer fit me...some only worn a few times! What a great feeling to put on clothes and literally have them fall off! I don't have the means to buy any new clothes yet and I am still losing weight so most of my clothes are going to have to work out for another month or so before I break down and replace some stuff. Even my underwear is too big!! What a wonderful "problem" to have, huh? This contest is going so fast. I am mentally preparing myself for the end of the competition but keeping in mind that my journey is not stopping after three more weeks. This is a battle I will be fighting for the rest of my life. It's a hard thing to wrap your mind around. People don't understand that losing weight is not only a physical journey, it is a mental one as well.

Week Eight

• What did you find most challenging this week? I was suffering from a cold this week, but didn't let it get me down. I kept up with my workout routine and struggled through. • What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? On Thursday night as I was logging my Zumba toning class on the Fitlinxx system at the Y, fireworks and congratulations came up on the screen. I had hit the 15000 point mark and will get my name on the board next month!! I was very proud of myself for hitting that mark because it had been a goal of mine since starting with Fitlinxx. • What are your goals for next week? I am going to get my new picture up on here if it kills me! I've been talking about it for two weeks now and time just gets the best of me each week. Additionally, my plans for this week include getting over to Erin's YMCA to do a workout with her, doing water fitness EVERY morning, trying a new class or two at the Y (Laurie George sent me an email inviting me to her spin class--a class that I have wanted to try, but have been a little apprehensive about until now), and keeping up with all of my other workouts. I would love to get back into the two a days again, so this week I will! • Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. Went to my very first yoga class this week and loved it. Any exercise that allows you a little "nap" at the end is awesome in my book!! The pounds are still coming off steadily and more and more people are raving about how great I look, which I LOVE!!! The picture on my YMCA membership card, taken eight weeks ago, doesn't look anything like the person who I have become. Although I understand that I am miles from where I want to be, I am standing a little taller, have so much more confidence, and I know that I am becoming a better, healthier woman because of this wonderful gift that I have been given by The Herald, Valley General, and the YMCA. Thank you, I am going to be forever grateful for this opportunity. • Provide a healthy tip that you've learned during this challenge: Switch up your workouts regularly and try new things to keep your body "guessing." If your body gets used to the same routine everyday, it knows what to expect and doesn't give you optimum results! It also keeps you from getting bored with the same old thing.

Week Seven

• What did you find most challenging this week? Not really any challenges that I couldn't handle this week. I'm starting to look at the challenges as adventures now and it makes things a lot more interesting and fun! • What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Despite the mounds of homework and end of the quarter projects that I had due this week, I still made time everyday to fit in exercise. Tuesday night I was out taking a three mile walk with the dog after dark! Probably not the safest thing to do, but it was the only time I had to get it done!! • What are your goals for next week? My goal for this week is the same as last...to get a new picture of me up on the Herald's website! Everyone on Facebook has been asking me to get a new picture up too. I need to get that done so everyone can see my progress. I'll be rockin' the new shirt my aunt had made for me with my motto on the back. • Sum up your thoughts for this week of Healthy Challenge. Things are really going well for me with the weight loss. I am feeling great and working like crazy to get this weight off! I am very pleased with my results so far. My water fitness instructor told me to get a new swim suit because the one I bought at the start of this contest was hanging off of me. All of my clothes are pretty much huge on me now, so I HAVE to win this contest in order to buy new clothes!! NO EXCUSES--IN IT TO WIN IT!!

Week Six

• What did you find most challenging this week? My only challenge this week was keeping myself motivated to go to the gym while my aunt was out of town. I didn't go as often as I would have liked, but I did keep myself active. • What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Stepped on the scale and hit a pretty big number this week. I am proud to have come this far and excited to meet my next big milestone. Everyone is commenting on how great I look and that makes me proud as well! • What are your goals for next week? I want to continue to do my two-a-days and try some new classes at the Mukilteo YMCA. I have learned that mixing up your routine keeps your body guessing and tricks it into losing more weight. I have lots of tricks up my sleeve!! My biggest goal is to snap some pictures of the new me to add to my reflections next week. I want people to see how much I have progressed. • Sum up your thoughts for the sixth week of Healthy Challenge. Six weeks have gone by so fast. Summer quarter will be wrapping up in the next week and a half and I am looking forward to having a lot of extra time getting my body moving in different ways. This was probably my toughest week so far but my cheering section really helped me through it and kept me focused. I need to keep my eye on the real prize...getting healthy and inspiring others to do the same.

Week Five

What did you find most challenging this week? Again, really no challenges this week!! I am adjusting to my healthier lifestyle much easier than expected!! What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? Lots to be proud of this week...I accomplished my goal of two-a-days all week and I got my progress report from the YMCAs Fitlinxx program and I burned nearly 18,000 calories there in the month of July!! That is equivalent to 49 ice cream sundaes!! I lifted over 77,000 pounds of weight last month too, equivalent to more than 9 African Elephants. The weight is coming off and my body is feeling so good. What are your goals for next week? My goals for next week are to continue with my two-a-day routine (exhausting, but worth it!), continue eating healthy foods and to keep increasing my running time on the treadmill. Big goals equal big results. My Aunt Gina is going to be on vacation, so I am on my own all week! I know I won't let her down while she is gone. Sum up your thoughts for the fifth week of Healthy Challenge. I have been getting a lot of wonderful support from friends and family. All the trainers and instructors at the Y have been so great. I want to thank Gary, Tyler, Wendy and Cora for keeping me on track and motivating me to stay focused. I feel so blessed to be a part of this competition. Although I haven't won yet, I am already a winner (and a loser!!).

Week Four

What did you find most challenging this week? I struggled a little with motivation this week but I still kept on track! Things are definitely going to turn around next week!! I am planning on one of the most intense workout weeks I've done so far. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? I am so proud of myself for sticking to my eating plan and not straying even once!! I am really starting to enjoy eating healthier and don't really miss pizza and tacos anymore. I know that the day will come when I can eat those things and not feel guilty but right now I just can't be trusted! What are your goals for next week? Next week my goal is to do two-a-days Monday through Friday. I enjoy the water fitness class at the Mukilteo YMCA in the mornings and I love going back for more cardio in the afternoons. Sum up your thoughts for the second week of Healthy Challenge. It's been four weeks and I am feeling so healthy and strong. I think about how far I've come and I never want to go back to fast food and being a couch potato. Can someone please fill me in on what's happening on Young and the Restless?? Please? Seriously, I am enjoying my new lifestyle and people are finally starting to notice my weight loss, which excites me!! I love all of the positive reinforcement that I get from all of my hard work. I can't believe that we are a third of the way through this competition. I am thankful for being a part of this and thankful for all of the support I've gotten from everyone. In it to win it--NO EXCUSES!

Week Three

What did you find most challenging this week? I didn't really face any physical challenges this week! Everything is right on track and I am feeling great about what I am doing. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? I really stepped it up this week and pushed myself harder than ever before. I stuck to my motto "No Excuses-In it to win it" and I'm looking forward to week four to push even harder. I make myself proud every day for committing to a healthier lifestyle. What are your goals for next week? My goal for week three is to keep try some new classes at the YMCA. I have enjoyed taking the classes that they offer and meeting many wonderful people along the way! I'd like to fit in two or three new classes in addition to the ones I'm already taking. Sum up your thoughts for the third week of Healthy Challenge. Things are coming along wonderfully and I am feeling so good about the choices I am making and the changes that are happening. The staff at the Mukilteo YMCA has been so amazing with their help and support. I feel so blessed to be a part of this competition and I am determined to make everyone proud. I have to say this again--thank you to all of my supporters. My Facebook friends have been there for me everyday through the ups and downs. Thank you for cheering me on!! I couldn't do it without you!

Week Two

What did you find most challenging this week? My biggest challenge this week was not caving into my cravings. In week one I had no problem sticking with a good eating plan. Week two was a little more difficult! I started craving fast food and of all things, hot dogs! I stuck to my eating plan and didn't stray at all, but was it challenging! I just keep thinking about the saying "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels," and I am FEELING GOOD!! What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? My biggest accomplishment this week was making my goal from last week by going to the water fitness class at the YMCA. I went to the class three days last week and it was great! It was a wonderful way to mix up my workouts and it started my day out on the right foot. Everyone was so supportive once they heard about me being a contestant in this challenge. I've met so many people who struggle with the same weight issues that I do and I already feel like I am inspiring them to get healthier. What are your goals for next week? My goal for week three is to increase my time on the treadmill and really get my heart rate up for optimum fat burning!! I have enjoyed pushing myself to do more every day. Sum up your thoughts for the second week of Healthy Challenge. What a week! Summer quarter of school started and I am taking the heaviest course load I've ever had! Balancing school, work, and volunteering at the food bank was difficult before I became involved with this challenge. Now I am busier than ever. Last week I fit in nine cardio workouts at the YMCA...and I used to say I didn't have time to work out! Now, I'm MAKING time and I am loving the way my body is responding to the changes that I am making. I want to again thank everyone who is following me on Facebook. I have followers from as far away as Equador! Thank you for ALL of the support and encouragement. A big thank you to my Aunt Gina, who has been there with me every step of the way so far. I am not only doing this for myself, but to make you all proud as well.

Week One

What did you find most challenging this week? My biggest challenge this week was dealing with sore muscles! I have awaken muscles in my body that have been dormant for many years. Going from not working out at all to working out every day and going on walks with the dogs has been a huge shock to my body. It is responding wonderfully, except for the soreness! I am feeling stronger and more energized as a result. What accomplishment were you most proud of this week? My biggest accomplishment has been going to the YMCA every day and surviving my first (and second!) Zumba class!! I love doing Zumba at the Y because an hour of cardio goes by so fast and you have so much fun doing it. I am also very proud that I have been sticking to a great diet plan and haven't cheated at all! What are your goals for next week? My goal for next week is to start doing the water fitness class at the YMCA. I want to go three days this week along with my daily workouts in the afternoon. Sum up your thoughts for the first week of Healthy Challenge. So far I've been having a fairly easy time adjusting to my new lifestyle. I am enjoying going to the YMCA. Everyone there has been so helpful and supportive. My Aunt Gina has been working out with me everyday and has been a huge supporter! I thank her for all of her time and support these last couple of weeks and for the weeks to come. I'd also like to thank all of the people who are choosing to follow my journey on Facebook. The words of encouragement are really making a difference! I realize how many people struggle with weight loss and it makes me happy that I can be an inspiration to others.

Beginning of Challenge:


Goal: My personal goal is to lose weight. I want to be happy, healthy and fit for the next phase of my life!!
Age: 39
Weight: 291 lbs
Height 5' 6''

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