A recent episode of The Biggest Loser really got to me. Helen and Erik, both past winners of The Biggest Loser title, came to the ranch to visit with the contestants.

Helen looked great, and personally, I thought she looked even better than at the finale. One thing that she said that gave me pause was that she was so focused on winning the title, that she became obsessed with everything that went into her body,  as well as all of her activities. She had reached her goal, but she was struggling. She finally came to the realization that working out 7 to 8 hours a day wasn’t realistic anymore and had to find a balance – and she did. She is happy and healthy and still living an active lifestyle.

And Erik, he was Bob’s New York deli guy who was the sole Blue Team member left standing for a large part of the season it seemed.  He persevered and ended up winning the season. He was such an inspiration losing 214 pounds. But, not only did his return to the ranch shock the contestants, it got to me as well.

Erik had gained more than half of his weight back. You could see the fear and disbelief in the contestants’ eyes. I cannot even begin to fathom the physical and emotional beatings these contestants go through – and to then see a past winner gain so much weight back…wow. Honestly, I related to Erik. I have lost weight, gained it back. Lost weight, gained it back – more times than I care to admit. But, when talking to everyone – something Erik said clicked because I do it all the time. I’ve done it so much during the Pound for Pound Challenge that my weight loss stalled and has gone up and down. He made excuses.

Erik said he felt lost, that he lost his purpose. He began saying, “Well, a little bit won’t hurt” or and he found himself back at over 300 pounds. Erik has returned to a healthy lifestyle plan. He is doing well and continues to be an inspiration.

What I learned from both these past winners is this: when beginning a healthy lifestyle change – structure is important. Be consistent and journal what you do. It keeps you on task, focused and honest with yourself on what you are doing. It won’t forget those two homemade cookies you ate, the drive-thru lunch you had to grab. Once you reach your goal, you are in a maintenance stage. Your body is burning fuel like it should, so you’ll need to adjust your plan accordingly. Don’t forget all that has been accomplished and think that skipping a workout or eating that second slice of pie will hurt you. Once in a while – it won’t, but turning it into a habit will.

As we move into the season finale, I am refocused. I am not going to quit the Pound for Pound Challenge because I haven’t been nearly as successful as I planned or hoped. How are you doing on the Challenge? If you haven’t joined, it isn’t too late. While the season finale of The Biggest Loser is tonight, but the PFP Challenge goes through June 30th. Join us today to make the change – consider joining the Pound for Pound Challenge. For every pound of weight you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14 cents to your local food bank.

Pound for Pound Challenge Updates:

Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are now at 136 pounds lost!  Great job everyone!

Oklahoma has fallen down to 25th place, pledging to lose 76,136 pounds!  Again Oklahoma – it isn’t too late to pledge!!!

Strawberry-Melon-Spinach Salad Recipe

Check out this healthy recipe from eatbetteramerica.com!

Try a variety of fruits for this recipe. Blackberries, raspberries, honeydew melon and grapes add extra color and flavor.

Prewashed mixed salad greens can be used instead of the spinach leaves.

Prepare the dressing up to 2 days ahead of time, and store it covered in the refrigerator. Shake just before using.

10 minutes to the table!
Prep Time: 10 min
Start to Finish: 10 min
Makes:16 servings (1 cup each)

Orange-Honey Dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
12 cups bite-size pieces spinach
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
6 medium green onions, sliced (6 tablespoons)

1. In tightly covered container, shake dressing ingredients.
2. In very large bowl, toss salad ingredients with dressing.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 60 (Calories from Fat 15); Total Fat 2g (Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 35mg; Total Carbohydrate 9g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 8g); Protein 1g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 60%; Vitamin C 45%; Calcium 4%; Iron 4%
Exchanges: 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat
Carbohydrate Choices: 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
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Letter Carriers Food Drive 2010

Donations are still coming in from post offices, but so far the total collected during the Letter Carriers Food Drive is 785,000 pounds of food! Big thank you to all the letter carriers, event sponsors, volunteers and donors who contributed to the success of the food drive!

More photos from the event on Flickr.

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
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A message from News 9′s Gary England!

Don’t forget: leave your nonperishable food donation by your mailbox on Sat. by 7 am for the Letter Carriers Food Drive! For more details on the food drive, click here!

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright

Natalie Wright is the Marketing Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank. Natalie manages social media for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter (@rfbo) and Facebook!
Read more articles by Natalie