What led you to the Challenge?

I wasn’t feeling comfortable in my clothes and I weighed 193 pounds. My husband, Robert, and I have three children and I couldn’t keep up with my very active 2-year-old, Maximus. I got COVID-19 and there was a day when I couldn’t pick him up. But it wasn’t just the virus making me weak — it was my lifestyle. I’d grab fast food or heat up frozen pizza. And I had no portion control. I knew I needed to make changes.

How did you get started?

Because of our schedules, I couldn’t go to the gym, so I looked online and found simple exercises I could do at home. One day I’d work on my abs, one day my legs, and the next day arms. I work out for 30 minutes each night. My 12-year-old, Devion, plays football and we’ll practice with him. We all go for walks and take Maximus for bike rides — he’ll jump in the baby carrier on my bike and say, “Ride, ride!” 

How did you alter your eating habits?

I don’t cook the quantities of food I used to, which helps with portion control. If I’m still hungry after dinner, I’ll grab an apple or a granola bar and the kids will do the same. My husband doesn’t get back from work until 8 p.m. and he’ll often bring home fast food. I used to eat with him even though I’d already had dinner, which was like having two meals. Now I don’t eat after 7 p.m. and Robert supports me by not bringing home extra fries! 

I switched pop for water and take a gallon-sized water bottle into work. I adapt recipes to cut carbs. For example, when I make burgers, I’ll have mine with tomatoes and lettuce, but without the bun. I love sautéing shrimp or chicken with onions, green peppers, and Cajun spices. What helps is that the kids love vegetables so we have cucumber and peppers for snacks and we’re all changing the way we eat.

How else do you support yourself?

It’s mind over matter. I enjoy treats occasionally, so everybody at work knows that Saturday is my doughnut day. But I don’t have one any other day. I take selfies every week so I can see the progress I’m making and when I look at the photos side by side, I go, “Wow, this really works.” Also, it’s important to have a support system and I have an accountability partner. We text regularly and encourage each other. It’s exciting. I’ll say, “Hey I lost another pound.”   

How  has your life changed?

I’ve lost 27 pounds and every 21 days, I commit to another Challenge, which helps me create positive new habits. At work, I’m a little more friendly, I have more energy, and I feel really good. People see me losing weight and I inspire them, which is awesome. They say, “Hey you did it, I can do it too.”

Amy Hendricks, Supercenter #2215; Darien, IL; $5K Winner

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