Healthy res­o­lu­tions

Suc­cess in set­ting, meet­ing per­sonal goals starts with com­mit­ment

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - FRONT PAGE - SHA­MONA HAR­NETT Have an in­ter­est­ing story idea you’d like Sha­mona to write about? Con­tact her at sha­mona.har­nett@freep­ress.mb.ca.

RES­O­LU­TIONS a re a com­mon topic of con­ver­sa­tion as the new year ap­proaches. Here are some peo­ple pro­filed in the past and what they re­solve to do in 2016:

MAR­GARET MUR­RAY

High school teacher, ex­er­cise lover For this Win­nipeg high school teacher, New Year’s res­o­lu­tions tend to get in the way of her suc­cess.

“You hear peo­ple talk about res­o­lu­tions. You have to hold on to them,” says Mar­garet Mur­ray, who last spoke with the Win­nipeg Free Press in 2006 about her slow but steady 25-pound weight loss she didn’t even re­al­ize she’d achieved un­til a doc­tor’s of­fice weigh-in.

“I think that when you’re con­stantly check­ing in all the time, it’s too much work.”

But just be­cause Mur­ray doesn’t make res­o­lu­tions doesn’t mean her 2016 won’t be a health-con­scious one. More than a decade af­ter she lost weight through making qual­ity ex­er­cise part of her daily rou­tine, the Kil­do­nan East teacher says she’s fit­ter than ever.

Rather than making un­re­al­is­tic prom­ises to them­selves, Mur­ray and her hus­band, Darryl, are liv­ing their goals. The pair works out at the Rady Cen­tre five days a week and has run three half-marathons to­gether.

They walk for their cof­fee, lunch and din­ners — even when the snow is piled high. “I even walked to a lunch in Os­borne Vil­lage. That took 40 min­utes,” Mur­ray says proudly.

Their re­cent move to River Heights from North Kil­do­nan has helped fuel their good health, since their new neigh­bour­hood is full of side­walks and fun des­ti­na­tions.

“It’s the com­mit­ment that we have built into it to lead a bet­ter life­style. The im­por­tant part that peo­ple have to re­al­ize. It shouldn’t be that you counted calo­ries or lost weight,” says Mur­ray.

“What I in­di­cate to my stu­dents: mea­sure suc­cess through small im­prove­ments. That’s led us to our suc­cess story. Lead­ing that bal­anced life­style. You do need that ex­er­cise and you do need that nu­tri­tion.”

ROY B.

Lost more than 200 pounds through healthy eat­ing, ex­er­cise and a 12-step pro­gram For 2016, Roy. B. wants to do a head­stand.

“It scares the hell out of me. Your arms and shoul­ders are tak­ing up most of the weight,” says the St. Vi­tal res­i­dent, who uses yoga classes to im­prove his flex­i­bil­ity and ease aches and pains.

“With proper su­per­vi­sion, I can cer­tainly achieve that goal.”

Goals aren’t new to Roy. Once, he could barely walk for a few blocks be­fore he was ready to col­lapse.

It was Christ­mas Day three years ago the Win­nipeg­ger be­gan to change his life. That’s when he started his trans­for­ma­tion from a 400-pound com­pul­sive overeater to the fit 186 pounds he is to­day.

Roy, not his real name, con­tin­ues what he calls his “ab­sti­nence” from the foods that trig­gered his overeat­ing. (In Au­gust, he told the Free Press about his strug­gles with overeat­ing and how Overeaters Anony­mous — a 12-step pro­gram — saved his life.)

An­other 2016 res­o­lu­tion? To help oth­ers achieve their goals.

He’s al­ready started by shar­ing his story reg­u­larly at OA meet­ings. Roy’s physi­cian has asked him to speak to a group of pa­tients about his ac­com­plish­ments. And fel­low OA mem­bers are wel­come at his place if they need to talk.

“I’ve opened up my home on Christ­mas Day for peo­ple who want to have a meet­ing and who are strug­gling with eat­ing around the hol­i­days,” says Roy.

He loves be­ing an OA spon­sor — a men­tor for some­one else strug­gling with overeat­ing. It’s a way of giv­ing back. He says he will spend ev­ery day in 2016 be­ing thank­ful for how far he’s come.

“To me, it’s a mir­a­cle, ba­si­cally. If I didn’t have spon­sors to help me along the way I don’t know I would have made it.”

RUTH ASPER

Fit­ness leader, owner of soon-to-open Or­ange Theor y Fit­ness Fit­ness pro Ruth Asper wants to get her Sugar fix in 2016.

But it’s not the white, sweet stuff she’s af­ter. Rather, it’s her horse — a six-year-old Friesian geld­ing — named Sugar.

She got Sugar late last sum­mer. Asper says she will try to visit the horse, lo­cated in Ari­zona, as much as pos­si­ble in the up­com­ing year.

Hav­ing a horse re­minds her of her fa­ther, who en­cour­aged her to take lessons as a child. To­day, rid­ing helps her un­wind.

“When I’m in the sad­dle, I don’t think about any­thing else — the busi­ness is­sues and the er­rands. You just have to be very fo­cused on rid­ing well and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the horse,” says Asper, who, in the early 1980s co­founded Tights, one of Win­nipeg’s first aerobics stu­dios.

She is also the founder of Strat­e­gym — and she’s get­ting ready to open a new busi­ness, Or­ange The­ory Fit­ness.

Asper says rid­ing when stressed can af­fect the horse. “They know it and they tend to get scared. It’s not an easy ride.”

She says rid­ing a horse isn’t just an ex­er­cise in med­i­ta­tion; it’s also phys­i­cally gru­elling. She un­der­stands why so many horse riders are fit.

“It’s a lot of co-or­di­na­tion and a lot of core train­ing,” says Asper. “You really have to fo­cus on so much of your tech­nique and the 2,000-pound an­i­mal that you’re in con­trol of... It really makes you strong.”

RUTH BON­NEVILLE / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Mar­garet Mur­ray, a high school teacher and fit­ness en­thu­si­ast, is com­mit­ted to do­ing lots of walk­ing in her neigh­bour­hood.

MIK AEL A MACKEN­ZIE / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

JOE BRYKSA / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

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