By Britt Harvey
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – except for your waistline.
As the holiday season approaches it can be difficult to keep fit, what with the seemingly endless array of parties, cheese balls, chocolate fondues, and hot toddies that tempt us to forgo our regular eating habits with hedonistic abandon.
But, it’s not impossible. Just ask Joania Burnett.
Last December, the 35-year-old Ottawa mother set a personal goal to lose 101 pounds by Dec. 10, 2009.
Burnett decided that she needed to drop the weight for herself and her then two-year-old son. So she started her own weight loss blog to track her progress toward living healthier.
“What motivated me was being able to keep up with my son and have the best quality of life possible. To give me a chance to truly enjoy life.”
Since then, she’s lost 81 pounds.
Burnett is one of five Canadians selected by ParticipACTION, a national organization that promotes physical activity, to broadcast her weight loss journey. She was also chosen as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s Top 50 People in the Capital.
It hasn’t been easy for her, and she still has another 20 pounds to lose in the next few weeks to meet her goal. But Burnett said there have already been huge rewards for her hard work.
“The most rewarding part of my journey has by far been the immense amount of energy that I now have,” she said. “This helps me get through my day working full-time and taking care of my active three-year-old and husband.”
Burnett’s efforts have inspired people in Ottawa and around the world to keep active this winter season, whether it be a quick game of frisbee in the park, a run along the canal, or the inevitable wrestling match for the last canapé.
And she has a few tips to those still looking to start their own healthy living program.
“My advice would be to do it for the right reasons. Do it for yourself first. Make a commitment to make this a lifestyle change,” she said.
“I would also recommend keeping a diary or a blog. Keep track of your journey and progress; making it tangible proved to be very helpful for me.”
Hartwell’s has produced this video to get you started. Click here for a video segment on running in the winter Jeff Dodds.