March 2009

Fitting in fitness

Candy Clepper changed her habits and lost 35 pounds


Back in January 2008, Candy Clepper had noticed something about her blood work.

“My glucose and cholesterol numbers were getting worse,” she says. Her total cholesterol was at 221, well above the recommended “healthy” threshold of 200, and her glucose reading was at 98. She also had suffered from chronic back pain since her mid-20s.

Clepper, a Fitness for Duty manager in Chattanooga, had always exercised, but looking at those numbers, she realized she needed to make a change. She started following the Weight Watchers eating plan along with her usual trips to the gym.


Candy Clepper works out in a “hydro-jog” class.

Each morning, Clepper got up at her home in Kimball, Tenn., and made it to the Downtown Chattanooga YMCA for either a 6 a.m. yoga or “hydro-jog” class – “basically water aerobics,” she explains.

“The hardest thing was actually making up my mind to do it. Once I started doing it, eating right wasn’t all that hard. The hardest thing was making the time in my busy schedule to go to the grocery store and plan my meals.”

In seven months on her regimen of eating right and pre-work exercise, Clepper shed 35 pounds from her 5’6” frame. Blood work showed her total cholesterol had dropped from 221 to 162 and her glucose from 98 to 78. In addition, her back pain had gotten much better.

“After I got most of the initial weight off, I increased the intensity of my exercise routine, as I was then able to do more intense activities,” she says.

Nowadays, Clepper goes to the Y’s “spin” class on Mondays; hydro jog on Tuesdays and Thursdays; yoga on Wednesdays; and “pump,” a weightlifting class, on Fridays.

On days off, she goes to the Live Well Center at Widows Creek Fossil Plant and burns calories on the bikes and treadmills there. When the weather is nice, she rides her Masi Speciale CX touring bike outside.

“I physically look and feel better overall,” says Clepper. “And mentally, I feel a lot better about myself.”


Getting a boost with NutriSum


Last year, Colbert Fossil Plant nurse Julia Smith resolved to lose 25-30 pounds. With the help of TVA’s NutriSum program, she met the challenge.

“My mom had heart disease,” Smith says. “I was at the age that I knew I needed to work on some health issues. And I knew I had put off losing weight long enough. NutriSum got me started.”

She says through NutriSum, she receives daily reminders to eat properly, as well as healthful recipes and ideas for exercising. “The first thing I did was clean out my ‘comfort food’ drawer and throw away the junk food. And I began swimming. I started feeling so much better than I ever did. And I was thrilled when someone commented that I look great.”

Even though she lost all the weight she wanted to, she continues to eat a balanced diet each day, and she doesn’t eat as much. “NutriSum is a very good program that helped me get started with some good habits that I can keep up. I recommend it.”


Staying the Course: 5 SMART goal-setting tips

To stay on track with all the healthy goals you’ve set, take a minute to confirm your goals are really SMART. A well thought out goal is:

1. Specific – Stating that you’ll set your alarm for 6 a.m. to get up for exercise is more specific than just planning to get up a little earlier.

2. Measurable – Walking for 40 minutes or 2 miles is more measurable than simply having a goal of walking.

3. Achievable – It’s more attainable to eat 5 servings of produce a day than 9.

4. Realistic – It’s realistic to lose 1/2-2 pounds/week; trying for 5 pounds a week is unrealistic.

5. Timely – Starting and finishing something in an allotted time helps you feel a sense of accomplishment.