MEET THE WINNER OF OUR 2019 TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE – REBEKAH HORN



My name is Rebekah Horn and I am originally from Detroit, Michigan. I have moved around the country a lot over the past 15 years for school, but recently got a full-time position with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission as a fisheries geneticist located out of Hagerman, Idaho. In my work, I use genomic tools to help fisheries managers make important conservation decisions about salmonid populations in the Pacific Northwest. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outside with my partner Ben; we enjoy mountain biking, backpacking, and camping together. My other interests include climbing, training for triathlons, and all things crafty including sewing and crocheting.

What made you decide to do the challenge and make a change?

I have been over-weight all my adult life and have tried various diets and work-out routines to try to lose weight. In 2010, my weight peaked at almost 240lbs and I knew I need to make serious changes. I found the sport of triathlon through a very good friend and started running, cycling, and swimming. Over the next seven years, I managed to lose 50lbs through exercise, but had never been super focused on my diet. Consequently, when training loads decreased, my weight fluctuated back up. This, coupled with stress and unhappiness at work, led to my weight going back over 200lbs. Since moving to southern Idaho, I am much happier in my job, have more time to fit in workouts and plan healthier meals, and wanted started to make improving my health a larger commitment in my life. Part of this commitment to myself was joining Gemstone’s Transformation Challenge. I’m naturally an introverted person and would prefer not discussing my weight, but I knew stepping out of that comfort zone might just be the push I needed.

What kept you motivated?

The competitive aspect of the challenge was the main motivating drive for me; I am a competitive person by nature and when I have a challenge in front of me, I do not want to stop until I have conquered that challenge. As the Transformation Challenge progressed, I was continually motivated by the progress I was seeing on the scale and in how I felt.
What changes did you make?
The largest change I made was adjusting the amount of food I was consuming. There is no giant secret to losing weight, it is all about the calories your body burns versus the calories you consume. If you can eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. The hardest part of this weight loss philosophy is being consistent in not over-eating and being OK with some hunger pains. I used the app ‘My Fitness Pal’ to calculate my resting metabolic rate and the number of calories I should eat a day to lose one pound per week. I generally was eating about 1450 calories a day. I meal prep every Sunday to make sure I have wholesome meals to eat throughout the week. This was very critical for my success in that I always had something easy and healthy to eat when I was short on time or tired after a long day. In addition to dietary changes, I worked out 6 days a week, twice a day during 4 of those days. I took advantage of classes offered at Gemstone in the afternoons and either ran, swam, or went to spin classes in the mornings. Since I do have a desk job, I have been making it a priority to walk around the office every hour as well as go for walks on my lunch break.

What goals did you meet?

One of my goals for the Transformation Challenge was to improve my overall lifestyle, which I have completely accomplished. I have more energy, I am in the best shape of my life, and have found a passion for healthy cooking. Another goal I had going into the Transformation Challenge was to meet like-minded people as I am still relatively new to Southern Idaho. The atmosphere at Gemstone has been so extremely welcoming and supportive and I have been able to meet some amazing people that suffer through hundreds of reps of burpees with me on a weekly basis.

What obstacles did you encounter?

The biggest obstacle you can encounter during this type of weight loss journey is life in general. I found that when my weeks were “normal”, I could eat the food I prepped, hit all my workouts, and see results on the scale. However, life happens; I have had to travel for work, old friends have come to visit, impromptu dinner meetings with out-of-town colleagues. These for me were the hardest moments, when you must find something healthy to eat at an airport or you have to pass on a couple beers with a friend. What I have found, however, is that it does not matter if I am drinking water or a beer, it is the time spent with that friend that ultimately matters. It is a great life lesson to be able to deal with the ins and outs of life and still be able to come out victorious.

What’s your plan going forward?

I plan to continue going forward with my weight loss journey. For my healthiest self, I still have some weight to lose. I really enjoy meal prepping and finding healthy recipes to make and will continue that to help aid in losing weight. I have signed up for a triathlon in July and will use that as motivation to continue my training.

 

MEET THE SECOND PLACE WINNER OF OUR 2019 TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE – DANIEL CUMMINS



What made you decide to do the challenge and make a change?

Hi my name is Daniel Cummins and I am 45 years old with a wife and two kids. Over the years through working and becoming more involved in watching my kids participate in activities and less involved in doing physical activities myself, I had slowly started gaining weight. In December of 2017 I hit over 200lbs and decided I needed to start making changes. During this time I changed my eating habits and would occasionally work out. I was able to lose 10 lbs. in about 6 months. In the middle of December 2018 I had kept the 10 lbs. off, but did not feel any more physically fit. In fact I had probably been less physically active during the fall and winter months. I decided to go to a couple of the night base camp classes. They kicked my butt. I was talking to my family about how worn out I was after class and my daughter told me to try yoga see how that goes for me and she would go with me, so we went. During class Kim had talked that her theme of the month was “just show up”. How can you know what you can do if you do not show up? That stuck with my daughter and I. Later that week I was talking with my wife and daughter about possibly joining the transformation challenge. I told them I didn’t think I would do very well. My daughter said, “Just show up. How do you know what you can do if you don’t show up?” The next day I signed up for the challenge.

What kept you motivated?

During the transformation challenge I wanted to lose at least another 10 lbs and more importantly become more energetic and do more physical activities, such as skiing, mountain biking and longer sessions of climbing. In order to do this I kept my meals down to single servings, started eating more fruits and vegetables, and quit bringing packs of sugary items into the house to eat. I also started going to both base camp and yoga classes daily and would climb more with my daughter.

What obstacles did you encounter?

Some of the obstacles that occurred during the transformation were that during the beginning my body was sore due to the fact that I was using muscles differently than before, so I had to work past the muscle soreness. It was also hard not to over indulge on food if I was eating out. I had to choose menu items differently. I also did get a little sick in the middle of the transformation. I didn’t want to miss any of the classes, because I was afraid it would put me behind. I was told I might need to so the sickness did not last longer. Overall I was able to hit my goals. I have lost 20 lbs. and I am definitely more active and physically fit. I feel much better now than I did before the challenge.

What’s your plan going forward?

For the future I am not as concerned about losing weight, but I do want to learn more about nutrition and good eating habits and I want to keep up on the physical activities. I will keep attending yoga and base camp classes. I’ve really learned to enjoy going to them. They definitely have help me grow physically and mentally. It’s been a good ride so far.

 

JANUARY 2019

MARCH 2019

 

MEET THE THIRD PLACE WINNER OF OUR 2019 TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE – ADAM CROISSANT

JANUARY 2019

MARCH 2019