(Published Nov 14, 2018)
With the advent of a new year, many people set New Year’s resolutions to “lose weight” or “get healthy.” Unfortunately, most of these well-intended declarations quickly become abandoned as people get caught up in their busy lives. But there are success stories, like Laura and Andy Gzibovskis. Andy says that the secret to a successful New Year’s resolution is that it can’t be a diet or a New Year’s resolution. “It has to be forever,” he said. “I find to be successful it has to be very repetitious and convenient. The J is the closest gym to my home, and on top of it, I like the facility.”
Starting in 2018 at the start of the year, the Gzibovskis have lost more than 160 pounds between them. They did it by transforming their lifestyle to focus on healthy eating and exercising.
One of their goals is to work out for at least 30 minutes every day. They typically wake up at 5:30 a.m. and start their day at the J – including with their two teenagers – before the rest of the days’ responsibilities begin.
However, working out is not the only change this pair has made. After cutting out fast food and sodas, Andy and Laura have started working on portion sizes while increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables. “I think a lot of times when you go on diets, the reason you fail is because you’re denying yourself stuff,” Laura says, “If you want pizza, you can have pizza, just have less of it.”
And they know a thing or two about failing at diets. They have tried losing weight for years. This time, they’ve been successful. As a family, they have found ways to make it work and maintain a good balance throughout the year, including during the holiday season, a time filled with parties, family gatherings, friends and lots of food.
On Halloween: “Halloween was a typical Halloween with candy for trick or treating and the kids doing what they do,” Laura Gzibovskis said. “We did not deny ourselves of eating candy. We allowed for a small amount and then the next day leftover candy was sent away for others to enjoy.” They are trying to emphasize a healthier lifestyle without making a big deal about weight numbers or exercise. “We are just trying to lead by example and also not having junk around like we did before we began our journey,” Andy recalls.
On Thanksgiving: “We typically spend Thanksgiving with family and usually make a second Thanksgiving meal at home so we have our own leftovers to eat for a few days. This year we will be going to family and will eat what they provide and will just be aware not to overdo it so as to not side track our progress. We will also not be making the second meal for our own leftovers but will instead be eating like we normally do,” Andy said. They will also be participating in the Drum Stick Dash as their exercise for the day before heading to their family’s home.
On the Holidays: “We will have a good time without over doing the food. We just won’t buy and have the junk and high fatty foods and sweets that we typically would have had around each holiday,” Andy said. This doesn’t mean they won’t indulge a bit, but they have found that sharing treats, eating smaller portions, and not having extra food has been working well for them so far. “As this year comes to a close, we will also be evaluating our year long journey and taking a look at ensuring continued success into 2019 by looking at what has been working and what we could or should change.”
On Social Events: According to the Gzibovskis, the hardest part about parties and gatherings etc. is trying to stay on the straight and narrow afterwards. “In order to stay successful we have been staying with our exercise routine and getting right back to our normal dietary intake the next day. If we are the ones hosting we have significantly reduced the before meal appetizers/snacking and tried to offer a healthier main meal and then getting rid of any treat like foods the next day,” Laura said.
Well Balanced Meals: