By Sidney Murillo
People don’t always eat to satiate hunger. Often they choose to eat for pleasure, taste or simply to relieve boredom.
Those was once the case for Lose to Win weigh-in winner Amy Ross. Then she decided it was time to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
“I’ve always been overweight my whole life,” Ross said. “Within the last 10 years, it’s gradually been getting worse. I’ve gone on diets here and there, but it’s hard to sustain it.”
Ross began her journey at 170 pounds. At this point, she said she dreaded going shopping for herself.
Now, at 131 pounds, she enjoys feeling her clothes getting baggier.
And she is looking forward to buying new clothes.
“The numbers are great,” Ross said, “but I really notice my sizes. I was a size 14, and now I’m a size 10 going on to an 8. That’s the most exciting feeling when I’m shopping for clothes.”
The motivation from her husband, Randy Ross, was essential for her success as female winner of the Lose to Win competition. Together, they decided that they were going to change their daily habits.
“There would be days where I wasn’t motivated but he would be,” Ross said. “I would say something like ‘I just want to eat a hamburger,’ and he would say, ‘What? Don’t eat a hamburger; we are going to eat a salad.’ Or sometimes I didn’t feel like going for a jog, but he did.”
Ross said having a partner with her made things much easier than if she was working alone.
The couple began their weight-loss efforts prior to the Lose to Win competition. The iPad she won was simply a bonus.
“We decided together to lose weight,” Randy said. “We both had already lost around 30 pounds before the contest. I told her to try [the Lose to Win competition] out as a motivator.”
Both Amy and Randy said that losing weight has made improvements in their overall mood.
Campus counselor Jeff Quan said losing weight in a healthy manner like they did also helps improve mental and cognitive behavior.
“Regular exercise can contribute to overall health,” Quan said. “Exercise brings oxygen to the brain, which helps our brain function better, improves memory and releases endorphins, which are the natural painkillers that our body can produce. And, eating healthy gives our bodies the capabilities to better process nutrients.”
Ross said setting an example for her daughter is her greatest goal in life. She wants to show her that food doesn’t have to be the focal point of your life.
“My whole life, I felt like my weight was out of my control,” Amy said. “I have an 8-year-old, and I remember how I was when I was her age. She is at a normal weight where as I was a bit heavier. I want to show my daughter that eating doesn’t have to be out of your control.”