Whatever Happened to the Inches?

It's that time of the year again when we resolve to jump on the treadmill, hit the weights, and cut the calories. Experts say that nearly 84% of us resolve annually to live a more healthy lifestyle in the new year. Big plans that are all too often broken because our strategies are too vague or too unreasonable. Experts say if you just set realistic goals, 2003 could be your year. Joey and Rachelle Heenan of Lubbock agree.

Last year at this time, Joey and Rachelle were the heaviest they had ever been. They were overweight, unhappy, and in a rut. Today, Joey is 50 pounds lighter than he was a year ago and Rachelle is about 40 pounds lighter. So, if you feel like the reigning king or queen of broken resolutions, Joey and Rachelle say all you need is a reasonable and well thought out plan. For all of you who think it isn't possible, Joey and Rachelle want you to know anything is possible.

"Everybody wants to change, but you need to come to a point where you say, 'I'm gonna change no matter what,'" says Joey.

"Everything we did is everything a normal person could do," says Rachelle.

The changes that Joey and Rachelle have made over the course of the last year are remarkable. In a matter of months, the couple went from their heaviest in December 2001 to looking pretty fit by August 2002. And by December 2002, they had completely transformed their bodies. Joey lost 50 pounds, from 235 to about 180, and Rachelle lost 40, from 164 to about 130.

"We woke up and said, 'there's gotta be a change,'" says Joey.

They decided to make a change after the holidays in 2001.

"I was joking with (Rachelle's) family about the size of my pants I was having to ask for for Christmas. None of my clothes fit," says Joey.

"I guess the breaking point was when a friend of ours asked if we just didn't care anymore about how we looked because they could tell that we had put on weight," says Rachelle.

Like the majority of us, Joey and Rachelle weren't sure where to start, so they got on the internet and picked up some magazines and went from there.

"We knew it started with a diet, and so we started with making a list, almost like a menu. So, when we went to the grocery store on Saturday, we didn't buy anything we didn't need," says Joey.

The two of them stuck to a strict diet, high in protein and moderate on carbs. Usually, protein shakes or bars for breakfast, grilled chicken salad for lunch, and then, dinner would be something like chicken, fish or beef, steamed veggies, or baked potatoes and rice.

"We waited and waited. Other people actually started noticing before we noticed ourselves. You gotta be patient. You didn't put the weight on overnight. You're not gonna take it off overnight," says Joey.

And they didn't do it by simply eating right. Joey and Rachelle bought a home gym and made time to go to the gym as well. They work out for about an hour a day. Their goal was to lose 5 lbs. a month for 10 months. And perhaps the best part of this story is that Joey and Rachelle admit they didn't do it without cheating. The couple made Saturday their "cheat day," a day they could do whatever wanted to and eat whatever they wanted to.

Today, their plan for better health is still on course. They say this is a way of life now, and they're setting new goals for the new year. Joey is now in the best shape of his life and is training for the Oklahoma City Marathon this April.

The weight loss program Joey and Rachelle used is called Body for Life. Joey is running the Oklahoma City Marathon in April. He's running for the Make-A-Wish foundation and if you'd like to make a donation you can do that at:

  • "See Joe Run Fund"
    First Bank & Trust of Lubbock
    Attn: Joann Gamboa
    P.O. Box 54440
    Lubbock, Texas 79453