No worries, our Front End Team is not downsizing. The number of associates on our team is actually growing as we prepare to open a new store in Sheboygan this fall. It’s our associates that are downsizing. It’s that time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions that involve some type of weight loss, exercise or eating healthy. As Stephanie Walker wrote in her recent blog post, Starting Off on the Right Foot, “About 30% of all resolutions are broken within the first week and the majority of those who remain on track end up folding before February.” As a way to motivate, support and help our associates stay on track, Skogen’s Festival Foods will once again participate in the 100 day Live Healthy America Wellness Challenge (http://www.livehealthyamerica.org/). As hundreds of our associates begin their 2011 journey to a healthier lifestyle, I would like to share the first of two extreme transformations by associates on our Front End who took the challenge in 2010. Annette Devalk, Assistant Front End Manager, Suamico Festival Foods Annette’s Journey…… In January of last year a friend was talking about joining Weight Watchers and I knew I wanted to do the Live Healthy America Wellness Challenge at Festival, so I thought if I do them together I might have a better chance of losing the weight. I started using the Weight Watchers Points System and slowly added exercise. It was winter so I started with my stationary bike which I faithfully used until the weather warmed up. Once I was able to get outside and walk I really started losing the pounds. I made my daily walk my “second job”. I scheduled myself for a one hour walk each day which kept me going. In April, I won First Place in Festival’s Challenge, in which my prize was a set of tickets to a Packers Game. I didn’t stop there. I set a goal that I wanted to walk in the Bellin Run which was 6.2 miles, something I hadn’t done in about twenty years! I am proud to say that I successfully completed the Bellin. And I even ran some of it! I can’t believe how losing the weight has changed me. I have a lot more energy and confidence in myself. I feel more confident when I talk to people and love to hear when they are motivated by my success. I love to do anything that involves exercise. I love it when people that haven’t seen me in a while comment on how different I look. My husband is so supportive of me and is always the first one to compliment me. I am now training to do the Cellcom Half Marathon in May. As of today, I have lost 55 pounds and I feel that I am at a point where, if I continue what I am doing, I will be able to keep the weight off for good. It took awhile but I now realize if you hit a roadblock (plateau) on your journey to success, you can take a detour and get back on the right path. I appreciate all that Festival does to help support living healthy. Congratulation’s Annette! Annette’s transformation has been exciting and motivating for many on our team. Hopefully, her story will motivate you to stay on track. Check back next week to learn about another Festival associate’s weight loss journey: Sharon Rusch, Assistant Front End Manager at our Appleton Northland location.
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