Robin's not-so-big finale
By: Rebecca Osterlund, Living North
It’s been a long year for Robin McKay, filled with ups and downs. In her
case, she’s extremely happy about the downs – on her scale that is. This
year brought about a change McKay has been dreaming about for more than 20
years. She’s lost 6 pants sizes and can now squeeze into a size 8.
But the blonde dynamo, who was able to easily maintain her weight loss
throughout the summer, doesn’t plan on stopping now. She’s rejoined the Jenny Craig program in Duluth and plans to lose ten more pounds during the holiday season. That’s right, during the holiday season.
Losing weight during the holidays isn’t a strange feat for McKay. “I started in July of last year and, even during the holiday season, I lost every week. I’m pretty proud of that,” she giggles.
So how does one manage to lose weight during a time when most are
busy stuffing themselves with, well, stuffing? McKay suggests giving yourself the a reprieve on the actual holiday. “I gave myself Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s off but I was just really good the rest of the weeks.”
This philosophy is echoed by licensed dietician, Mary Grassinger. She
says moderation – not deprivation – is the key to success. “Avoid restricting yourself from all your favorite foods,” says Grassinger. “Your best intentions to munch on only carrot sticks at the holiday buffet may only drive you to attacking the box of meticulously decorated Santa cookies later in the evening.”
McKay employs this rule to cope with montage of parties so popular
during the holiday season. She also shares her advice on how to keep from
sliding into bad habits and cheating during every festive occasion. “If I was going to a party, I would eat a big salad before I went so I wasn’t so starving that I wasn’t able to control what and how much I ate,” says
When at the party, she treated herself once in awhile. “If there
was a tray of Christmas cookies and they all looked fabulous I would really think about which one I wanted and have just one,” remarks
McKay. After doing this for a time, she found it had a unique effect. “I’d enjoy it more,” smiles McKay, “because I didn’t keep shoveling food in just to shovel.”
McKay also made certain to keep up on her exercise program, a plan Grassinger thinks is wise. “Waiting until the January panic sets in before you start an exercise program is probably not the best plan of action,” says Grassinger.
Instead, she recommends hitting the lakewalk after work with friends, a plan she says will also help reduce stress during the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season. As McKay gears up for the challenge
of losing her final ten pounds, she also looks back on the year with satisfaction.
“The biggest thing I gained is self confidence,” she says.
McKay hopes sharing her story will inspire other people to take the first step on their own weight loss journeys. “If there’re people out there who are looking for the motivation or inspiration and they want to lose the weight,” advises McKay, “the way I did it was so easy. I wish someone would have told me 20 years ago, just try this. I don’t know if I would
have been able to do it any other way.”
Editor’s Note: Thank you for your willingness to share your journey with us this past year, Robin. It’s been an amazing experience.
Photo by Joanne Jardine, Studio One Photography