2009 Utah Valley Magazine Fitness Challenge


With fitness, it’s all about living in the now. That’s why our fitness contest participants are trying to make smart exercise and nutrition choices now, regardless of what they did “then.” In addition to their updates, we’ve decided to show you a snapshot of their lives “then.”



Here’s Katie as a 4-year-old with her snails — too bad Escargot isn’t a part of her current nutrition plan.





Katie shows off her “new” muscles on Mt. Timpanogos


 Katie Kitchen, Springville
Lost 34 pounds, 7 waistline inches, Age 16

Biggest challenge  Keeping focused on my eating habits. It is easy to slip back to what I was doing before.

Biggest success  My family hikes Mt. Timpanogos each year, and I’ve always hated it. My mom kept saying I would notice a difference this year because I was lighter and stronger. She was right! Not only did we make it to the summit in Kitchen family record time — I carried my pack the entire way! My dad kept offering to carry it at the hard parts near the end, but I was determined to carry myself and my pack to the summit — and I did!

Habits I’ve changed  I pay closer attention to portion size, and I don’t eat all day long. I also make a conscious effort to drink lots of water every day — at least 64 ounces. I do some form of exercise every day but Sunday.

Goals  I want to lose another 20 to 25 pounds before the end of the challenge, which would be at least one or two pant sizes. But my biggest goal goes past the end of the fitness challenge. My brother comes home from a mission next June and I want to have lost a total of 80 pounds.

Advice to others  Keep a positive attitude! You didn’t put the weight on overnight, and no matter how badly you want it, it’s not going to come off overnight. Have a good support system around you, and make sure you are doing some form of exercise every day.



Mike graduated from Virginia’s North Stafford High in 1990.





Mike is taking the lead in our fitness challenge with the 37 pounds he’s shed since January.


Mike West, Lehi
Lost 37 pounds, 14.2% body fat
Starting weight 230 pounds, current weight 193 pounds

Biggest Challenge  Between work, family, personal things, etc., making time for an hour or more to work out is tough. The answer is to make it a priority and get my tail out of bed!

Biggest Success  I really feel like I have made a major turn and will never go back to how I was. I love how I feel and the energy I have. I have done things differently this time and feel that it’s sustainable for the long term.

Habits I’ve changed  My eating and exercise habits have done a complete 180. I went from being completely sedentary to fully active on a daily basis. I went from filling my body with high-calorie fatty garbage to eating good, solid, healthy foods. I don’t crave the “junk” anymore and when I do step off the edge, my body lets me know.

Advice to others  First, make the sacrifice and do it — you will never regret it! Second, don’t starve yourself. Eat the right foods and eat them often.

Goals  I want to get down to 175 pounds while at the same time strengthening my cardiovascular endurance. It’s not going to be easy, but I think I can hit it.


Then: Fitness has been in Amy’s vocabulary for a long time. When she was 19, she was a model in a photo shoot for an exercise stepper.  





“Like I said in the beginning, I want my outsides to be as sassy as my insides,” Amy says. “I’m starting to see the real me on the outside!”


Amy Weiland, Cedar Hills
Lost 34 pounds, 15.75 inches overall
Starting weight: 217 pounds, current weight: 183 pounds

Biggest challenge  Finding balance. I’ve tried to be everything to everyone, every day —  wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, worker, philanthropist, athlete. It’s just not possible. Life is about choices and making the best ones each day.

Biggest success  Finding out I am stronger than I thought I was. Physically, I can run now for miles and miles and love it. Emotionally, I can take life, which is messy, and put things in the proper perspective without diving to the bottom of Ben & Jerry’s “American Dream.”

Goals  I ran the Top of Utah Half Marathon at the end of August, and I am continually working to increase my speed and run a relay race in Las Vegas in October. Of course, to be smokin’ hot is still on the list!

Advice to others  There is nothing I can say to someone who is not willing to put in the work. And it is work. Not just the physical aspect, but the emotional conversations you have to have with yourself when you finally tell the truth. When that happens, find a support system and run with it!



Roy and Kevin have been a team since they were married in 1987.


Now: With the help of their trainer, John, Roylence and Kevin have lost a combined total of 30 pounds since January.


Roylence Croft, Lindon
Lost 20 pounds, 7.5 waistline inches
Starting weight: 245, current weight: 225

Kevin Croft, Lindon
Lost 10 pounds, 6.75 waistline inches
Starting weight: 208
Current weight: 198

Biggest challenge  The exercise is great. John has been with us every step of the way. Our challenge lies in consistency with eating right. If I (Roylence) stick to our nutrition plan for four or five days I can lose weight. But if I go off of eating correctly for six or seven days, I have to lose the same weight I just lost, plus more. It’s a vicious cycle. That has been the most discouraging thing.

Habits we’ve changed  For the past few years, Kevin and I have been walkers, but now that we’re working with John, he is constantly mixing things up every few weeks — from treadmills and elliptical machines to weight training and bands, he keeps our workouts fun. Our eating habits have completely changed! We mainly eat protein, fruits and veggies. We only have carbohydrates up to two hours after we work out, so only at breakfast. Eating very few carbs is by far the biggest change for us. Our No. 1 food is spinach protein drinks and fruit in the blender. I know it doesn’t sound very good and it looks even worse, but it is delicious. That’s a big change for us!


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