Patient Care Tech
Bayhealth Kent General Women’s Center
For Brenda Thompson, the biggest inspiration to become fit was a dream cruise.
Thompson and husband Clevon planned to go on a cruise in 2012 to celebrate Clevon’s 50th birthday. The gala vacation would offer plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle, sunbathe and strut, preen and primp, on the deck of a luxury cruise liner. However, the eager anticipation of her first-time cruise was eclipsed only by a lingering, nagging question: How would I look?
“Clevon and I wanted to look our best for this cruise, which we have been planning for a while. It gave us a great motivation for taking the first steps on the road towards a permanent, healthier lifestyle,” said Brenda Thompson.
In January, 2012, Brenda and Clevon joined the Bayhealth Lifestyles Fitness Center’s Biggest Loser Contest, a friendly but spirited competition by Lifestyles Fitness members to lose the highest percentage of body weight during a 12 week span.
The 5’5 Thompson weighed in at 213 pounds at the beginning of the Biggest Loser Contest, and she quickly resolved to enter an intense exercise program four days per week. Two days per week, Thompson met with Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Manager Paul LeBlanc for a 40 minute workout with the stationary bicycle, elliptical and treadmill. LeBlanc’s interval training had Thompson alternating back and forth between an 80 percent intensity and a100 percent intensity, to achieve optimal results.
One day a week, Thompson met with personal trainer Brittany Newman, who put Thompson through a variety of high cardio exercises, ranging from lunges, to crunches, to squats, to pushups. Under Newman’s guidance, Thompson was able to complete at least 100 repetitions of a high intensity exercise during a 45 minute workout.
On the fourth day of each week, Brenda Thompson fashioned her own independent 45 minute workout routine, alternating between running, walking, and biking. She also utilized circuit training in which she used a wide variety of weight machines to focus alternately on her chest, abs, legs and arms.
Brenda Thompson’s diet also changed dramatically. She ditched the sodas, chips and junk food. She dropped pasta, bread and other high sources of carbohydrates. And, in a testament to her steely resolve, Brenda Thompson even gave up her favorite chicken wings and beer. Instead, she ate baked chicken, fish and turkey with large servings of vegetables. When her sweet tooth beckons, she fixes a sliced apple with peanut butter.
The sacrifices were great, but the rewards were greater.
When the Biggest Loser Contest concluded in early April, Thompson had burned away 40 pounds in just three months. She also credits the more active lifestyle for reducing pain in her feet caused by neuropathy. Yet, the journey for Brenda is far from over.
“I know I’ll look better and feel better when I go on my dream cruise. But, I also know that staying active and eating healthier are a lifetime commitment,” said Thompson.