Week 4, and our two 'losers' are doing well

Herald reporters take the Activate Upper Palmetto Challenge

Four of the initial six weeks of Activate Upper Palmetto, a weight loss and healthy living program, are over. That means Herald reporters Jessica Schonberg and Adam O'Daniel should be two-thirds of the way to their weight loss goals. Here's how their weeks went:

Jessica Schonberg:

Thank goodness, I lost 2 pounds this week.

If you remember, last week I gained 2 pounds, so this puts me pretty much where I was two weeks ago. On the up and up, it also puts me 5 pounds lighter than I was before I started this program about a month ago.

I am one pound away from meeting my goal of 6 pounds. I might even finish early.

I attribute this week's success to my incessant visits to the treadmill. We're getting to be good buddies. We hung out five times this week. I think the elliptical trainer might be getting jealous.

I know it didn't go unnoticed when I had a tiny glass of sweet tea at a meeting Thursday night, but I'll have you all know I followed that meeting and that glass of tea with a 3-mile jog.

I'm not going on vacation, it's not my birthday anymore and there is no Super Bowl this weekend, so hopefully it will be easier to stay on track. I honestly don't understand why it has been so hard to lose weight. I know I haven't been perfect, but compared to my activity level before I started this program, you'd think those first few pounds would have flown off.

It seems like maybe I gain weight on the weekends and then I have to work extra hard during the week to lose it again by Friday.

I guess if I just eat well and exercise on the weekends, too, I might not have that problem. What a novel idea!

Adam O'Daniel

For a generally gloomy week, the little black digits on the YMCA scale brought a smile to my face Friday.

Despite my battle with Super Bowl snack temptations to start the week and illness at the end of it, I dropped three-and-a-half pounds this week, bringing my grand total to more than 10 pounds since beginning the Activate America journey four weeks ago. I've got two weeks to lose the remaining four-and-a-half pounds to reach my goal of 15 pounds in six weeks.

I'll admit I strayed on Sunday with hot wings and pepperoni pizza during the Super Bowl. But I planned for that by eating light earlier in the day. Like I've said from the beginning, this six-week journey isn't just about losing weight, it's about establishing habits I can stick to long term. I'll never give up pizza or hot wings. But I can learn to balance the other meals so it doesn't hurt to treat myself once in a while.

My true test began Tuesday when I started suffering from a cough, runny nose and eventually a fever. Now, many people lose their appetites when sickness hits. Not this guy. When I'm sick, I want the good stuff. Candy, chips, all the things you're supposed to stay away from.

But somehow, mainly because of my wife's watchful eye, I behaved. I snacked on 100-calorie microwave popcorn, unsweetened applesauce and Coke Zeros instead of the typical junk food. Confession: I scarfed down a king-size Snickers bar Thursday afternoon. Hey, nobody's perfect.

My sickness did cramp my drive to exercise, but I managed to play about an hour of basketball twice this week.

My challenge moving into the back stretch of this journey will be how to eat healthy on the run. I have a pretty busy lifestyle, and sometimes it's just easier to drive through for fast food. I've got to figure out how to avoid this temptation. Activate's newsletter this week suggested a few frozen and instant meals that fit most diets and hectic schedules. I might give some a try and blog about the results next week.

I'd like to know how others beat the drive-through dilemma. Share your thoughts with us on the Weighing-in blog at community.heraldonline.com.