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Despite the holidays -- and a cruise! -- team member achieves notable weight loss

posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Elanna Fultz

Statistics tell us the average adult gains seven to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"Statistics" have never met Elanna Fultz.

Elanna, Director of Quality for WesleyLife at Home, won WesleyLife's "Slim Santa" holiday well-being competition by meeting a goal of losing or maintaining weight over the holidays.

But Elanna didn't just keep her weight in check or lose a pound or two -- she shed 24 pounds in a month.

Despite sugar-laden “goodies” tempting her at every turn.

Despite taking a week-long Caribbean cruise with her family.

Despite that, like most of the rest of us, she’s typically gained weight during December.

Not this time.

"I had already made up my mind before the holidays that it was time to take control of my health," Elanna said. "I just woke up one day -- it wasn't even a Monday -- and decided it was time. I wanted to feel better. I wanted more endurance so I could do all the things I wanted to do with my family."

To formulate a plan, Elanna turned to Weight Watchers -- and also called on her organizational skills. She meal-prepped daily, even packing a cooler for her family's vacation to help her avoid overindulging in restaurants.

And what about that cruise -- the kind of trip during which vacationers notoriously partake in second helpings and dessert and libations and midnight buffets?

"I made wise choices," Elanna said. "There was no real magic to it. If I wanted dessert, I planned for it. I ate a lot of chicken and fish, and there were plenty of activities to keep me busy." She also walked faithfully, and continues to do so -- 30 minutes in the morning and 30 in the evening, either in the workout room at the WesleyLife Network Support Center, or around her neighborhood with her husband. 

Libby Burken, Wellness Assistant and Meals on Wheels Volunteer Coordinator for WesleyLife, said she and her team came up with the Slim Santa challenge not necessarily to encourage weight loss, but to help team members be mindful of what they were eating during the holidays. Each team member who participated was asked to set his or her own goal and keep track of his or her weight; there were no public weigh-ins or activities, simply individual accountability. 

"A lot of team members set goals of losing five pounds or more, and they achieved that, which was amazing over the holidays," Libby said. "But Elanna was amazing -- not only her result, but her mindset."

Elanna joins several other WesleyLife team members who have lost large amounts of weight in the last several weeks or months (and will be the focuses of future blog posts!). But she said she is focused more on health and well-being than on numbers, and she definitely feels she's "in the zone" emotionally and will continue to reach her goals.

"I'm just so happy with what I've done so far, and I'm excited to see what the rest of 2019 will bring," she said.

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