Talk Around Town: Moving in the right direction
by Maddy Houk | Patterson Irrigator
Sep 12, 2013 | 2483 views | 0 0 comments | 345 345 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Maddy Houk
Maddy Houk
It’s been decision making time for me this summer and those decisions have led to changes in my life.

First, I wrote about the Biggest Loser teams’ registration and the formation of teams for Patterson Irrigator events in the Aug. 8 issue of the paper.

Then, I thought, “I want to do that.”

I wanted to take part in the West Side Health Care Advisory Task Force’ s Healthy Lifestyle contest known as the Biggest Loser. I wanted to lose weight, feel better, have more energy and get moving again after years of sitting at a desk in front of a computer.

By time I made the decision to join and asked around, all of the Patterson teams were at their limit with 10 participants each. I phoned District 5 Supervisor Jim De Martini’s office.

Mr. De Martini, who is the coordinator behind the event, directed me to Gustine’s Biggest Loser team, which needed more members. So, I registered with our neighbor to the south on Highway 33 and waited for the weigh-in day.

Soon, Thursday, Aug. 22 arrived and participants gathered at the Westside Theatre in Newman for the Healthy Choices Summit, luncheon, speaker and healthy lifestyle info.

The 10-member teams stepped on the giant scale and weighed in as a group. My team — The Gustine Team— tipped the scale at 2,223 pounds.

After the Summit, my colleague Brooke Borba and I returned to Patterson — and I was on my own with the aim of shedding pounds.

I walked, rode the stationery bike, found You Tube videos with Zumba dances and began exercising each day.

I lost four pounds in two weeks.

What? Is that all?

What about the huge weight loss in pounds I see on the television shows? You know, the shows where the trainer is right by the overweight person’s side either shouting at them to continue and persevere or offering words of encouragement.

I have received words of encouragement and I continue by myself without a trainer and without my team members by my side.

My active lifestyle has resumed. Years ago, when my four sons all lived at home, we took part in school activities, sports, clubs, organizations etc. I was active all the time. I’d come home from work and vacuum the carpets or wash the floor.

It was all go, go, go.

I danced along to exercise gurus Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda tapes and took long walks in the country. I was in aerobics classes and step aerobics classes (I fell a few times). A few years ago, I exercised at the local Curves with co-workers and friends at 12 noon on weekdays.

Along the way, a couple of health issues sidelined me and the pounds found me.

Now it’s time to bid those pounds goodbye.

I’ll continue to develop my new lifestyle for the future and for my personal goals.

I won’t see my Gustine teammates again until we weigh-out at the Patterson Joint Unified School District office in mid-October.

I do want them to know I’m on the right track and moving in the right direction.

Maddy Houk’s Talk Around column ran in the Patterson Irrigator for 22 years, ending in 2003. It was resurrected for this series of weight loss columns. Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or

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