The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South students use discipline to lose weight, see role model

Tracey Yukich, who won The Biggest Loser contest, will visit Conditioning for Weight Loss students at the end of the course.
Photo courtesy Tracey Yukich
Tracey Yukich, who won The Biggest Loser contest, will visit Conditioning for Weight Loss students at the end of the course. Photo courtesy Tracey Yukich

By Elaine Bonilla/south news editor

For people looking to start a regular exercise and food regimen, Conditioning for Weight Loss is a TCC course that will address these issues and others.South Campus instructor Staci Smith teaches Conditioning for Weight Loss, an intense eight-week course that meets four days a week. At the beginning of the semester, the students take a physical assessment, set goals, set up a My Fitness Pal account online, which keeps track of food intake and exercise, and then keep a weekly journal.

The physical assessment allows students to see the changes as the semester progresses. The students’ habits determine reasonable fitness, nutrition and behavior goals.

Typically, the fitness goal is an increase in exercise or the type of exercise.

Nutrition generally involves eating right and making smart choices.

Behavioral goals focus on changing actions such as smoking, stress and lack of sleep that have a negative effect on health.

South student Jo Counts had a 40-year smoking habit, which she quit 11 years ago. One of her goals was to increase her endurance, which has led to an increase in her lung capacity.

“I am retired, and I attend school for fun,” she said. “I joined this class just to be healthier. Besides, they don’t offer classes like this in senior ed.”

Tracey Yukich, who won The Biggest Loser contest, will visit Conditioning for Weight Loss students at the end of the course.
Photo courtesy Tracey Yukich

Counts, 68, takes pride in being known as the “grandma of the class,” but age is not a factor when it comes to her ability to keep up. Just like any other classmate, she participates in the same exercises as her younger classmates.

Bride-to-be Kayla Heskett, a nursing major, started the semester as a size 13 but bought her wedding dress in a size 8.

Her ultimate goal is to fit into her dress and be toned up for the big day.

“I have lost enough weight to be able to button up my dress,” she said. “All I need is to be able to zip it up. And if I lose two more inches, I should be able to zip it up.”

This is not Heskett’s only physical education course this semester. She is also taking pilates, water aerobics and basketball.

“It was hard to exercise at first, but now I have the drive to want to exercise because I have gained confidence,” Heskett said.

Emily Mitchell and Heskett are workout buddies who decided to take the class together. Mitchell’s goal is to lose a total of 40 pounds over a year.

“Once you start exercising and eating correctly, everything else falls into place,” she said. “So I’m not really worried about specifics.”

Emily Mitchell’s twin sister Amanda is also enrolled in the course. Amanda Mitchell, who works at a clothing store, wants to fit into the clothes she sells. To buy something now from her employer, she must order online to get the size she needs.

The most recent pair of pants Amanda Mitchell bought fit her well at the time, but now she must wear a belt.

“Along with the decrease in my pant size, I have also noticed that I have a ton of energy,” she said. “In fact, I have so much energy I have trouble falling asleep because I’m up doing housework all night.”

Architectural major Matthias Psencik, one of the few males in the class, joined to get exercise in his routine since he works at a computer.

“Years ago, I would work out a lot but had gotten away from it,” he said. “I wanted that energy back.”

Before the course, Psencik would go from school to work and need a nap in between. Since the course, he has noticed he hasn’t been as tired and has gained energy.

“Staci makes me want to work out and makes it fun,” he said.

Having more energy and leaving the sluggish feeling behind is one goal of South Campus student Malissa Medrano. Since taking the class, she has felt more energetic during the day and been able to sleep better at night, which leaves her well-rested.

“My 30th birthday is coming up, and I want people to be able to see a difference,” she said.

The biggest obstacle for education major Shirley Davidson was learning to eat the right foods.

“Actually, getting started and staying in rhythm was difficult, but it has gotten easier,” Davidson said.

Even though this class is intense and sometimes called a “boot camp,” all 21 students who started the class together have plans to meet with former Biggest Loser contestant Tracey Yukich March 6 to hear about her weight-loss journey.

“You can get 100 in the class and not lose any weight, but the real grade is the weight you lose,” Emily Mitchell said.

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