By Hillary Haenes
It’s one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: losing weight and eating healthy. It can also be the hardest to achieve. Fortunately, for two lucky locals participating in B Well’s Get Fit Weight-Loss Challenge, their big fitness goals will be obtainable this year.
Thanks to Tim Gojich, owner of Fit For Life Gym, who is providing a free gym membership for a year, along with personal training sessions and a personalized diet plan for Alex Silicz and Katie Taylor during their nine-month weight-loss journey with B Well Magazine. Both Alex and Katie have been clients of Gojich’s gym for a couple of years, attending his boot camps and fat-burning classes, but now he’s become their nutrition and lifestyle coach.
Our dedicated participants went through a rigorous process to be chosen. They had to sign up for a three-week fat-burning class in December as well as write a detailed explanation about why they should be selected for this challenge. With Gojich’s recommendations, the B Well staff helped choose Alex and Katie based on their motivation to meet their weight-loss goals and create a lifestyle change.
And to keep Alex and Katie driven throughout these nine months, Lassens Natural Food & Vitamins donated lots of quality protein powder to fuel them after their workouts, and Sole 2 Soul in The Marketplace personally fitted Alex and Katie and provided a pair of Asics shoes for their hard work.
Now read about Alex and Katie’s current challenges, motivation and their ultimate goals. B Well will be tracking their transformations in the next few issues. Also, check out Bakersfield Life Magazine each month and B Well Magazine’s Facebook page to follow their progress.
I’m 35 years old, a father to two beautiful little girls, Olivia, 4, and Alice, 1, and a husband of 10 years to my awesome wife, Katie. For the past 11 years, I have been employed as a heavy civil estimator/project manager for a local construction company, building pipelines and pump stations for public agencies.
I have been looking for an excuse to completely change my eating and exercising lifestyle. My family has a history of heart disease, and I want to live a longer, healthier life for my wife and two little daughters. Tim Gojich has given me the motivation I needed when he presented this opportunity that I couldn’t refuse.
I weigh about 240 pounds right now and want to get back to my post-high school, pre-college football weight of 205 pounds.
At the beginning of this challenge, I didn’t have the best-fitting pair of shoes. I usually just order my tennis shoes online without trying them on, so I was happy when I heard that Sole 2 Soul was going to donate a pair of shoes as a courtesy for my efforts in this nine-month weight-loss journey. First, store associate Garrett Main made me stand on a pressure-sensing pad, which told him where I distribute my weight. Then, he put me on a treadmill that has a video camera to capture my running gait. From there, he let me try on three different shoes that he thought would fit my running style. The Asics I chose are the most comfortable pair running shoes I have worn.
Challenges so far
In the past month that we have been working out and following Tim’s diet, I already feel better. I have a lot more energy after my 5 a.m. workouts and am ready to go. These classes make me use every muscle in my body to make me feel exhausted every day without hurting me.
Tim’s diet is a well-balanced mixture of everything I need to feel good. Though the hardest part is eating healthier and being disciplined enough to prepare my food ahead of time, so that I take full advantage of his program. It is hard to get off the couch at 9 p.m. to prepare breakfast and lunch for the next day. I also dearly miss my IPA beers on the weekends. It is impossible for me to lose weight while ingesting any alcohol, so I had to give them up.
Going for the gold
My goal in this journey is to totally change my eating habits forever, get into the best shape of my life since high school, weigh 205 pounds, and complete a sprint triathlon sometime in August or September.
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 240
- Body Fat: 21 percent
- Chest: 46 inches
- Waist @ Navel: 40 1/2 inches
- Hips @ Glutes: 43 1/2 inches
- Arms: 16 inches
- Thighs: 27 inches
Catarina “Katie” Taylor
On one of the first dates with my husband, he asked about my goals. I boldly told him I wanted to get my master’s in school counseling — educational goal, check! And somewhat reluctantly, I said I want to get in the best shape of my life. It’s the one goal that has been the hardest for me to accomplish.
And now several years later, I have been given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make my dream come true. I would love to show my kids that I can change my physical appearance and be more of an inspiration to them. I represent many women in Bakersfield: I’m 37, married, work full-time, and have four kids who all have activities. Also, I have hypothyroidism and have taken medication since I was 19. I feel like I have to work out harder and eat healthier because my body sometimes seems resistant to weight-loss.
In the last decade I have lost more than 50 pounds … twice. This last time I have managed to keep it off, but I have reached the hard part of the transformation — the last 30 pounds.
I’m following Tim’s diet as directed — no more making up my own rules. Eating healthy costs more, but I appreciate the high-quality protein powder Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins donated for this challenge. Drinking these shakes has helped me stay on track. I really enjoy Lassen’s “Show Me the Whey” brand in strawberry … delicious!
Physical, mental and emotional challenges
I have to say that I am lucky because my kids and husband are supportive in this challenge. The food selection on this eating plan leaves me with many options, but sometimes I struggle with making a good choice due to a craving. I bring snacks everywhere I go (pears, apple, nuts, boiled eggs) and carry my water bottle. However, the goal is to develop good eating habits so that one poor day of eating doesn’t derail me completely, as has occurred too many times in my life. If I’m stressed at work and feel like I “need” candy or carbs, I drink a full bottle of water or go for a walk. I also started making homemade bars with dates and nuts — they work wonders for my cravings and don’t throw my diet off.
My ultimate goal
I want to look like one of the Oxygen Magazine fitness models, lose 35 pounds, and have a bum like an Olympic athlete. Ultimately, I will feel accomplished if I can look at myself in the mirror and say that my body and mind are in the best shape of my life. And, if after a year, I have maintained my healthy physique and eating habits, I will consider myself a true success!
- Height: 5’7 1/2”
- Weight: 171
- Body Fat: 27.4 percent
- Chest: 38 inches
- Waist @ Navel: 36 1/2 inches
- Hips @ Glutes: 44 1/2 inches
- Arms: 13 1/2 inches
- Thighs: 25 inches