Staff Blogger: Lexie Digby, Marketing & Graphic Design Manager
Five months after walking an astonishing 45 miles during the first week of our health and fitness challenges, Steve Koenig, Director of Hospitality, stands as the champion of both the weight loss challenge and the 1 million steps challenge. Now that the challenges are said and done, we asked him for some insight about his health and wellness journey.
On Jan. 1, I weighed 260 pounds. But, by the time the challenge actually started on Jan. 25, I had already started walking quite a bit and was down to 254. I lost a total of 31 pounds during the challenge, which ended on April 4. But to date, I have lost a total of 45 pounds. I’m currently at 215 and my ultimate end goal is to see the other side of 200.
I had already set a New Year’s resolution to get healthier, so it was great that the challenge started when it did because it helped me to set a goal.
What was your biggest motivation during these challenges?
I’m naturally competitive to start with, so the fact that I was doing this as a part of a competition helped. But my motivations have changed over time.
First, it was just to win the 1 million steps challenge, and I figured that losing weight would come along with it. About a month into it, I started watching my eating habits, and I really tried to cut out late-night snacks, alcoholic beverages. And I started drinking a lot of water when my wife participated in a water challenge with her office. All of those things started helping me feel even better so I kept up with it.
At this point, getting the steps in has become so natural to me – I feel like I’m missing something if I don’t do them. The steps themselves have become the motivation.
What were your biggest obstacles?
The biggest obstacle was definitely the late-night snacking. I made a rule for myself to not eat anything after 8 p.m., and I was able to stick to it pretty well, with some reasonable exceptions. I never made any massive lifestyle changes. I still eat the same types of food, but I just watch the portions.
Winning both challenges is a great accomplishment, but which one are you more proud of?
I’m really proud that I could win both challenges, but I loved completing each one for different reasons.
The steps were a constant goal that I always had in front of me, so it feels great to have achieved that. The weight was something that I didn’t really monitor too much, it just came along with the steps, so it was great to have that happen as well!
Does the challenge stop here, or are you determined to keep going?
I’m definitely determined to keep going. My ultimate goal is to reach 198 pounds. I haven’t been under 200 pounds since high school, so that will feel really great. I’ve never been the type to exercise like this in my life, but going forward, I really just want to stay healthy and in good shape.
What is your piece of advice for someone looking to make a long-term lifestyle change?
If you have a goal, give it at least three or four weeks before you give up. People say it takes three weeks to establish new habits and that really proved true for me. Once I reached that threshold of a month, it just became natural and stopping at the gym on the way to work was something I didn’t need to think twice about.
Overall, what has this journey taught you or meant to you?
I just feel so much better! In the past, I have had various health problems and this change has helped to minimize those. It’s amazing what taking off a significant amount of extra weight will do for you. There’s so much less wear and tear on my body and I don’t get tired like I used to. There’s a lot of small benefits that make a huge difference.
Congratulations and thank you to all our staff members who participated in our health and wellness challenges! We are proud of our employees for taking steps towards healthier lives.
To see more of Steve’s tips and tricks for leading a healthy life and staying on track, check out this interview with him from the beginning of the challenge.