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New Year Resolutions: Kyle and Sonnet's Weight Loss Journey

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KYLE:

How did you lose the pounds?

I started with a simple plan. Counting calories and formal weight-loss systems didn’t work for me. I knew that some things needed to and that some things were not happening at all and they needed to occur. This was the basic weight loss outline: 

Write down everything you eat. No exceptions. One bite of a cookie? Write down ‘One bite of a cookie.’ Working towards a complete day of healthy eating was a nice subplot to my weight loss. It is very satisfying to see the patterns start to develop. It gets easier!

Eat slowly. I can’t stress this one enough. Being conscious of what I was eating and how much of it I was eating was absolutely imperative. After every single bite, I would ask myself ‘Am I full? How am I feeling?’ This was a huge step in getting to the point where I could control the amount of food I was eating -- a huge contributor to my bad habits.

No soda (diet or otherwise), sweet tea or sugary fruit drinks. No energy drinks. No sweet coffee drinks (i.e. Starbucks Frappuccinos or Double Shots... I used to INHALE those). I did a lot of label reading to make sure I wasn’t consuming huge amounts of sugar. I still follow this rule. I drank coffee, but I had very small amounts of sugar and creamer. I had lattes, but I either got sugar-free syrup or drank them plain. I actually drank more beer during my diet than any other time in my life and it didn’t seem to impact my progress. Recap: water, coffee, beer, and skim milk.

Snacks! If I snacked, I snacked on vegetables I liked, but I mostly focused on yogurt, granola and smoothies. Occasionally I would substitute a smoothie for a meal. I didn’t starve myself; I ate at regular intervals throughout the day so that the temptation to overeat at a meal wasn’t overwhelming.

Work out. I did exercises that worked the major muscle groups (quads, pectorals and abs), and this all occurred in my living room floor. Manual exercises with gradually increasing reps. Push-ups were my bread and butter, and I tried to do at least 100, every other night. I had to work my way up to that. Running was off and on, mainly because I found that my body responded differently every time I ran and it became too much of a mental battle to go consistently. I love to run, but it wasn’t working for this experiment. That, and it burns less calories.

Healthy calories. Lots of fish, vegetables, fruit and grilled chicken. Different combinations of those things. I actually researched the top 10 healthiest things you can eat and I tried to just eat from that list.

What is your favorite healthy meal?

I really, really love salmon. Salmon, tilapia, most any fish, mainly because it can be prepared so many different ways.

What was the hardest thing for you to give up?

I drank sweet tea with every meal. Penn Station was a favorite of mine, and that had to go. I often get pretty amused, when I think about the things that I routinely ate at coffee shops and restaurants.

Any tips for the rest of us?

I realize that what I did won’t work for everyone, but getting the basics of what goes into your body down is all there is to it, in my opinion. You can’t cheat science and gain weight inexplicably by eating things that are natural. It’s cause and effect. You will get healthier. It’s also simple math -- burn more than you eat and you have to lose weight.

I found that in talking to people about their habits that at least one element from weight loss was always missing. It takes all the elements. No gimmicks, no magical drinks, no bizarrely engineered shoes -- no shortcuts. Don’t cut corners. Do yourself a favor and don’t be wishy-washy about it. Do it. I cannot explain the amount of pride that I feel from accomplishing what I did. I lost fifty-five pounds (in six months), and it’s one of the best achievements of my life!

What's in store for your weight loss journey in 2012?

Maintain, maintain, maintain. This should be easier because I’ve regained control of what I eat and my overall health. I’ve worked too hard to squander my progress, so that weighs on my mind when I feel like I’ve started a trend in an unhealthy direction.

 

SONNET:

What made you want to lose weight? 

Being on camera can make a gal self conscious about her weight.  It doesn't help that I had trolls calling me a whale on my videos.  I was pushing 200 lbs. on my 30th birthday and I remember looking for a dress and having to ride the escalator up to the plus-sized section. I cried the whole way up.   

How did you drop those pounds?

I have a fitness app on my phone that I use all the time.  I've been using it for a year now and I love it!  I programmed in all my favorite meals, so all I have to do is select what I had at mealtime and it counts my calories for me.  It also subtracts my exercise from the equation and gives me a nutrient summary as well as a chart to track my weight.  This app stays on my home screen at all times, because I use it constantly.

I exercise four days a week, but most of those workouts are pretty easy.  Sometimes I play catch for 30 minutes with my boyfriend, I'll read a book on the treadmill, go to water aerobics, or play “Just Dance” on Wii.  I only make myself "tomato faced" once a week and that's usually through Spin, Kickboxing, or Zumba class.  

Variety is the key to fending-off boredom!

What is your favorite healthy meal?

I love apple-cinnamon oatmeal.  For lunch, I can have a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins for only 470 calories.

What was the hardest thing for you to give up?

I didn't give up a lot of foods. I mostly focus on portion control. However, I did have a major cheese addiction and I quit cold turkey.

Any tips for the rest of us?  

1.   Slow and steady wins the race.  Once upon a time I was trying to impress a boy, so I did one of those excruciating diet and exercise plans.  It worked. I lost 30 lbs in no time, but I couldn't keep up that kind of pace.  I don't think anyone can.  What they don't tell you when you buy into these extreme fitness workouts, is that when you lose weight too quickly, your body thinks it is threatened with starvation and goes into survival mode. It fights to conserve your fat stores, and any weight loss comes mostly from water and muscle. Sure enough, as soon as I starting eating like normal, I gained twice the weight that I had lost!

4 years later, I decided that I wanted to be the same weight I was when I started dating my boyfriend (Yes, the one I tried to impress to by losing weight. And no, he didn't seem to care that I had gained 65 lbs. Apparently, he had liked me before I lost the initial weight in the beginning of this story.  What a sweet guy!) 

I also decided that seeing as though it took me 3 years to put it on, I would take 3 years to slowly ease it off.

 2.   Your weight will have peaks and valleys, but don't worry about it.  I love the fact that my fitness app will let me set my graph to a 3 month view, so I can see the bigger picture and not worry about the fact that I gained 3 lbs overnight from eating too many Christmas cookies.

3.  Drinking anything but water is a waste of calories.  A friend of mine used to drink sweet tea ALL the time.  The moment he gave it up, he lost 10 lbs. from that alone.

4.  Eat slow.  When you gobble down your for food, you eat more.  I like to play a game called eat slower than the person across from me.  They don't know that they are playing, so I usually win.

5.  Don't drench your salad in high calorie dressing! Eating a salad is pointless if you're going to add a 300 calories worth of salad dressing on top. I usually pour a spoonful of my favorite lite dressing on the side of my salad. When I eat it, I dip my fork in the dressing before grabbing some lettuce and I get just a taste of dressing, which is all I need.

What's in store for your weight loss journey in 2012?

I'm happy to say that I didn't stick to by 3 year plan.  By my projections I will be hitting my goal in only 2 years and I'm pretty excited about that! 

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A Musical "Thank You" From Our ZFC Family

Our Zappos KY family recently sent us some holiday cheer via an accordion-gram. They sent this awesome guy to serenade the Zappos HQ offices as a thank you for the team effort in getting the new WMS project up and running in the ZFC.

Big thanks to our ZFC family for putting a smile on our faces with some sweet accordion tunes!

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Another Zappos Wish Granted!

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Our Zappos Wishez Fairies granted another wish! This time, the recipient was Rockne H. from our ZCLT team. Rockne loves our Zappos KY family so much, he put in a wish to go to the KY Holiday Party this year.

With a wave of a fairy wand, and a couple of generous Zapponians, Rockne got his wish!

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Happy 11-11-11!

The Zappos Video Team thinks the 11/11/11 phenomenon is pretty cool for a lot of reasons:

1) It's a palindrome. 
2) 11 is considered a master number in numerology.
3) It's a popular day for weddings.
4) It's binary code.
5) It looks like corduroy.
6) It's an event that happens once every 100 years!

To celebrate the Greatest Binary Day of all time, our  team held an 11 minute party in Video Bay 1, complete with 11 minutes of dance music, 11 donuts, 11 party favors, 11 pom poms and an 11 minute countdown to 11/11/11 11:11:11 AM.  

Luckily, we had a video camera to capture all the action, because it was 11 minutes of pure merrymaking and shenanigans (which are both 11 letter words!).  The video is 1 minute and 11 seconds long, so enjoy!

P.S. This article is 11 sentences long.

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A Big Thank You to Our Zappos KY Family!

If you’ve ever ordered anything from Zappos.com, you know that we have one of the fastest, most hassle-free shipping around. None of this magic would be possible without our amazing team out in the Zappos Fulfillment Center (ZFC for short) in Shepherdsville, KY.

Our incredible Zappos KY family works day in and day out, 24/7, to deliver WOW to thousands of customers daily, and what they do is definitely no small feat. Many customers ask us if we do it all through magic. Some even ask if we use Santa’s magical elves to make all this possible. Well, who needs magic when we have such amazing people working tirelessly in our warehouse?

One step into the Zappos Fulfillment Center, and you’re instantly in awe of the well-oiled machine that is our over 1 million-square-foot warehouse. The Zappos Family here in Las Vegas would like to give a huge, well-deserved THANK YOU to ZFC for all the hard work that they do to keep the entire business running smoothly and for keeping our customers happy every day. High fives all around guys!

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Zappos Fulfillment Center Ranked #12 On Best Places To Work In KY 2011

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A very exciting honor was recently awarded to the ZFC (Zappos Fulfillment Center), and it's definitely something we're very proud to share with everyone!

The Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), in conjunction with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, announced the 2011 Best Places To Work In KY on Wednesday, April 20th in Lexington, KY. The Zappos KY Family was among the companies nominated for this prestigious award. The awards ceremony was a celebration of employers who have proven that they know what it takes to create an environment where people love to come to work! Does this sound familiar to anyone?

A few folks from the Zappos KY Family traveled to the awards ceremony in style aboard "The Boss" party bus. All nominated companies had a chance to mingle before dinner and the official awards presentation. The awards were presented in two categories: Small/Medium Company and Large Company. In the large company category, the Zappos KY Family represented the only industry of its kind to be nominated!

The Zappos KY Family ranked #12 on this year’s list! When it was announced, the Zapponians that attended the ceremony made their way to the front in a conga line to accept the award and have their picture taken. It was truly a wonderful representation of what our culture is all about!