As promised, today's column includes an update about our local contestants competing in the 2014 Seattle Sutton Slim Down Challenge.
But first, I received the following question from reader Nancy Moore of Valparaiso: "Do you mind telling the readers how you have fared since your participation in the Seattle Sutton Challenge? Thank you, Nancy Moore, Valparaiso, Ind."
It was in October 2009, more than four years ago, when I tossed my hat in the ring for the 2010 Seattle Sutton Slim Down Challenge.
At the time the contest officially launched Jan. 4, 2010 with my weigh-in at WGN Studios, I had a starting weight of 230 pounds.
At the final weigh-in at the contest completion in April at WGN TV Studios, I was down to 184 pounds with a loss total of 46 pounds, resulting in a total body weight percentage loss of 20 percent.
More than four years later, not a week goes by without readers mentioning how they followed my weight-loss journey in my columns and learning about better ways for healthier lifestyle options and portion planning with Seattle Sutton's program.
While readers see my column photo each day and occasionally might catch me doing a TV segment, unless you're are someone who attends events I host or see me during a appearance at a charity event, you likely never see much more than head and shoulders in frame.
I've included a recent photo here from during the holidays with singer Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Abdul "Duke" Fakir of the Four Tops at a party in Chicago celebrating their Christmas concert run at Harris Theater.
Keeping my waistline in check continues to be a "work in progress." It's the same weight-loss battle my parents Chester and Peggy also fight, so you could say it "runs in the family." I think my final 2010 Slim Down Challenge weight of 184 was a little too thin for my 6-foot height. I've worked to keep my weight around 200, but it continues to fluctuate with my busy schedule. Since the holidays, I've hovered closer to 215 with a New Year's resolution to drop my added girth.
So our local competing contestants continue to inspire myself, along with so many others. Here's a look at their dramatic weight-losses after just one week working with Seattle Sutton's meal plan.
• Annette Walker, 57 of Gary, STARTING WEIGHT: 235, this week's weight, 230.4 , total loss: 4.6
• Jessica Mignard, 31, of Valparaiso, STARTING WEIGHT: 196.6, this week's weight, 186 , total loss: 10.6
• Linda Adams, 46, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 204.8, this week's weight, 201.4, total loss: 3.4
• Lon Saloman, 45, of Valparaiso, STARTING WEIGHT: 269, this week's weight, 258.8, total loss: 10.2
• Maureen Anleitner, 60, of Chesterton, STARTING WEIGHT: 225, this week's weight, 219.4, total loss: 5.6
• Michael Adams, 52, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 247, this week's weight, 235.2, total loss: 11.8
• Dr. Michael Perez., 46, of Munster, STARTING WEIGHT: 256, this week's weight, 243.5, total loss: 12.5
• Rebekah Cowan, 50, of Valparaiso, STARTING WEIGHT: 181, this week's weight, 174.8, total loss: 6.2
• Sue Kiefer, 52, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 182, this week's weight, 171.2, total loss: 10.8
• Tim Kreke, 62, of Crown Point, STARTING WEIGHT: 264, this week's weight, 251.2, total loss: 12.8