Art is participating in the Norma Jean Family Challenge. Here is his progress so far.
Name: Art Ayris
Location: Fruitland Park, Fla.
SMART Goals: Lose 10 pounds by the end of the year; exercise for 30 minutes four times a week; eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily
In June, Art started a forty-day fast. Though he did it for religious reasons, he’s also noticed benefits to his health, and has lost about 23 pounds. “The interesting thing is that I still [had] great energy” during the fast, he says. “My blood sugar and blood pressure [were] still good too.” Art’s religion has also kept him motivated to continue with the challenge and to encourage his family to do the same. “God’s only given you one body,” he says. “You’ve got to treat it well.”
Art Ayris was already pretty satisfied with his health when he decided to participate in the Norma Jean Family Challenge last December. “Part of the challenge in my family is that my wife and I already had a super healthy lifestyle,” he says.
Nonetheless, Art made some more improvements in his diet and exercise regimen, including increasing his usual running distance from 3 miles to 5. He also did some research to find new ways to improve his health. After reading some books about low-carb eating, he’s switched to a diet with fewer refined carbohydrate foods and more lean protein and unsaturated fats. He’s lost five pounds so far, putting him on track to achieve his weight loss goal for the year, and he can feel the difference. “Any time I lose a little bit of weight I feel good,” he says.
For Art, wellness is “a marathon, not a 100-yard dash.” He’s confident that the incremental improvements he’s made so far will lead to better health in the long run. “Just focus on getting a little bit of a victory,” he says.