Daniel is participating in the Norma Jean Family Challenge. Here is his progress so far.
Name: Daniel Kemp
Diabetes: Type 1
Location: Sarasota, Fla.
SMART Goal: Lose 15 pounds by year-end; eat 2,200 calories a day; run three to four times per week; run a mile in under 7 minutes, 30 seconds
Since May, Daniel has been making it a point to do at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day, in addition to his longer workouts 3 to 5 times a week. He’s also worked more on his diet, cutting chips and fries from his meals almost completely.
“Getting started is the hardest part for me,” he says. “I really just kind of need to tell myself to get it done.” Still, the results of his lifestyle changes have been encouraging so far: “My A1C was the lowest it’s been in about 3 years, so that’s nice.”
Last December, Daniel Kemp was looking for another form of exercise after a back injury forced him to take a break from collegiate rowing. He also wanted to improve his diet, which by his own admission “wasn’t particularly good.” The Norma Jean Family Challenge gave him the motivation to pursue both these goals.
Daniel approached his diet goals with careful planning: “breakfast is where I overeat the most,” he says, so that’s where he’s trying to cut the most calories. He’s also preparing and storing healthy snacks in advance so he won’t be tempted to reach for easy-to-eat packaged foods. Finally, he’s found more vegetable dishes that he enjoys and has cut soda from his diet entirely—both of which he considers important victories on the path to better health. For exercise, he’s taken up running and weightlifting. “I feel like I’m trying to regain some of the fitness I’ve lost [since] I was rowing,” he says.
Daniel’s planning has paid off so far: he’s lost 15 pounds, meeting his weight loss goal for the year in only three months. He also feels a bit more “muscular,” he says. Daniel credits his success to planning and organization: “Just keep the things with you that you will need to follow your goals. Bring healthy snacks and things you need to work out with you so you don’t have any excuse.”