Boise radio host takes on Weight Loss Challenge

Challenge sparks change in everyday habits

BOISE - Since 2009, the first Wednesday in June has been dedicated to those lacing up their sneakers and logging some miles for National Running Day.

To celebrate the day, FitOne is holding an event encouraging people to sign up for its 5K, 10K, Walk & Stroll, or Half-Marathon, which are set for Sept. 26 in downtown Boise.

It's also a day in which those participating in the St. Luke's Weight Loss Challenge will find out if they've won the year-round competition to shed pounds and keep them off.

Brenda Mee has taken the challenge to the next level. She joined up because diabetes runs in her family, and she knew if she didn't make a change soon, diabetes could be in her future.

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Mee is a morning radio host with 107.9 Lite FM. An interview she did about diabetes led her to the St. Luke's Weight Loss Challenge.

"It was over several months, so it gave me time to hold myself accountable, learn some new habits and traits and then lock them in," she said.

Mee has turned the year-long challenge into a three-year (and counting) quest to lose weight and get healthier. So far, she's lost 50 pounds.

"It's not about punishing yourself, you're not in trouble," she said. "It's just doing things differently."

That's the secret to her success - rather than looking at exercise as a chore, she found ways to enjoy it.

"I did some investigation and thought, 'what do I like to do?'" Mee said. "I love to walk or run on the greenbelt and I also like to ride my bike on the greenbelt and I also like to dance."

So she sat down, drew a pie chart, and realized it was time to make time for herself.

"(I) put 24 dashes on it that signify all 24 hours in a day and then I wrote down what I did in each one of those hours and I was shocked when I realized I hadn't carved out anytime for just me."

Losing weight and getting healthier would require a big lifestyle change, and a change of attitude as well.

"It's all about discovering new things and actually setting goals and accepting challenges," Mee said. "And I'm not coming in first (place) and no, I'm not running the whole darn time, but it's the idea that I can."

Those challenges have turned into daily rituals.

"My next new challenge is I'm going to become a certified Zumba instructor."

The winners of the St. Luke's $10,000 Weight Loss Challenge will be announced Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Village at Meridian.


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