New Year’s Resolutions kept by two UK staffers



By Paige Taylor

Ten weeks ago a certain competition began and staff members were ready to be losers.

The Biggest Blue Loser was a 10-week competition that required participating UK employees to keep food diaries, exercise four days a week and go to classes for 8 of the 10 weeks.

Jonathan Fisher and Samantha Otte were the Biggest Blue winners, or in this case, losers. Fisher, a research engineer at the Kentucky Transportation Center, lost more than 25 pounds while Otte, a professional associate at the Office of Research Integrity, lost more than 20 pounds.

“The hardest part was finding the time and motivation to exercise,” Otte said. “But it was exciting and I had a friend helping me through the process along the way. I’m thrilled that I participated.”

Fisher said he didn’t experience any pre-contest jitters.

“I wasn’t really nervous to do this,” Fisher said. “I’m highly competitive so I was excited to start the program.”

Otte said her competitive attitude kept her motivated throughout the weight loss struggle as well.

“I’m extremely competitive,” Otte said. “There could be a contest to win a broken pen and I would win it.”

Balancing what you love to eat with what you should eat was a lesson Fisher said she took away from the competition.

“Throughout the process I learned portion control,” Fisher said. “Instead of eliminating the foods that I really like I made it manageable by eating those foods, just in smaller amounts so it’s realistic to continue.”

The chance at a whole new wardrobe with better-fitting clothes was a great benefit from the competition, Otte said.

“I threw out all of my fat clothes,” Otte said.

The weight loss has brought on many changes for the winner, and Fisher said at times the results almost seem surreal.

“I can’t believe the way I feel now,” he said. “It’s crazy to think that I lost almost 26 bottles of water off of my body but it is going to be so much better for me when I think about everything long-term.”

As far as turning the weight loss into a lifestyle change, Fisher said he was eager to make an effort to change his future.

“I really want to be healthy and eat better for life,” he said. “I want to maintain this lifestyle change and continue this weight loss into the future.”