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RiverTown Slimdown begins: Reporters there every step of the way

RiverTown's first-ever healthy lifestyle challenge, Slim Down with RiverTown, has kicked off.

The 13-week challenge started with weigh-ins this week and pushes participants to live healthier.

Slim Down with RiverTown offers up rewards for teams of two to four that have the highest weight percentage loss across the weeks. Top rewards for teams of four are $1,000 and $500 for teams of two — with other rewards for other successful teams as well. (Please note, our reporters are not vying for any of the prizes.)

While the challenge's rewards are centered on weight-loss, healthy living is so much more than cutting pounds. At the weigh-in event local health experts will be there to chat about ways to develop a positive, productive strategy; hopefully you will find it helpful.

Throughout the challenge, three RiverTown reporters will share their own experiences, tips and personal challenges. Keep an eye out for regular, rotating stories from each of them.

It's up to each of us to decide what our personal goals are, let's just live healthier for the next 13 weeks.

Katie Davidson

Pierce County sports reporter

I decided to sign up for this year's Slim Down Challenge after undergoing a year of sports reporting for the Pierce County Herald and having to adapt to a new schedule due to the demands of my job. Due to my work schedule, I very rarely have the opportunity to come home and prepare a healthful dinner. My work days typically don't end until 11:30 p.m. or 12 a.m., which often results in me grabbing dinner on the way to a game or snacking late at night once I return home.

I've been pretty disciplined about getting regular workouts in despite my irregular work schedule, but this year I want to make an effort to be more organized when it comes to meal preparation. Not only will sticking to a healthy meal plan help me feel more energized when cranking out stories late at night, but it will also better prepare me for the upcoming Grandma's Marathon, which I will be running in June.

David Clarey

Dakota County and Hastings Public Schools reporter

I eat OK, or at least I think I do. Growing up the son of small-town bar-steakhouse cook though gave me a palette for red meat, fried potatoes and other greasy foods that aren't included in any dietary guidelines. So when I eat a salad for lunch or fish for dinner, there's a good chance somewhere in my week I'm also fitting in something fried and there's a better chance it's happening a couple of times a week.

It isn't out of control, but I want to eat healthier and do it more consistently. I know it's part of living a healthy life, now I just have to commit to it.

I could write similar things for exercise — I used to be in high school sports, but when I went through college I worked out less and now that I've graduated it's happening even less often than that. It's important for me to work out more consistently and get in better shape.

I ran a half-marathon in the summer and was running almost daily; since then though I've barely done anything. I felt better when I ran daily, physically and mentally. I miss that.

That's why I'm signing up for the Slim Down Challenge — I'm hoping to use it as a way of holding myself accountable for a better, healthier lifestyle. For me, it's all about achieving personal goals and I hope that's the same for you. Find your personal reason for participating in this challenge; maybe that's weight loss, maybe that's working out or maybe it's just running once a week and getting better sleep.

Whatever it is, I hope you're able to find a personal goal and run with it (through highs and lows) through the next 13 weeks.

Brian Mozey

Woodbury and Cottage Grove sports reporter

It's been an interesting year just graduating college and working my first job in the workforce. I thought after graduating college I would have more time to focus on my health by working out and such. It seems like the complete opposite as my schedule continues to get busier, but this year I want to focus on getting back to a healthy lifestyle.

This is the reason why I'm signing up for the Slim Down Challenge. I think it's a great opportunity to focus on yourself for 13 weeks and take out the outside distractions. I'm looking forward to participating in this challenge with other individuals in various communities and hopefully we can encourage each other to keep battling the highs and lows of each week.

My goal this spring and summer is to start running 5Ks more constantly, which will hopefully lead to 10Ks and half-marathons. Obviously, the main parts to a healthy lifestyle are exercising and eating better, but I believe there's more to it. For me, I want to have a more positive mindset with situations, which will lead to more positive moments each day and each week.

I can't wait to get these 13 weeks started and I hope you come along and document your success with this challenge. My advice to others is to make small weekly goals, or even daily goals, that you can achieve and continue to progress each day. Those small goals will lead to big goals at the end of this challenge.

Good luck to everyone in the Slim Down Challenge and I hope everyone has a great time during these next few months.