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Kearney couple calls 12-week fitness program a 'transformation'
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Kearney couple calls 12-week fitness program a 'transformation'

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Ariel Spellman, Trevor Tripe

KEARNEY — Trevor Tripe had no interest in joining the pilot fitness program when his wife, Arielle Spellman Tripe, came home from her job at CHI Health Good Samaritan and talked about it.

But she wanted to participate, so he joined her. Now he can’t stop talking about it. He calls it a “transformation.”

During the 12 weeks, Spellman lost 20 pounds of body fat. Tripe, a sales rep at Builder’s, lost 28 pounds of body fat and nearly 20 pounds. His blood pressure dropped.

“I didn’t want to do this. I’ve been working out regularly for the last three years at the hospital’s wellness center,” he said. “But I’m a competitive person, and I told her, ‘If I’m going to do this, I’ll do it hard core for 12 weeks.’”

Prior to the program, the couple ate no breakfast, a spotty lunch and a filling dinner. “We’d snack through the day, get something from a gas station like a candy bar or a Pop-Tart,” he said.

Now they eat five meals a day: breakfast, a midmorning snack, lunch, a midafternoon snack and dinner.

“I always thought my diet was pretty good until I started tracking my food. I realized about a week or two into this that I wasn’t eating near enough or often enough,” he said.

As part of the program, various data was scanned in, like his height, weight, lean muscle mass, body fat percentage, “all sorts of information.” Every two weeks, much of that was assessed again.

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Eating “became like a second job.” He learned he wasn’t eating enough protein or carbohydrates. “You can’t make up that deficit at the end of the day,” he said, so he learned to space it out throughout the day.

“I know people who have lost a ton of weight doing fad diets, but this was different,” he said.

He and Arielle began studying nutrition labels. “I thought a granola bar was healthy, but look at the labels. It’s all sugar and granola. That’s not good for me.”

“Now I have an omelette every morning, a protein shake or a hard-boiled egg at 10 a.m. For lunch, it’s two chicken fajitas or maybe a chicken-rice-black bean bowl with lettuce,” he said. Dinners are meats and vegetables “like most people eat.”

The contents of the family’s refrigerator have changed. Their three children, ages 14, 12 and 7, are eating healthier, too. “On Sundays, we prepare meals for the whole week, which prevents stops at fast food restaurants and making spur-of-the moment unhealthy choices,” Arielle said.

She’s still taking 4:30 a.m. fitness classes and is part of a weight loss-muscle building challenge that fellow Good Sam employees began after the pilot program ended.

“Our oldest son has also started some early morning workouts,” she said.

As for Tripe, he’s had to buy smaller belts. Even his customers have noticed his healthier glow.

“For a guy who didn’t want to do this, I’m very happy that I did. It’s an eye-opener. When you think you’re eating right, start tracking it. I was doing a lot of stuff wrong.”


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