Part I 2012 Challenge: A Struggle to Become Faster, Healthier, and Stronger

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Part I 2012 Challenge_ A Struggle to Become Faster, Healthier, and Stronger_-3211509461418816987

Five area residents are all competingin the ultimate health and fitness challenge. On April 4th, these contestants will take a series of fitness tests todetermine the winner.

Eyewitness News will be followingthese five individuals over the next month in their quest to become faster,healthier, and stronger.

One contestant, Jonathan Blando, hasbeen struggling with his weight his whole life. “I was a hundred pounds in first grade and it just kept going upfrom there.”

Blando says his downfall had alwaysbeen food.  A problem many people face,it wasn’t that he was always hungry, but just liked to eat. 

“Junior year of high school Istarted really getting into football, losing weight, and I felt good aboutmyself for the first time,” he says.

But without a football team incollege, and all-you-can eat dining halls, Jonathan’s weight began to come backon.  At one point during school, hisappendix burst, which Jonathan attributes to his weight.  “I thought that would change my life, Iwould get back on the right track, but I didn’t…I started focusing on schoolagain, then sitting in a cubicle in an insurance company after I got out–I justate all day long.”

At his highest weight, 363 lbs., Jonathansays he was at his lowest point. Both he and his wife lost weight together fortheir wedding, but eventually put it back on. Now he says he wants to lose the weight permanently.  He plans his meals ahead of time, only buyshealthy foods, and makes time for the gym. Which is Jonathan’s biggest challenge, as he travels to medical schoolin Seneca Falls every single day. 

“I want to feel good aboutmyself. I want to be around for a very long time for my wife, we want to havekids eventually, and a lot of it is for my future practice,” explains Blando.

Jonathan says one day, he wants to bea doctor his patients can take health advice from.  His advice to those looking to follow in asimilar path?  “Everybody shouldknow, it’s not always about the number…Make small goals, it gives you somethingto celebrate throughout the process, just get up and move, something is betterthan nothing.”

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