When Hailey Askeland and Blake Finger got engaged, their parents made a commitment to each other, too. Kristen and Dale Askeland, and Krin and Dale Finger, all agreed to lose weight and become healthier for the wedding. They chose ReShape U, a 10-week series of classes based on nutrition and mindful eating.
“When we first heard ‘mindful eating,’ it sounded funny to us,” Krin says. “We’d walk out of class and tease each other, ‘Are you going to be mindful tonight?’ Now we use it all the time.” The four started ReShape U in January, well before the August wedding. Krin hesitated at first. “Kristen was more motivated, getting weighed at the end of class – and I just wasn’t on board with that yet,” Krin recalls. “Seeing Kristen’s success those first few months, it really clicked for me, and in April I committed to it.” “I’ve done other programs, and this one was not about dieting,” Krin adds. “It really taught us about nutrition, with a different topic every week.” Lessons range from nutrition content of foods, portion control and hydration to emotional eating and fostering a healthy relationship with food. All classes are taught by registered dietitian nutritionists.
“One big learning for me was the permission to have anything you want,” Kristen says. “I wasn’t feeling deprived one bit. I had a burger if I wanted one, and it was still easy for the weight to come off. It’s all about moderation and balance.” Dale Askeland gave up snacking on Oreos and Nutty Bars: “Just being aware makes such a difference.”
By the August wedding, they all slimmed down. Even better, Dale Askeland’s high blood sugar was down, and Dale Finger’s back pain went away. “He knows what weight he needs to stay under to alleviate the back pain, so he’s good about tracking it,” Krin says.
In the many months since then, new habits have stuck. “When the class is finished, the impact isn’t over,” Kristen says. It’s an ongoing process and lifestyle. Krin adds: “I learned some good tools, and it’s up to me to act on them – try to exercise, drink more water, and watch my portions.” “My journey to being healthier is never done,” says Kristen, who likes ReShape U one-on-one nutrition coaching to get back on track when her weight rises.
Their advice? Line up support. As owners of the Quarterback Club, Krin and Dale try to bring fewer carry-out meals home. And the two couples checked in often with each other. “When we’d go out to dinner, we’d decide together whether to have dessert – and if we did, we split it,” Kristen says.
“Find your motivation, and have a goal,” Krin adds. “A spring break trip, an anniversary, or a wedding keeps you on track and motivated.” “Planning the wedding, we were sometimes too busy to eat,” Kristen laughs. “Hmm, maybe we should plan a party again.”