Freedom Newspapers: Leslie Spence
Cody Lee helps Deborah McGrew as she signs up for a new gym membership at Fitness and More while 21-month-old Benen Lee watches. The gym is offering specials for the new year.
Leslie Spence: Freedom Newspapers
With 2005 coming to a close, many local residents are entering the new year with promises of change. At the beginning of each year, Americans think of resolutions to make the new year better than the one before. Clovis and Portales residents are no different.
According to the Weight Control Information Network, over two-thirds of adult Americans, ages 18 and older, are overweight. Clovis resident Misty Beach is no stranger to this statistic. Beach, a cashier at Wal-Mart and mother of two young children, said her resolution for 2006 is to shed unwanted pounds.
“I want to use appetite suppressants and enroll in a local gym,” Beach said. “I hope to lose weight.”
Beach also said that this has been her same resolution in the past and each year, she’s found it difficult to achieve. This year, though, she is determined to do whatever it takes.
Debbie Strong, owner of Curves for Women in Portales, said that her business offers a plan specially designed for women.
“The way the equipment is set up with the hydraulics, women can do cardio training, strength training, and flexibility all in 30 minutes,” Strong explained.
Strong said that January is one of the busiest months for Curves and they are offering a 60 percent discount due to the number of women signing up.
At Curves, women are given a healthy meal plan and taught how to work out on the machines. Whenever women have time, they go into Curves for a 30 minute workout, three times a week. Curves also offers protein shakes and a support group that meets once a week.
“The program is easy if you stick with it. It’s a no brainer. We count the carbs and calories for you,” Strong added.
Weight loss supplements and appetite suppressants are available in women’s or men’s only formulas at local health stores as well.
Vernon Dobbs, owner of Gym X in Clovis, said that the gym not only offers steps to help people get in shape, but also nutritional counseling to help teach people how to eat more healthy.
Get in Shape
Other residents, like Eastern New Mexico University college senior, Eric Estep, aren’t concerned with weight loss as much as becoming a healthier person. Estep, a former baseball player, will begin student teaching at Goddard High in the spring and help coach baseball.
Estep’s goal for the coming year is to get back into playing shape for baseball. To do this, he plans on spending plenty of time on the field and going to the gym.
“I’ve made resolutions in the past,” Estep said. “Last year, I made a resolution to stop using cuss words, and I did it.”
Fitness and More in Portales is offering specials for the new year. Employee Sarah Trujillo, who has worked for gyms in the past, said, “A good amount of people always sign up in January. They will go strong for a couple of weeks to a month, but then they fall off.”
To meet the demands, Trujillo said that the gym, which offers cardiovascular equipment, circuit training machines, and saunas, is waiving their initiation fee for a six month membership and lowering the overall cost.
Dobbs from Gym X said that January is the “busiest month by far” for his business and that to meet demands, his company offers 10-12 different specials to help people achieve their resolutions.
“January is the best time to sign up at Gym X,” Dobbs explained. “We offer pilates, step aerobics, cardio kickboxing, stretch and tone classes, basic aerboics, and hip hop dance classes.”
Gym X also offers personal trainers for those who don’t know where to start. Full locker room facilities and a supervised play section for children are amenities for people on the go.
While getting in shape tops many people’s resolution lists, some residents base their resolutions on keeping their healthy physiques.
Chris Padilla, an employee at EB Games in Clovis and Movie Gallery in Portales, said choosing a resolution for 2006 was difficult. He has cut back on his bad habits and kept his 2005 resolution to start working out.
“Last year, I decided I wanted to work out,” Padilla explained. “At first, it didn’t work out, but during the summer I got motivated and did it.”
This year, Padilla hopes to cut back on the amount of fast food he eats.
“I’m a single guy. It’s easier to eat out than to cook,” he said.
Fast food restaurants offer easy access and have taken steps to make their menus healthier. Eating from the healthy menus is a convenient way to cut back on calories and have a quick meal.
According to healthatoz.com, some ways to make the fast food experience healthier are to skip the extras on burgers, order salads instead of fries, and choose grilled foods when possible.
Other people feel that cutting back on bad habits will help them maintain better overall health.
Stop smoking and drinking
Ken Walker, the manager of Foot Locker in Clovis, said he moved to the area from Lubbock 8 months ago for his job. Walker said that in 2006 he hopes to stop smoking and drinking.
“I want to be healthier,” Walker said.
Walker said to achieve his goal, he is not drinking nor smoking on New Year’s Eve.
“There’s no night life in Clovis, so it will be easier for me,” Walker said. “It would be much harder in Lubbock.”
According to healthmba.com methods to stop drinking vary from person to person and depend on the amount of alcohol a person consumes. When a person realizes they need to stop drinking, they have acknowledged the issue and are more prepared to change the action.
Gums and patches to assist people in their quest for not smoking range from $17 to $59 at local retail stores. They can be purchased in stores or online and come in a variety of sizes.
Andrew Guiterrez, an employee at Rib Crib in Clovis, said that his mind set was the reason he quit smoking a couple of months ago after smoking on and off for 4 or 5 years.
“I just threw the cigarettes away,” he said. “I had some and I just threw them out.”
Don’t worry, be happy
Melissa Stratton, a Medical Transcriptionist at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis, said her goal for the new year is to find happiness with herself and her life.
“I just need to slow down and enjoy my life at this point and not worry about the future or what others think,” Stratton said.
Ty Walker, the director of Counseling and Career Services at ENMU, said, “There are three aspects of your life: physical, emotional, and spiritual. If you set one goal in each category, you are going to have an opportunity to have a better, happier year.”
Walker said an example of a physical goal would be exercising or changing diets. Emotional goals include being able to work through or avoid stressors, reading more books, and increasing mental thinking. A spiritual goal would be finding some purpose or belief and focusing on it.
A person who is physically happy will more likely have higher self esteem, Walker said.
Walker advised against trying fad diets and setting unobtainable goals, such as losing 80 lbs.
He also said that meeting people from the local area with similar interests is easier now using the Internet.
“Websites allow you to see a picture of the person in the local area that you may want to meet and who are looking for others,” Walker said. “The Internet is another way to find a relationship.”
Succeed in business
Still, other residents, like small business owner, Tressie Stroud, focuses her resolutions to ensure success for her store, NoWhereElse in Portales. Her resolution is to maintain the creativity and integrity the store has become known for.
Stroud and her daughter, Donna Hayman, said they want to be able to continue to provide unique and unusual items to the local area. To do this, Stroud plans to travel to markets, meet with new people, and display art from local artists.
Stroud also vows to get the word out about the new business in the upcoming year.
According to smallbusinesssuccess.biz, a small business will be more successful if it does things differently from its competitors.
Stroud is confident that the things found in NoWhereElse can be found no where else.