By Bobbie Poynter / Community Editor
Les Dixon went into the 2013 NIBROC Just Lose It competition with a plan.
“I was planning to lose weight anyway, so it was just good timing,” said the Sports Editor for the Times-Tribune newspaper. “I figured if I’m going to lose weight anyway, I might as well have a little incentive.”
“A little incentive” included a $1,000 grand prize for winning the contest, along with a few other prizes. But, on the personal side, Les had thought about the need to lose some weight all year long.
“I just didn’t feel as good as I used to and wanted to get back to a weight I could feel comfortable in,” he explained.
So, on April 15, the 38-year-old father of three put his plan into action and, along with 20 other hopeful contestants, entered in the NIBROC Just Lose It competition.
That big plan began with one last “comfort food” dinner, consisting of a huge cheeseburger with everything on it, a big pile of French fries and a large root beer.
Since that day, Dixon’s eating routine has gone from consuming lots of processed and fast foods to eating more one-ingredient foods, such as chicken or tuna, vegetables and fruits, which can be eaten raw or without a bunch of added ingredients other than spices and herbs.
Les’s road to winning NIBROC’s Just Lose It wasn’t always an easy one. Little did the competitor realize at the time, but he was surrounded with a great support team.
“At home, my wife and kids gave me a lot of support,” said Dixon. “My kids were really happy to see their dad was losing weight.”
And support didn’t stop at his front door. Every day the sports editor set foot in the office at the Times-Tribune, his co-workers would greet him with words of encouragement.
“Going into work each day, it was kind of like meeting my judges,” he said. “Every day that I was in the competition, they had something positive to say. That meant a lot to me.”
But, even though he was continuously losing weight, the man just couldn’t seem to win any weigh-offs during the first half of the competition.
“As good as I was beginning to feel about myself, I’m still a born competitor, so I was beginning to get really down on myself when I wasn’t winning anything,” he said.
But then Dixon’s biggest supporter stepped in. Miranda, Les’s wife of nine years, told her husband, “Les, you stick with things. You need to stick with this and you’ll be just fine.”
Miranda was right. Dixon stuck to his guns and, in the end, won three out of the four final weigh-offs.
Weeks after the results of the NIBROC Just Lose It are over, Les Dixon continues to exercise five days a week.
“It’s become a natural routine,” he said. “I’m now in competition to keep the weight off. In fact, I’d feel like a failure if I didn’t keep it off.”
So, Dixon’s gone cold turkey on sodas, laid off fast food (except for once-a-week cheat days), pushing the lawn mower instead of riding it, and strolling through the neighborhood — sometimes with the wife and kids — instead of sitting and watching TV all night.
To date, the winner of Just Lose It still misses his Big Red soda and going out to eat with friends at lunch. But then, there’s always the cheat days — if he can wait that long. And those cheat days usually end with pizza.
“My biggest craving was — and still is — pepperoni pizza. Immediately after I won the contest, my family headed straight for the pizza parlor where we had to buy the kids a second pizza of their own ‘cause the first one was all mine!”
Cravings aside, an invigorating 83 pounds lighter, Les Dixon is feeling really good about himself. His blood pressure is down and, according to his doctor, his overall health is great.
“I really do feel good,” said Dixon. “But, I know I could never have done this without such great support. I would urge anyone trying to do something like this to surround themselves with positive people and try never to get down. When I started this competition, I put everything out in front of me, and in doing so friends, family and co-workers alike stepped up and helped keep me motivated.
“Not every one you deal with is going to be supportive of your efforts. There will always be those who will make fun of your efforts. But then, it’s always nice to have someone who’s not afraid to compliment you on your hard work, so these are the positive people you need around you if you’re really serious about succeeding.”
Les and Miranda Dixon live in Corbin and have three daughters, Leslie (13), Sydney (8) and Taylor (4).