Medina couple lost more than 300 pounds together last year

Photos by Tom Rivers: Adam and Kelly Uderitz take their dog Maggie for a walk by the Erie Canal in Ridgeway on Fruit Avenue.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 January 2019 at 1:53 pm

Adam and Kelly Uderitz embrace a healthy lifestyle

Provided photo: Adam and Kelly Uderitz are shown at their wedding about 16 months ago on Aug. 17, 2017.

MEDINA – A Medina couple embraced a healthy lifestyle last year and the results have been life-changing, Kelly and Adam Uderitz said.

Together they lost about 340 pounds in 2018. They drank lots of water each day, ate healthy foods, got more sleep and made a commitment to exercise regularly.

Kelly lost 96 pounds and Adam took off 245. They used to get home from work and crash on the couch. Now they go out for walks or a jog.

They both say they have far more energy during the day, after cutting out their caffeine.

“I feel like I got my freedom back, the freedom from myself,” Adam, 43, said at their home on Saturday on Fruit Avenue.

He used to drink a lot of soda. The switch to drinking water cut out hundreds of calories each day. He has experimented in the kitchen, using more vegetables in their meals. He makes a cauliflower-crusted pizza, or mashed cauliflowers instead of mashed potatoes. On Saturday evening, it was scallops over cauliflower grits.

The change in diet took off a lot of pounds. Adam also embraced something he hadn’t done since he was a kid: he rode a bike. He first pedaled it down Fruit Avenue to the canal and back to his house, about a 3-mile ride. He built up his endurance and would ride 25 miles to Albion and back.

He started walking, then doing a walk-jog. In October, he was running a mile and then longer. In November, he completed two 5-kilometer races and is looking to try some longer races, a 5-miler and maybe a half marathon. Adam is often joined by the family dog, Maggie, a mixed breed.

Adam is at 176 pounds. He hasn’t been that low since he was a freshman in high school. Some of his own family members didn’t recognize him last year at some family gatherings.

Adam and Kelly Uderitz frequently take walks on the Erie Canal Towpath with their dog Maggie.

“I just feel so much better,” he said on Saturday.

He works at Saint-Gobain Adfors in Albion as a “fixer” or in maintenance. He used to sit down for most of his shifts at work, but last year decided to stay on his feet throughout the workday. That gave him about 10,000 steps each day at work. He has a step counter on his watch and averages about 15,000 steps a day, including his exercise outside of work.

Adam no longer needs medication for high cholesterol and blood pressure. He no longer suffers from sleep apnea. He gets a good night’s sleep and starts the day with zest.

Kelly and Adam have been friends for 16 years. They married on Aug. 17, 2017.

Kelly has lost nearly 100 pounds this year. She has steered herself away from deep-fried foods. If she goes out to eat, she has a salad instead of French fries or other food that tends to have a lot of grease.

Kelly, 44, said she started to put on weight after quitting smoking in 2000. Before embracing a healthy lifestyle about a year ago, she said she typically felt tired and would go to Tim Hortons once or twice daily for an iced cappuccino. Even then, she felt sluggish, especially when she got home after working. She is a special education teacher at Albion High School.

Kelly is an active parent volunteer with the Medina Mustang Band. Her son, Danny Squire, is a senior with the band this year.

His mother noticed that Jimmy Steele, the band director, has lost a lot of weight – more than 100 pounds. She asked him how he did it.

Steele shared his insights and offered to be a coach for Kelly and Adam Uderitz. He gives them recipes and encouragement.

Kelly and Adam both say they try to stay positive, even if they slip up and don’t have a good eating day.

“If you have a bad day, it’s not over,” Adam said. “Go forward and continue on.”

It is hard to eat good food all the time, especially during the holidays when there are some many cookies and treats.

The couple say Americans are inundated with junk food, fast food and unhealthy food.

“It’s always in your face,” Kelly said. “Everyone is trying to get you to supersize junk all your life.”

‘I feel like anyone can be successful. You have to remember why you’re doing it. It’s a journey not a diet.’ – Kelly Uderitz

Kelly and Adam try to eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours. In between meals that is often a handful of almonds. That fights off hunger and the cravings for fast food or junk food.

“It keeps the metabolism going,” Adam said.

The first couple months on the program were like being in detox as he shifted from soda to water, and from deep fried food to lean meats and lots of vegetables.

Kelly, like Steele, has become a health coach and is working with five people. She welcomes others to contact her through her Facebook page if they are interested in following the program that has worked for her and her husband.

Adam and Kelly have also become avid kayakers. That’s something that seemed unrealistic a year ago. Now they spend three or four hours in the kayak, traveling the Oak Orchard River.

“I feel like anyone can be successful,” Kelly said about the weight-loss program. “You have to remember why you’re doing it. It’s a journey not a diet.”

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