Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Gene Neuens, Noble

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Gene Neuens, Noble

Article excerpt

Gene Neuens spends his days promoting canola, a healthier alternative to vegetable oil. He recently was able to improve his own health while participating in a biggest loser challenge at Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, where he works as an oilseed field representative. Since January, he has lost more than 25 pounds by reducing portions, adding vegetables and incorporating exercise into his busy travel schedule.

"I had been trying to lose weight, but before I had no incentive," Neuens said.

Human Resources Manager Talesa Flenniken, Neuens and a few other co-workers decided to start the challenge after an informal meeting, in which they discussed eating too much during the holidays. Each employee who participated contributed $10 for the winner's prize. The company matched the funds and Flenniken was able to create a prize for first through third places. Neuens found his motivation.

"When all your peers (join) in, we decided to get something done," Neuens said.

At first it seemed difficult to eat well, Neuens said. He spends much of his time on the road promoting canola oil: traveling to meetings, speaking at agricultural extension schools and visiting agricultural elevators. Each year, he attends about 20 farm shows across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. He frequently found himself driving for several hours at a time, and then stopping for a McDonald's sandwich.

Once he began the challenge, he started cutting down portion sizes, adding vegetables and eating lots of salads. When he has a long drive planned, he stops every couple of hours to take a break and walk at rest stops. Most hotels and motels he frequents have exercise rooms, where he can walk on the treadmill or ride on a stationary bicycle.

"I was surprised I could lose that much (weight) with just those habits," Neuens said.

While on the road, Neuens said he sticks to high-protein snacks such as beef jerky, protein bars or nuts. …

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