If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, here’s a reason to be inspired. A 34-year-old Summerlin woman beat out roughly 26,000 others to be named the female national weight-loss champion in the Life Time 60-Day Challenge.
Mindy Bean lost 20 percent of her body weight through the challenge and gained a hefty $10,000 in her bank account.
Growing up, Bean enjoyed athletics, playing volleyball and swimming. As an adult, her profession as a photographer required her to lug around heavy camera equipment. About a year and a half ago, she said, it forced her to have neck surgery. Afterward, her doctor told her that her range of movement would be slim to none.
Depression set in. She gained weight.
She had 194 pounds on her 5-foot, 4-inch frame when “I looked at myself in the mirror and I was disgusted. Having two daughters, I woke up one day and said, ‘I want to be a better role model,’” she said.
Bean started by opening up the refrigerator and throwing out everything unhealthy. She began doing yoga, spin classes and weightlifting at Life Time Athletic’s Summerlin location, 10721 W. Charleston Blvd.
“I was doing everything that the doctor told me I would never do again,” Bean said. “You have to understand, growing up, I was an athlete. So, when I was told I couldn’t do those types of things, (it was a challenge).”
She lost 9 pounds the first week. Part of it was due to her workouts — two hours of spin class or use of an elliptical machine — and part was because she changed her eating habits and began drinking a gallon of water a day.
“It was great to see Mindy’s well-rounded emphasis on getting healthier; it wasn’t just exercising, or just eating better. It was a combination of those (things),” said Becca Hurt, registered dietitian and assistant program manager for Life Time.
By week three, she had lost about 20 pounds, but she hit a plateau. She added more cardio, more weights. She was at the gym four to six hours a day, but the weight didn’t budge.
Frustrated, she spoke to a trainer, who had her take an active metabolic assessment. The test reads one’s breathing and determines if he or she is burning fat or sugar.
She was burning sugar.
“I learned I was overexerting myself … so, what I was doing was a waste of my time,” she said.
Bean learned to keep her heart rate at a point where she could talk comfortably as she worked out.
Bean’s husband, Douglas, worked out alongside her and lost 70 pounds. The girls joined in as well.
By the end of the challenge, which ran Aug. 20 through Oct. 15, Bean weighed 154 pounds and had gone from a size 13 to a size 4.
“I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ I was a size four probably 14 years ago, back before I had my kids,” she said.
She will invest some of her $10,000 in prize money in tennis shoes to work out in, an Apple watch and a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Her next adventure: taking on the body-transformation challenge, which could earn her another $10,000.