Thursday, February 28, 2013

Times Colonist Health Challenge: Meet Steve!

Steven Holub shakes off sedentary life and fast food

Sandra McCulloch / Times Colonist
February 27, 2013
Steve Holub, who is participating in the Times Colonist Health Challenge, works out at Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence in Saanich.  Photograph by: ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist

The Times Colonist Health Challenge is giving Steven Holub a much-needed boost.

Coming into the challenge he weighed 244 pounds, the excess bulk a result of a sedentary lifestyle and too much fast food.

The friends he hung around with in high school found partners and some are starting families.

Holub, 26, didn’t make an effort to find new friends. He currently lives with his parents and is unemployed.

He has overcome the confidence issues that haunted him over the first week or two of workouts. This week, Holub was looking every bit the serious athlete as he lifted weights at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence on Interurban Road in Saanich.

Sweat poured off his forehead as he breathed in rhythm with the exertion.

He said afterward that the workout “was easier than last week but it’s still challenging. I really like it.”

He’s feeling a variety of benefits from the workouts after just a few weeks.

Holub said he has more energy, his confidence has improved and he’s eating better. He’s even looking forward to getting involved in other activities he once enjoyed, such as basketball.

This positive outlook has Holub grinning. And the fact he’s lost six pounds in just a few weeks is icing on the cake.

Having a personal trainer like Lindsay Forget on hand seems to be just what Holub needed to get moving down the right path.

“I think just having someone watching makes you want to work out harder,” Holub said.

Forget is also able to correct his form and keep track of his progress. It’s great having someone in your corner, he said.

Holub was born in Regina and adopted as an infant by a couple from Victoria. He has reconnected with his biological father, even lived with him for a while, and is in touch with his father’s other children.

Being adopted can raise issues of rejection. Holub said his birth father was able to answer some of the lingering questions. He hasn’t been able to get in touch with his birth mother yet.

One day, Holub said, he hopes to understand why she decided to place him for adoption. He said he is very grateful to have been chosen by a loving couple who raised him in Victoria, calling his parents “wonderful.” Being able to live at home while he sorts out his employment options “is a big blessing,” he said.

He hopes in April to move out and share a place with a friend. He’s looking at getting trained in janitorial work, just to get a paycheque to pay for his new passion: personal training at PISE.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to continuing with workouts after I’ve seen the results every week, and the way I’m feeling mentally and physically,” Holub said. “I’ve always wanted to get in shape but I wasn’t able to do it on my own. I didn’t have the maturity to really be dedicated to it as I am now.”

He’s now eager to shoot a few hoops on days he’s not working out, and maybe make new friends.

“Now I actually want to hang out with people and not be isolated,” he said.

The boost of endorphins that follows a tough workout is an awesome feeling, he added: “It’s like being high, but it’s natural.”

The Times Colonist Health Challenge is a 12-week fitness program where Holub and five others take part in twice-weekly workouts with personal trainers, advice from nutritionists, financial advisers and mental coaches.

The challenge wraps up on April 14 at PISE.
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