Arrow-right Camera


Accountability and support are keys to success

Colene Rubertt, 44 Pounds lost: 90

Maybe if she had a scale in her office and someone to read it every day – maybe that would provide the accountability Colene Rubertt needs to help her lose weight.

But she doesn’t, so Rubertt meets weekly with a consultant at Jenny Craig, which prepares customers’ food according to a portion-controlled menu and offers one-on-one meetings.

Successful weight loss is a puzzle, said the 5-foot-5 Rubertt, the executive director of the Morning Star Foundation, who lost 90 pounds since October 2010 and wants to lose 20 more. Every person has to put their own together. If one piece is missing, it might not work.

For Rubertt, accountability and support are crucial pieces. For now at least, they have to come from other people.

“Once you can see yourself mentally as a person who is healthy physically, maybe that will change,” she said. “But I’m not there yet.”

Rubertt feels great. She gets up at 4 a.m. for 70-minute daily workouts before arriving at work by 7 a.m. The aches in her hips and knees are gone, her cholesterol levels are healthy again, and she can hunt and hike on her family’s property near Usk, Wash., without tiring quickly.

Mostly she eats salad and green vegetables, sometimes chicken or fish. She also eats other things she loves – bread, mochas and, over a recent vacation, a hamburger and fries.

“I don’t deny myself things,” she said. “If I feel like having something, I will have it – in moderation, obviously – but knowing that I have to work off those calories in some way.”

Still, Rubertt said, she needs somebody to check in with.

A year and a half into her weight-loss effort, she stopped meeting with her consultant with the intention of losing the last 40 pounds on her own. Struggling, she returned nine months later.

She and her consultant talk about her plan for eating at restaurants, which she does four or five times a week for work. They talk about ways to work through weight-loss “plateaus,” and how and why her body’s reaction to workouts varies according to the type of exercise or the time of year. Her measurements are taken at every session, so Rubertt can see her progress even if it’s not showing up on the scale.

“You can know as much as you want to know about your eating habits and your exercise,” she said, “but having someone to talk to about the mental part of losing weight (is important) – because there is a huge mental part.”

Click here to comment on this story »