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Abbotsford family sheds bad habits

the women were all sick....but two came for photo. MORROW
Tony deWaal works out under the guidance of trainer Yoshia Burton

Shared fitness goals are bringing the deWaals closer together.

The local family has been improving their diet and exercise habits as part of the Abbotsford News Family Lifestyle Makeover Challenge.

“We’re fully committed and enjoying it,” said Tony deWaal, who is participating with his wife Judy and daughters Amanda, 13, and Esther, 12. “It’s been really good just because we’re all on the same page and we’ve all agreed to this, so there’s an accountability built in.”

They’ve discovered that a proper diet is key to achieving their fitness goals. A recent nutrition tour at Save-On-Foods focused on the elements of healthy eating – reading labels, comparing products, cooking tips and sustainable food options.

“It was extremely informative,” said Tony. “It’s about integrating better choices into a balanced diet.”

He learned that porridge is healthier than packaged cereal, whole grain breads are an essential part of the diet, and smaller meat portions can be offset by a range of protein foods.

The family has also become more proactive in meal preparation. They are making one-week meal plans and preparing food, such as chopping up vegetables in advance on weekends.

As part of the three-month program, the deWaals are working with personal trainers at Innovative Fitness to improve their strength and cardiovascular endurance through circuit training. They receive weekly chiropractic adjustments and a customized workout routine.

The deWaals are also tackling their fitness goals outside their training sessions. Tony is going to the Abbotsford Recreation Centre three times a week, Judy is working out at home on the elliptical, and their daughters are attending several basketball practices in addition to games.

“Overall, it’s been very encouraging and very enjoyable,” said Tony. “We’re all trying to incorporate an overall healthier lifestyle and do some things as a family that are fun.”