Firefighters biggest challenge in the My Heart Challenge


A weekly report is submitted by the 15 firefighters each Monday, detailing their heart-healthy behaviors from the week. They report on number of minutes spent exercising (both cardio and strength training), the number of days they ate a heart-healthy diet and their current weight. But each contestant is also asked to share a short response to a very simple question. 

The most difficult behavior modification I have made so far has been...

"Not wavering from the diet, and not going out to eat with my crew at work. Also, finding motiviation to exercise during a busy day at work. Equally tough." - Kevin Platt, Firefighter/Paramedic, Sandy City Fire Department

"Cutting sugar and diet soda." - Scott White, Captain, Murray City Fire Department

"Going cold turkey on Mountain Dew and energy drinks." - David Larsen, Firefighter, South Salt Lake Fire Department

"I am trying very hard to limit my sugar intake. I still find that in the afternoon I get a craving for something sweet." - Karl Steadman, Battalion Chief, Salt Lake City Fire Department

"When I look at everything I am eating - including salt, spices, drinks, etc. - it all adds up! It's an amazing amount of calories, sodium, fat, etc. I didn't may much attention to this earlier, but now I do. It may take a little more time out of my day, but I know it will add time to my life and life-style." - Sharee Rosqvist, Firefighter/Paramedic, West Jordan Fire Department

"Trying to eat three meals a day and not skip breakfast when I get busy at work or at home. Not perfect at this, but getting better at it." Bruce Cline, Fire Chief, Sandy City Fire Department

"Eating. I LOVE cookies and I haven't had one since starting. I would like to say strength exercise, but I haven't mastered that one yet." - Chris Kinzel, Captain, West Jordan Fire Department

"Eating out and watching caloric intake, as well as strength training with bad/rehabbing shoulder." - Gil Rodriguez, Fire Chief, Murray City Fire Department

"I think the biggest challenge for me is keeping healthy foods in my house. I like eating this way but it is expensive and not always possible due to budget constraints." - Todd Caldwell, Battalion Chief, Unified Fire Authority

"Changing eating habits." - Fenton Quinn, Firefighter/Engineer, Unified Fire Authority

"Having to deal with my sweet tooth. Plus, I had a cheat day to satisfy my desire to eat good food. The diet is a lot of the same foods. I am going to have to find new things to eat." - Jeff Paul, Firefighter/Engineer, West Jordan Fire Department

"Adding more veggies, also have a meatless day. It's kind of hard to change when I've always built my meals around the meat." - Mary Lindsay-Vonk, Engineer/Paramedic, West Valley City Fire Department

"Having energy to continue to do cardio workouts. I get bored easily with running, but will try and power through. Meals have been getting easier and easier, and I have found some healthier foods that I enjoy. Of the one day I did not have a heart-healthy diet day, I ate really healthy all day, then went to the movies and had popcorn. I still stayed under my calories, but it still wasn't the best for me." - John Gulley, Firefighter, Unified Fire Authority

After participating in a media story with Fox13 News, John Gulley was interviewed for a short video asking what his biggest challenge has been so far. Watch what he had to say about it: