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The Jacksons, Week 19: 'The Biggest Loser' Shows Oxford His Winning Ways

"The Biggest Loser," season 10 winner, Patrick House, helped me and other Oxford, Miss., residents jump-start our health and fitness goals. Credit: Leslie Smith
Gut feelings -- not related to overeating -- can be good.
During his au...
Gut feelings -- not related to overeating -- can be good.

The Jacksons, Week 18: Are These the X-Games?

Stair-climber machines, I'm not scared of you. Credit: Deidra Jackson
Who am I? And just what am I made of?
I asked myself those and other deep meditative questions as I walked briskly on a treadmill set on a steep incline at a stea...
I haven't told many people, but I'm going to compete in my first half-marathon in a few weeks.

The Jacksons, Week 17: Any Room to Roam Is Enough to Burn Some Calories

Jackson finds a place for jumping jacks in the far end of his front yard. Credit: Deidra Jackson
What's up with all this cold winter weather in the Deep South?
And, more specifically, North Mississippi? When temps surged upward f...
What's up with all this cold winter weather in the Deep South?

The Jacksons, Week 16: Deep Reflections From Chili's

It's "crunch time." And, for us Jacksons, that could be significant in any of three different ways. I thought about this as my son, Jackson, and I sat inside a rowdy Chili's restaurant the other night, our Healthy Families Challenge goals ...
It's "crunch time." And, for us Jacksons, that could be significant in any of three different ways.

The Jacksons, Week 15: Frugal Fitness, Wealthy Well-being

Organizers were astounded recently by the turnout of some 500 participants at the first meeting of an Oxford, Miss. community health and fitness initiative. Credit: Deidra Jackson How do I know the holiday "honeymoon" is over? I had to...How do I know the holiday "honeymoon" is over? I had to get on the scales again.

The Jacksons, Week 14: Food - Vital for Life and Good for a Laugh or Two

One of my guilt-free pleasures: my collection of mouth-watering, food-scented candles that smell of sweet sugar cookies and pumpkin-spice pies. Credit: Deidra Jackson
I've learned this week that food can be funny. Wacky, even.
A few...
I've learned this week that food can be funny. Wacky, even.

The Jacksons, Week 13: Double Whammy - Sidelined by the Flu and Hit With Deep South Snow

It doesn't get much better than surprise snow on Christmas Day in North Mississippi. Credit: Deidra Jackson The start of 2011 has my son, Jack, and me resolving not to spend it like we did Christmas morning -- with flu medications cour...The start of 2011 has my son, Jack, and me resolving not to spend it like we did Christmas morning -- with flu medications coursing through our veins.

The Jacksons, Week 12: The Adventures of Cooking for a Choosy Eater

Sweet 'n' spicy popcorn was a tasty treat (and a break from healthy home cooking). Credit: Deidra Jackson As expected, my son was candid when he wrote about my recent attempt at healthy home cooking: "My mom made this shrimp soup and i...As expected, my son was candid when he wrote about my recent attempt at healthy home cooking: "My mom made this shrimp soup and it tasted nasty. I don't mean to be rude."

The Jacksons, Week 11: Now You See Them, Now You Don't -- The Magic Numbers of Weight Loss

Deidra uses her own body weight as resistance in a TRX Suspension Training workout. Credit: Jenn Hall At my last weigh-in, the numbers were magic. Nine pounds? Gone. And two-and-one-half inches around my waist have disappeared. Th...At my last weigh-in, the numbers were magic. Nine pounds? Gone. And two-and-one-half inches around my waist have disappeared.

The Jacksons, Week 10: We've Griped, We've Groaned - and We've Grown

Water-resistance training offers Deidra an extra calorie-burning boost. Credit: Jenn Hall We've said "so long" (temporarily) to bacon-double cheeseburgers and late-night Slim Jim and sweet tea benders. And we've forced our bodies and...We've said "so long" (temporarily) to bacon-double cheeseburgers and late-night Slim Jim and sweet tea benders. And we've forced our bodies and minds to fall in line with constant workouts.

The Jacksons, Week 9: Thanksgiving Day Test Passed, Cheeseburger Embargo Declared

What do you get when you combine a weeklong holiday celebration with a balmy out-of-town travel destination?
For we Jacksons, possible disaster for our health and fitness goals. But we averted tragedy -- for the most part. On a 4.0 grad...
What do you get when you combine a weeklong holiday celebration with a balmy out-of-town travel destination?

The Jacksons, Week 8: All Points Checked and Ready to Roll (Into Holiday-Eating Season)!

Jackson finds another fun way to burn calories. Credit: Deidra Jackson
In the hands of my expert health and fitness team, I feel like a car that's been winterized. First off, my shocks have been checked. I finally visited my ...
In the hands of my expert health and fitness team, I feel like a car that's been winterized.

The Jacksons, Week 7: Going for the Gold in Mental Gymnastics

Camping out or not, Jackson enjoys roasted marshmallows, his favorite sweet treat. Credit: Deidra Jackson
It's already been a roller coaster ride for me, filled with ups and downs, highs and lows.
Just when I think I want to get off...
It's already been a roller coaster ride for me, filled with ups and downs, highs and lows.

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