KEYC News 12 and Mankato Clinic are nearing the end of our year-long community wellness initiative, Thrive. KEYC's Lisa Cownie catches up with the person that helped us kick it all off a little over a year ago.

She was working out at the Mankato Clinic Foundation Walking Trail in the VINE Center, a place where she spends lots of time these days. When we caught up with Mary Jo Hustoles in January of 2016, she was celebrating a 70-lb weight loss driven by the principals in the book Eat Move Sleep. 

Mary Jo Hustoles says, "I keep a picture of myself in my car of the before so I can remind myself of that when I am tempted." Now almost 12 months later she has kept off the weight and will start 2017 the healthiest she's been in a long, long time. Mary Jo says, "All of my medical numbers have dropped. I am in a BMI healthy range, I'm in a blood pressure healthy range, and my cholesterol is in a healthy range. I'm off medications for all of those things. That has been the greatest achievement of the last year for me.

It's been a combination of moving every chance she gets. Mary Jo says, "I'm parked at the end of the lot so I get more steps walking here, I talk on the phone walking." Regarding her diet Mary Jo says, "You find out your tastes do change, when I tasted pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving, it tasted too sweet which was a celebration for me." In 2017 Mary Jo plans to run a 5k and then a 10k before the year is through. Being a cheerleader for others along the way. Mary Jo says, "Recognize what works for you. It's a lifelong journey but from the journey comes rewards, good healthy low numbers, incredible energy and happiness."

Lisa Cownie, KEYC News 12.