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Burnet first responder realizes saving lives includes hers, too

Burnet Fire Department member Lacy Huffstuttler (right) and Mad Dawg Fitness trainer Sonny Wilson enjoy a ‘tire change.’ Huffstuttler has dropped about 60 pounds since January when she started a weight-loss competition at the Burnet gym. But the firefighter/paramedic has kept working out and eating right in hopes of losing a total of 100 pounds. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

BURNET — Lacy Huffstuttler smiled at the thought of buying new clothes. She wasn’t just thinking about the latest fashions but a wardrobe in a new size.

“None of my clothes fit,” she said. “So I guess I have to go shopping.”

And it’s a good “not fitting.” As many people add years, they also add pounds. Huffstuttler was no different for several years, but in January, after years of ineffective off-and-on dieting, the Burnet firefighter/paramedic started going against the grain.

She began losing weight. A significant amount.

“I’ve lost about 56 pounds since January,” she said earlier this summer. But she estimated in another week or two, she would cross the 60-pound mark.

“It’s changed my life,” Huffstuttler said.

The change didn’t come easy. Huffstuttler, 27, struggled with weight issues for most of her life. Having a baby only added to the challenge. She admitted trying diets and other atempts at weight loss, but most ended in failure or she would drop some weight only to gain it back.

Huffstuttler didn’t want to give up. As the mother of a toddler, she wanted to be able to keep up with her child. Then, there was her career as a firefighter/paramedic.

She realized how much depended on her physical fitness and health.

“I figured if I was going to help save other people’s lives, I had to save mine first,” Huffstuttler said.

In January, she heard about a weight-loss competition sponsored by Mad Dawg Fitness in Burnet. She decided to give it a try.

The contestants were broken up into three teams. The team members regularly attended workouts led by Mad Dawg trainers. The teams weighed in once a week.

Now, Huffstuttler wasn’t just trying to lose weight for herself, her team was depending on her as well.

“And if you gained weight, you had to put money into the pot,” she said, which added to the motivation. Mad Dawg Fitness trainer Sonny Wilson crafted a diet for Huffstuttler that had her eating 1,500 calories a day. While it sounds restrictive, Huffstuttler said, in many ways, it was freeing because it took the guesswork out of her diet.

However, the workouts weren’t easy. The trainers dreamed up ways of challenging the contestants, whether it was a long run interspersed with burpees, mountain climbers and jumping jacks or flipping large tractor tires.

“My first month, I dreaded coming each day,” Huffstuttler said.

When the competition wrapped up, Huffstuttler had dropped 50 pounds and won first prize.

“I really began feeling I could keep up with my toddler and do my job better,” she said.

Her journey didn’t end there. Enjoying the most success she had ever experienced in losing weight and improving her fitness, Huffstuttler decided to keep working out at Mad Dawg Fitness.

Though the weight-loss competition is over, the trainers haven’t let up on her. Huffstuttler attends regular boot camp-style workouts at the gym. If she misses a day, she gets a text. If she misses a couple of days, she gets a phone call.

While she’s lost about 60 pounds, Huffstuttler still has her eyes set on the 100-pound goal. As somebody who has struggled with her weight for many years and never been able to drop pounds and keep them off until recently, Huffstuttler urged others in similar situations not to give up.

“Don’t let your brain tell you something your heart will allow you to do,” she said.

Plus, you’ll have a perfectly good reason to go clothes shopping.

daniel@thepicayune.com