Jackie Evans did not lose 90 pounds on NBC's The Biggest Loser just by changing her diet.
She did it by making walking and running a permanent part of her life and by learning to understand eating as a means to an end: keeping her body healthy and fueled.
That's the message Evans and her son, fellow Biggest Loser participant and recording artist Dan Evans, who competed on the 2008 season of the series, hope to share with participants in the Biggest Loser RunWalk in Lexington. The event is part of the Alltech National Horse Show, which will be held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
They were in Lexington on Thursday to promote the event.
Dan Evans, 26, who also will perform after the event, lost 136 pounds.
Jackie Evans, 55, participated in 11 half-marathons in 2011, while Dan ran in 14.
The Bluegrass Sports Commission is working with the Biggest Loser organization to bring the race to Lexington.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 66.2 percent of adults were overweight in Kentucky in 2010, with only 21.4 percent of them physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
Terry Johnson, executive director of the sports commission, said that Alltech "was interested in having an event that brings people out to the park."
Jackie Evans said that being on the TV show, which promotes rapid weight loss, showed her that while she did not consider herself an inactive overeater, she had grown lax in her habits.
"At least when I was a kid, I had to get up to change the channel on the TV and answer the phone," she said. "Now I can change the channel with my phone."
Now she and Dan exercise three to four times a week — for Jackie that can mean the equivalent of up to two 5K (3.1 miles) run-walks a day — and will participate in 19 run-walks across the country during 2013.
Now she tells people who want to lose weight to adopt a sensible eating plan and "find an activity in your life that makes sense to you."
Jackie Evans said she enjoys group run-walks because "it really is a competition with yourself, but you're with other people."
She now eats a diet that includes eggs, grapefruit, protein bars, vegetables, fruits and almonds (exactly one dozen at a time). Dan Evans said that he is challenged by tailoring his eating plan to food available for his frequent travel — particularly airport food.
"The key to the best quality of life is to exercise," Jackie Evans said.
Until you start regular exercise, she said, "You don't even realize how good you don't feel."
The Biggest Loser RunWalk: 5K, 15K, kids' one-mile fun run
To sign up: BiggestLoser.com/RunWalk
When: Nov. 2
Where: Alltech Arena, 4089 Iron Works Parkway (The Kentucky Horse Park)
Time: 8:30 a.m. for 5K and 15K; 11:30 a.m. for Kids Fun Run
Cost: starting at $25 for 5K, $45 for 15K, $10 for fun run; includes a free daytime pass to Alltech National Horse Show.