Northeast Ohio father-and-daughter team Jerry and Coleen Skeabeck bared their souls and bodies last fall for NBC’sThe Biggest Loser. Combined, the pair has lost 182 pounds and counting.
] make the decision
The Skeabecks agree losing weight starts with your mind. You have to understand the importance of what you’re doing. Ask yourself how much your life is worth to you, says Jerry.
] get started
Are you doing anything now? If not, start. Walk 30 minutes a day and gradually increase the time. Take the dog for a walk. Just do something. Know it’s going to be hard, but it’s worth it. “It’s going to be like climbing a mountain,” says Jerry. “It’s not easy, but once you get there, the view is amazing.”
 nutrition counts
Your food is your fuel. When deciding what to eat, ask yourself how it’s going to fit into your daily caloric intake. Eat enough good calories and drink lots of water. When snacking, mix carbs with proteins. Eat blueberries with almonds or an apple and string cheese, says Coleen.
 focus on cardio exercise
Get in lots of cardio exercise. You need to burn more calories in a day than you eat. Start an internal burn. “It’s like when you first start a rusty car,” says Jerry. You can do all sorts of things, but if you don’t keep those changes going, it’s still going to work like an old, beat-up engine.” Once you get into a routine, your body will adapt.
 make a plan
Have a plan for the day, if not the week. Decide what you’re going to eat each day. Write it down if necessary. “When you make a plan, you prevent yourself from eating empty calories,” says Coleen. When you get into a routine, it will become second nature.
 stay motivated
Make time for yourself, and find things that motivate you. Don’t just dream of fitting into that perfect bikini. Buy it and hang it on your closet door as a daily reminder. Most importantly, just start living the life you want. Start by taking it a day at a time. “You don’t have to be afraid,” says Coleen. “It’s just life. It’s just exercise.”
Build a snow fort
Most people just want to get out of the house when cabin fever sets in. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try building an alternative abode in your own backyard. Olympic ice carver and Broadview Heights native Aaron Costic
tells how to create the perfect snow fort.
] be prepared
“To get in your happy place, you need to dress properly.” Bundle up in a hat and warm boots before braving the cold. Also, find a big snow shovel and a small gardening trowel.
 make it thick
Move all the snow you can find to the middle of the yard, and beat it down with the shovel to start a dense pile. Compression is the key to a structurally sound fort, and semi-moist snow works best. “If it’s dry, it doesn’t compress at all.”
 stack it up
“Keep compressing and piling until it’s about eight or 10 inches taller than you want the ceiling to be.” When the pile is tall enough, it’s time to carve it out.
 dig it out
Use the smaller shovel to hollow out the inside of the fort. “Start with the door and work your way back,” Costic suggests. Keep digging until you can wiggle inside, but don’t go overboard. “Keep the walls nice and thick.” Otherwise, the fort could cave in. Kids should leave this step to the parents.
 the house-warming party
Invite a few friends over to the new pad. “Because the snow is such a good insulator, body heat will make it warm.” Too bad all houses don’t work like that.
Catch a record-setting walleye
Tom “Blacky” Haberman
of Brunswick holds the record for the largest walleye caught in Ohio — 16.19 pounds and 33 inches. Now 72, he was 63 when he caught it in Lake Erie, November 1999, off the coast of Cleveland.
> Don’t try so hard. Haberman wasn’t trying to set the record —or even catch a walleye. He and his friend were perch fishing because it was too hot to take the dogs hunting. “It’s all potluck.”
>Be patient. Since he was set up for perch, Haberman had set his rod up with 6-pound test line. It took 10 minutes to get the fish up to the boat; lifting it with his tiny net took even longer. “Just getting it in the boat was hard. I kept it up till she got tired.”
> Read up .Haberman suggests Walleye In-Sider — there’s been a lot of changes in the world of walleye fishing. He says the guys in the water today are using newer, better lures than he used years ago.
>Know where to look. In the spring, head to the islands (Catawba, Kelleys and Put-in-Bay) and you can catch the walleye while they spawn. In the summer, stay “near the deeps” off Vermilion and Cleveland, Haberman says.
Stay in shape during the winter
Snow, sleet and wind make it tough to get to the gym as much as you’d like. Worst of all, your holiday-eating hangover has left you sluggish (and a little heavier). But by having a game plan, you can shape up — even in the winter — says Cleveland Indians strength and conditioning coach Tim Maxey. “Put your workouts in your daily planner, and be realistic,” he says. “Would an hour of cardio a day be great? Absolutely, but choosing 30- to 45-minute sessions three to four times per week is more realistic.” Maxey also advises: “Eat five or six small meals throughout the day rather than two to three large meals. ... And don’t skip breakfast.” The pièce de résistance in Maxey’s plan? The following exercises can be done in the comfort of your (warm) home.
“Start by standing up with your feet 2 to 3 inches apart,” Maxey says. “Step forward with your right leg so that when you squat down, both knees will be at a 90-degree angle. Your left knee should lower down and stop 2 to 3 inches above the ground. Push off of your right heel and come back to a standing position.” Alternate between the right leg and left leg.
Lie on the floor, facedown, with your hands beside your chest and your feet side-by-side. Keep your toes pulled up toward your body, says Maxey. Position your body in a “straight line, and rise up as one unit by pressing against the floor. You want to keep your body stiff like a board throughout this movement,” he says.
| ball squats
“Place an exercise ball between a wall and the small of your back. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart,” he says. “As you squat down, you want to roll your rear-end under the ball until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, then stand back up.”
Text message like a teen
North Olmsted teenager Andrew Acklin
has sent as many as 25,000 text messages in a month. The 18-year-old says they are just one way he communicates, so we talked via txt msg.CM: does grammar have a place in txting?DA
: It depends on the person I’m texting. If it is a close friend I would use much more slang n inside jokes than I would texting people who are not as close.CM
: So I guess, based on the full sentences, we aren’t tight yet?
: Lol, no we aren’t “tight.” Lol. With a professional I like to act formal when talking to them (and you).CM
: ha! ok: T-9, full keyboard or standard?DA
: I have a standard phone and i use Abc instead of t9word. CM
: any reason for the choice?DA
: With t9word, some words would automatically change (for example don’t and foot both require the keys 3668) and it was annoying.CM
: most useful abbreviations old ppl haven’t heard of?DA
: Haha there are many but some are inappropriate...But lol (laughing out loud) idk (I don’t know) brb (be right back) and ttyl (talk to you later)CM
: Txtiquette: Must you wait for a response before txting again?
: Not always...but if u ask someone how they are, ur gonna wait....What do you mean txtiquette?CM
: oh, i’m just combining “text” with “etiquette” so all the Cleveland Magazine readers will think i am witty and/or hip
: Lol haha. Okay.CM
: How many other ppl u txting with right now as we do this interview?
: Just two other people. Normally I would b texting 3 to 4 people. Overall it could range from 0 - 15 peopleCM
: I lost all witty/hip credibility when I used the word, “tight,” didn’t I? Sometimes I feel sooo 2007.DA
: Haha. Lets just put it this way, tight is not the slang teens use now-a-days.
Be a good talk-radio caller
“Have an opinion and stand behind it, even if the host disagrees with it. Don’t get swayed by what the host thinks. Give more backup as to why you are right. The host can be wrong. Nothing is more boring than everyone agreeing all the time. Have a conversation. Don’t just say your peace. React. And be confident. I can tell if you will be a bad caller by the tone of your voice.”— Chris Fedor, producer for “In the Zone,” hosted by Kenny Roda from 6 to 9 p.m. on ESPN 850 WKNR