Share it South Dakota: Vote Now!

by admin on December 10th, 2013

Thanks to everyone who submitted their stories for our Share It, South Dakota contest. You all were such a great inspiration! Below you will see our top three stories. Please take a minute to read each story and vote for your favorite. There are two ways to vote, by commenting below and commenting on our Facebook page. Our winners will walk away with $250, $150, or $100 cash! Voting will end December 19th at 5pm.


Story 1: By Kay S. – My Ode to Be Well South Dakota

Be Well South Dakota!  Let’s Go! Fight! Win!
Be Well South Dakota!  Let the fun begin!

A few years ago, as I was about to turn fifty,
I noticed the number on my scale was not very nifty.

As I faced the facts, I wondered, “What’s a person to do?”
I decided to join a friend who was trying to lose weight, too.

Together we joined a weight loss program , and it worked for me.
After a few months, I was on my “weigh” to where I needed to be.

I then thought about meeting with a personal trainer
Once I did so , exercising was really a no brainer.

She told me that I needed to do more than just stroll
if I wanted to meet my weight loss goal.

I started interval training by going out to our local track.
Once I did so, I really enjoyed working out and never looked back.

Then I started doing some strength training at our local wellness center.
Before I did so, I met with my personal trainer, who was my mentor.

I continued to serve on the wellness team at the school where I teach.
I knew if I did so, I would feel the need to practice whatever I did preach.

Then I received a Be Well South Dakota challenge via email
I decided that if I joined the challenge, I would not fail.

I was really impressed when I sent an email to the Be Well South Dakota site
and received a personal note of encouragement back the very next night!

I completed the challenge and went to a picnic to celebrate.
I not only met some neat people and won some prizes but also felt great!

I often wear one of the prizes , a Be Well South Dakota t-shirt, when I ‘m out and about.
Its  bright orange color helps brighten my day and keep me energized as I work out.

Once I completed the first challenge, I was anxious for the next one.
Believe it or not, I started to think of the challenges as fun!

I still look forward to each challenge that is sent my “weigh.”
I print out the challenge and look at it as I start each day.

It’s been two and a half years since I decided to lose some weight.
I’m so glad I got on track, as I really do feel great!

Now I am at the age where I could possibly retire.
But I’m so full of energy that I want to take the time to  inspire!

 I want to inspire all of you to let Be Well South Dakota  become a part of your day.
Doing so will definitely help you in more than one “weigh!”

Be Well, South Dakota!  Let’s Go! Fight! Win!

Story 2: By Heather D. – The Story of a Proud Wife


In a word, I am PROUD of my husband, Jaron DeWit. My man went from a fast food munching, veggie shunning, soda drinking computer playing sweet guy to a salad crunching, water guzzling, bike riding dream chasing sweet guy. He has lost a lot of pounds but that is not what most amazes me. He has improved his cholesterol but that is not what impresses me. What amazes me is all he has gained. He has entered cyclocross bike races, ridden mile after mile, become a regular at the gym and a leader in his work place. He has gained confidence. What’s more he has changed things for our family. He leads our daughters in fun and healthy activities and they love it! He has gained quality time. Rather than catching a matinee we go for a family bike ride and he even keeps the pace low enough for five year old legs (and my out of shape legs) to keep up. Despite being initially out of shape I find family time to be an instant motivator and love our walks, hikes and rides. I am improving daily under my hubby’s leadership. He leads our little family and I am happy to follow because it is best for all of us.  Even meal time is improved. Jaron is the first to admit that he isn’t a huge fan of vegetables yet he manages to lead our kids by helping to prepare healthy and tasty meals to demonstrate to our children that it is important to taste and learn to love healthy foods. We have traded the drive through for the grill and the restaurant booth for the oven. We still love Mexican food but enjoy fajitas and salads filled with fresh veggies. With healthier and slower meals we enjoy great conversation. Even our hobbies have improved. We have always loved photography. We find even greater enjoyment in the “perfect shot” of a tree when we’ve hiked miles to find it. We have gained enjoyment. I am so thankful that Jaron, an already amazing Christian man, husband and father has chosen a path for himself and our family that is so good. His new found health will provide many more years of life as a family, many more hours of fun outdoors, many more moments that make him smile, much more energy to serve others and so much more.

Story 3: By Austin S. – Healthy Self = Healthy Family


I had always been a little on the heavy side, nothing too terrible. I was active throughout high school and college playing basketball outside on the “green-top” in my hometown and in the gym at Southwest State. It was in my final years of college where I started slowing down and not moving as much, as well as eating un-healthy. I used the excuse that I worked 2 part-time jobs while attending school to get me out of staying active. The rocky road to being un-healthy continued for me for a few years.

In 2011 my wife and I had our first child. I told myself it was time to get healthy for him and for my wife. I got out and moving again for a while and it helped, however my eating habits did not change. I never took my health serious until I saw a picture of my son playing with me looking on in the background. The picture showed my big belly hanging over my belt. GROSS! I had slipped again over 2 years and without realizing it reached my highest weight in 2013 at 260lbs.

A 27 year old man should not be in this kind of health, so since that point, I have changed my eating habits to get the nutrition I need. I have started a working out at our local wellness center. I am down to 245 lbs. and hoping that number gets to 230. It’s great to be able to enjoy a walk to the park with my family and show my son that I can run up and down a basketball court.

He will soon have a baby sister in December, and for my wife, my kids, and especially for myself I can proudly say I can see my belt buckle again! I am happy that my kids will see me eating healthy and being active and be able to carry that on in their own life.

Comments (71)

  • I vote for Austin S story. He describes a very “normal” guy that made the right choices to change his life.

    posted by Patty Roehr on 12.10.13

  • great story, great guy!!!

    posted by Stephanie Baker on 12.10.13

  • I vote for #3, great story!

    posted by CARMIN on 12.10.13

  • Story #3

    posted by Karen Roehr on 12.10.13

  • Story #3 Proud of my hubby! =)

    posted by Kaitlyn Sasker on 12.10.13

  • I vote for Story 3: By Austin S. – Healthy Self = Healthy Family.

    posted by Blair Olsen on 12.10.13

  • I like Austin’s story.

    posted by Dana Tank on 12.10.13

  • 2 Heather Dewit

    posted by Jill Schievelbein on 12.11.13

  • Jaron has shown such a turn around in his healthy eating and active lifestyle! I am amazed each time I see him how much he has improved! He inspires me to keep at the healthy life as well! #2 Jaron deserves it!!

    posted by Kacey on 12.11.13

  • JaronDeWit is one of the best fathers in South Dakota, Kind.funny,very thoughtfull of others, I vote for Jaron DeWit

    posted by DOUGLAS DEWIT on 12.11.13

  • #2!

    posted by Emily Lincoln on 12.11.13

  • I like #2! What an inspiring story!

    posted by Craig on 12.11.13

  • #2

    posted by Micki Schievelbein on 12.11.13

  • I vote for #2.

    posted by Rebecca on 12.11.13

  • Vote for #2!

    posted by Katie Harris on 12.11.13

  • # 3 is my vote because it includes some backsliding which we all have a tendancy to do. The important thing is to not give up and remember that each healthy choice we make is a step in the right direction. Thank you for sharing, Austin!

    posted by Sheila on 12.11.13

  • I vote #3! Austin

    posted by Taylor on 12.11.13

  • I vote for Heather D. because what a great article and hooray for her husband, Jaron. This is a great story of how one person can change the atmosphere for the entire family and future generations to come!

    Thanks for writing such an inspiring tribute to Jaron and I will testify to this because I happen to be his trainer and am so proud of all of the change he has made to live a life of well-being! he is a great example to all!

    posted by Bonnie Hill on 12.11.13

  • I so believe in Heather’s story about her husband, Jaron. I work out with Jaron everyday and see his commitment to a new lifestyle filled with exercise and healthy eating. Congrats Jaron for what you’ve acconplised and to you Heather for suporting the new lifestyle!!

    posted by Lori Seykora on 12.11.13

  • I voted for # 2 – Heather and her husband Jaron… Way to GO!!!

    posted by Nancy Matt on 12.11.13

  • 2

    posted by Jeremy on 12.11.13

  • Jaron Dewit is a role model for all of us “wanna be” healthier people at work. We are all proud of him.

    posted by Susan Ness on 12.11.13

  • 2 gets my vote

    posted by Bob Hill on 12.12.13

  • #2!

    posted by DeWit family on 12.12.13

  • #3, Way to go Austin, You are an inspiration to us all.

    posted by Julie Elsen on 12.12.13

  • #2 has my vote, great example of leading your family by example, good work Jaron!

    posted by Jason on 12.12.13

  • #2

    posted by N on 12.12.13

  • #2 – great inspiration!! 🙂

    posted by Nikki on 12.12.13

  • I vote for #2 go Jaron!

    posted by Laurie Rahn on 12.12.13

  • Definitely #2…Way to go!

    posted by Cynthia Raye on 12.13.13

  • #2 – no question! Proud of you Jaron!

    posted by Lindsey Bender on 12.13.13

  • #2

    posted by Krista on 12.13.13

  • vote for #2

    posted by Brenda on 12.13.13

  • Number 1!!! Fight on!!!!!

    posted by Zakk Ryherd on 12.13.13

  • Number 1!!! Fight on!!!

    posted by Zakk Ryherd on 12.13.13

  • Number 1 is clearly the winner of this competition

    posted by Parker Schultz on 12.13.13

  • I vote for 1

    posted by jacob gibeau on 12.13.13

  • vote for #1

    posted by Derrick on 12.13.13

  • #1

    posted by Dustin on 12.13.13

  • #1

    posted by Caleb Preszler on 12.13.13

  • #1!!!

    posted by Caroline King on 12.13.13

  • #1 has my vote!!! So proud of my teacher (:

    posted by Devon Bloch on 12.13.13

  • Number 1 is my favorite 🙂 she is the only English teacher in my life 🙂 yay Kay Number 1

    posted by Mitch el Mehlhaf on 12.13.13

  • my vote is #1

    posted by Derrick on 12.13.13

  • 1

    posted by Derrick on 12.13.13

  • go #1 Kay S. all day

    posted by Marcus on 12.13.13

  • #1 Its GREAT!!!

    posted by DM on 12.13.13

  • Go #1

    posted by Sara on 12.13.13

  • #1 is the best out of all three of them. I want #1 because she is very talented and is a very nice lady!

    posted by Austin Herrboldt on 12.13.13

  • go kay #1 🙂

    posted by George Peterson on 12.13.13

  • #1

    posted by Liam on 12.13.13

  • 1 all the wayyy!!!

    posted by Grace on 12.13.13

  • #1 has my vote!

    posted by Maxine on 12.13.13

  • #1 (:

    posted by Frank on 12.13.13

  • Number 1

    posted by mary on 12.13.13

  • I LOVE 1!!!

    posted by Kaylee on 12.13.13

  • #1!! GO KAY!!

    posted by Destiny on 12.13.13

  • the number one

    posted by mary on 12.13.13

  • Story #1

    posted by Sarah on 12.13.13

  • #1 she deserves it! she is the best friend I have know in my life!

    posted by Marcy on 12.13.13

  • #1 her poem is well put together and is very inspiring! Fight On KAY!

    posted by Rose on 12.13.13

  • #2

    posted by Jschiev on 12.15.13

  • Story number 2

    posted by Laurie on 12.16.13

  • GO number 1! good job kay!

    posted by Marcy on 12.17.13

  • #3

    posted by Dana on 12.18.13

  • Story #3!

    posted by Emily on 12.18.13

  • I vote for Austin, number 3

    posted by Joe K on 12.18.13

  • I vote #3, Go Austin!!

    posted by Kelly on 12.18.13

  • Austin’s story number 3!

    posted by Suzie on 12.18.13

  • #3 Atta boy Austi. Keep it up, don’t settle.

    posted by Ryan V on 12.19.13

  • #3

    posted by Josh on 12.19.13

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