Duo Prove They Have The Winning Combination In Owen County YMCA’s 2013 Get Fit Challenge
On January 7th, 121 health seekers, comprising 43 teams, gathered at the Owen County Family YMCA to commit to making the changes in their lives necessary to improve their overall health and fitness. Boston Scientific and Cook Medical donated $600 in prize money – $400 to the team that lost the largest combined percentage of body weight and $200 to the team with the highest participation score. Several other local businesses also offered rewards and incentives throughout the program. The community came together to encourage and support the efforts of the Get Fit Challengers.
To begin the YMCA Get Fit Challenge, YMCA and Weight Watchers staff recorded the weight, height, and girth measurements of all participants. Challengers completed health histories and were assigned to a personal trainer. They were asked to track their food intake and exercise over an 11-week period ending on March 21st. Nutrition and diet guidance was given throughout the program by Weight Watchers and Purdue Extension. YMCA fitness trainers conducted group activities as well as met individually with each participant. Local health professionals presented educational information at weekly meetings. Teammates supplied encouragement and accountability. On March 21, after eleven weeks of hard work and dedication, the group weighed-in 1,423.6 pounds lighter, an average individual loss of about 12 pounds representing almost 5.5 percent of body weight.
The winning team of two, collecting the $400 prize, lost 90.8 pounds, 16.52 percent of their combined body weight. Bruce Yates, a member of the winning team and the individual losing the most weight during the program, lost 61.6 pounds. He commented to YMCA staff that he felt “like a new person,” able to do activities with ease now that, less than three months earlier, would have been difficult. Yates said that he found three valuable keys to his success. First, he gladly gave the credit to God for giving him the strength and focus to stick with his journey explaining, “We (Bruce and his teammate) stand first on our faith and accountability to Him for healing and change on a daily basis.” He elaborated, “We met on a weekly basis to go over our spiritual and physical goals to keep each other on point and keep our mental, emotional and spiritual balance.” Second, Bruce advised others desiring weight loss to “change your eating lifestyle – stop living to eat and start eating to live.” “Food is a tool to bless your life, it was never meant to be an emotional crutch or an end in itself,” he stressed. Bruce’s third key related to physical activity. He advised others to seek the help of professionals when deciding to “reclaim” your life, be consistent in movement, break a sweat, vary types of exercise, and find things you enjoy doing to keep you energized and looking forward to workouts. “I don’t believe in accidents much, but I do believe in providence, and I believe that the Get Fit Challenge of 2013 was part of God’s plan for me to reclaim my life,” Yates added.
Everyone who lost weight or increased their physical activity as a result of the YMCA Get Fit Challenge succeeded. Faith and friendships were strengthened as teammates relied on each other for support, encouragement, and friendly competition. Old habits were exchanged for healthier ones. Excuses were traded for small successes and obstacles became only bumps in the journey to a healthy lifestyle. As challengers came for their final weigh-in, they were re- minded that this is only the beginning. The YMCA would like to thank all those that participated in the Get Fit Challenge of 2013, as well as local businesses that showed their support by donating prizes and incentives and health professionals that donated their time and expertise.
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