Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 23, 2010

Shape-Up crew showered with support

Community Shape-Up contestants share examples of support and encouragement they have received in the first three weeks of the contest.

First of all — I'm SO glad I'm doing this Challenge! OK, so I’m a cooking FREAK. Love to cook/bake, and obviously love to eat it all! I've scoured the web looking for recipes, and have converted my existing recipes and some new ones I've found to a healthier version.  

Most have all been hits at home; Mark doesn’t even notice! Which encourages me in that I know I can continue to do this!

I brought in snacks to work and no one knew that I had adjusted recipe to fit with what I’m doing now.  

Church small group meetings at our house also means food. Once again, I adjusted my existing recipes to be healthier and people didn't even notice.  

And, I’ve passed a lot of recipes on to others who can’t believe they’re not bad for you and they taste good!  

All the above encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing. It’s almost like I’m on a mission every week to find something new to convert or come up with to try in Kim’s Kitchen.

— Kim Brewster

My husband has been such an inspiration. He is always asking me about the Easy Club Fit for calories and carbs. He has started working out also; that is just awesome.

— Teresa Long

I am getting support from family, but also from work. I think what is keeping me on track is that some of my clients are watching the newspaper to see how my performance is doing. That really sticks in the back of my mind — I don’t want them to see poor performance from me. Being that I am in the role of their financial advisor, I am supposed to be a type of person that is on top of things. So it is important that they see that I am doing well in the competition. I am getting good feedback from clients and staff at Edward Jones!

— Angie Hill

My husband and I are on the same team with the same goal of winning, and our accountability has been tremendous. We ask each other every day when the other plans to work out, we keep each other accountable with making healthy meals and encouraging each other when we’ve lost weight. We’ve even set rewards for each milestone of weight loss! 

— Sarah Rife

I automatically thought of the daily e-mails that Amber Barney (my sister) and I receive from our dad! I am going to copy and paste one below that he sent us last week. Cade and Maren who are mentioned in the e-mail are Amber’s kids:

“Well good morning girls, hope your day is going well.

Little Maren, Cade and I have been strategizing again. Great things are in store for you both. With us behind you, you can’t lose. You can lose weight, but you can’t lose the contest. I don’t want any misunderstanding here.  

Little Maren says, Go Mommy!!!, Go Aunt Tee Tee!!!, You can do this!!! She is so blasted cute.

Little Cader says, Hey guys you look good in your workout outfits, did your husbands get those for you?, Let’s do this for science!!!!!!!

This week, we want you to tote that bag and tote that whatever. If someone is walking into the gym, offer to carry their gym bag for them. It will add to your workout and they won’t even know you’re doing you a favor instead of them. Sneaky!!!

Thought for the day: There once was a snowman who was big and robust. He stood in the sun one day until there was none. At the end of the day he evaluated his condition as a puddle of water and thought about what he once was.  

Not to imply you are big and robust but you too will be able to look back and see the change. You’re going to do this, I just know it.

Your Mom and I are very proud of you both,

Love ya much


— Kristin Candelaria

I have to tell you that workout on Saturday was the toughest one yet. My chest, shoulders and arms are still sore!! But ... I went home and asked my husband if we have a bar bell set around the house, and when I found out we didn’t I said I’d like to get one!

My husband is not a man of many words but he has really been supporting me by helping out around the house more so I can have time to go to the gym and when I don’t want to go he encourages me to go. “It’s only for eight weeks,” he says. I get e-mails from a co-worker who works out at the gym already (not part of the challenge) who I really didn’t communicate with much before I started seeing her at the gym. And my sister-in-law says I’m “famous” every time my name is in the list of participants.

This has been a great experience so far and we aren't even half-way through it!! I feel stronger already!

— Carol Savage

I think Kristin already e-mailed an example of what our dad has been doing. He’s a riot! My husband has been awesome as well. I work 8-5 M-F, so our schedules are tight anyway, but he’s been a trooper. I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 7-month-old, and he has supported me by taking over things that I usually do at home with the kids (dinner preparation, feeding the baby, “diaper duty,” laundry, dishes, etc.). He has made it possible for me to work out at the gym six days a week without complaint. It’s been an adjustment for all of us, and without his help and support, I couldn’t do it. He has been the best daddy and husband I could ever ask for!

— Amber Barney

I have had an amazing crew of people support me.

My husband and kids are eating healthy with me, and cheering me on every time I am at the gym. My husband even came with me once to help. My Facebook friends have been so amazing, encouraging me every day. There are days I wanted to not work out, but then I would see my FB page and there was someone telling me, “You can do it!”

I am very blessed that God has given me strength and my family and friends to help encourage me! Plus Chad has been amazing by passing on his wealth of knowledge to us. You rock, Chad!

— Peggy Bliss

I've been getting an enormous amount of support from many different people in my life. My family first and foremost have been constantly calling and e-mailing me with words of encouragement and curiosity about the tasks and challenges I've had thus far. They know how important this is to me. My girlfriend is constantly thinking about how to make dining out healthier when we want to go out on dates, and she has even encouraged her family to make healthier options when we eat together with them.

My co-workers at Western Primary School and Red Lobster have been complimenting me on my shrinking physique and baggy clothes. At a recent baby shower at school, my co-workers just bypassed me for cake and punch, as not to give me an opportunity to make an unwise choice. Many of them came up to me later and said how proud they are of me and what I am trying to do for myself. At the restaurant, servers and other staff watch WHAT and HOW I order food. They even get after me if I'm spending a little too long around those biscuits. I'm amazed at how a simple sniff of something good can help curb that craving without me taking one single bite.

I would also be crazy to not mention the amazing teammates I have as well. We are constantly e-mailing, Facebooking, and setting up workouts with each other to maintain accountability. We have grown close as friends that will hopefully continue after this competition. Although this was my choice to join in this competition, I have discovered the support of many around me and that is what I am truly thankful for!

— Kalyn “Steve” Smith

My sister, Amy, checks my status on line on a daily basis and is constantly sending me encouraging e-mails!

— Jill Conaway

My husband went to the store yesterday and only bought healthy food like fruits and veggies and turkey meat. My girls watch what I eat and will say Mom you can't eat that because it is not healthy.

— Stacy Bentley

We haven't lived down here for too long and I’m an “at-home” right now, so my support group (aside from the Blue team!) is pretty much my family. My husband AND my kids have been amazing. Paul has pitched in any time that I've run out of steam or been too sore to move! Whether it's running interference with the kids or making dinner for me (he even measures/weighs everything out!). He is constantly telling me how proud he is of me for the commitment I have made and the results I am getting (I catch him checking me out far more frequently now — I love it!).

The kids have seen the changes that I've been making to my eating and are starting to make their own small changes. My teen daughter is now making sure she eats at least three servings of veggies a day (fruit was never a problem) and my 7-year-old son is “working out” every evening during his TV time.

It would be so much harder without them standing by me. I am very fortunate!

— Rachael Szymchack

My support comes from my parents that I see usually once a week, they have noticed and tell me that they are proud of me. The second comes from my husband, Gene, he gave me a necklace that he knew would not fit me and the charm on it states, “commitment” and then each week we notice that the chain is getting smaller! He has other charms that he will give me as my neck shrinks. The following are the charms that are to come: “live, achieve, hope, kindness and faith.” Friends have seen the pictures in the Tribune and have e-mailed, or called to give me encouragement.

— Lisa DeLeon

My family and my boyfriend have rocked throughout this process. Just like last time! They are very supportive and even like my new healthy recipes.

— Heather Meiring

When the Community Shape-Up Challenge started, I provided the family a brief explanation of what it was and that I would be participating in it. Once the articles started showing up in the paper about the Community Shape-Up Challenge, listing who was involved and how it would play out, I received a lot of questions and several positive comments from family and friends that were interested in what was going on and how I was dealing with the challenges I was facing. There is good pressure applied on me from family and friends knowing about the challenge so to hold me accountable for what goes in my mouth and continue to visit the gym between team workouts. Several of our family functions take place around a meal. Each time a function takes place, the person overseeing the meal will inquire what I need to eat to maintain faithful to my new eating habits. My mom has expressed many time how pleased she is and proud that I am attempting this in an effort to improve my health through eating healthier and daily exercise.

— Tim Mitchell

Thanks for EVERYTHING the coaches/trainers do to help us meet our goals through the week and on Saturdays. It is rough work, but it feels good when you realize that you CAN do it!! I think many of us surprise ourselves each week. I just started wearing my engagement ring again! I have not been able to wear it for almost a year. That means SO much to me!  

I am very blessed to have a great supporter in my husband, Shane. He is not in the challenge, but comes with me to the gym and encourages me when the scale doesn’t quite see eye to eye with me. Also, I have great co-workers! They have all been very encouraging and ask me frequently how things are going. Working 12-hour nights can be difficult on our bodies, but my co-workers definitely make it easier. Our unit secretary even offered to remove a platter of cookies from our break area so I wouldn’t have to see them — very thoughtful!  

— Trina Phillips-Nelson

Yes, the husband has stepped up. We have both been members of Club Fitness for several years, but it is the making of time to take care of ourselves that is hard. When the Community Shape-Up started, he encouraged me in that he is willing to wake and join me on my trip to the gym. He does his own thing while the team is doing our thing.

Since I cook, I have to make the effort to use what is around me to follow the regime that is required. Going out to eat is a really hard thing to do. My family and teammates encourage me to put together dishes that work with the challenge. They are willing to try the things I make, brave souls. Italian is our main line and the latest dish I made was using egg whites to make flat noodles that are in turn used to make chicken mushroom lasagna. I also make a yummy tuna salad on romaine bottom. What is great is that they want to try it and ask when I will make it again.

I have great teammates. They know the struggle, they feel the soreness and they push together. They don’t leave anyone behind.

— Cynthia Yazdani

My mom and dad bought me new work out clothes and made sure that we had healthier versions of food for our Super Bowl get-together.

My grandparents left me an enthusiastic voicemail letting me know that they are cheering for me.

My brothers have been checking on me at least once a week to see how things are going and offering their support.

I have the very best friends and co-workers that continually text/call/email to tell me how much they care about me and that they are confident in my abilities. They always ask me how group training went.

They offer advice, encouragement and they make sure I know that they think what I’m doing is awesome.

I also have a very brave cousin joining me for the Saturday March 6 workout!

The 7 p.m. group is fantastic. I look forward to seeing them three days a week because they are great cheerleaders and just a wonderful group of people.

Carlos, Chad, Erin and everyone at the gym always have words of encouragement and make sure that we push ourselves.

— Dana Morehead

My wife, Bri, and I are working on this challenge together. I met my wife at this gym while I was training with Chad. She has been my rock during this challenge. My diet has always been my problem! I love fast food! She has helped me stick to my calories everyday. My father gave me a book — eat this, not that — so I have to thank him to for his support! That book sure has opened my eyes. Thanks to the staff that is kicking my butt and my teammates for pushing each other. We are early risers!

— Rich Boruff

Through the first few weeks of this challenge, I have been supported and encouraged by many people ... those I see every day and those that just saw my name in the paper. My mother is doing this challenge with me and we have motivated each other through the whole process. We have completely changed our habits and are enjoying every minute. Others have encouraging me to stick with it and talk about how hard it will be to continue after the competition is over. Even though it will be hard, I have a feeling I am going to be motivated to stick with it for the long haul!!   

— Amy Clifford

My boss at work stops me and asks me how I’m doing and tells me he’s behind me a 100 percent. My co-workers encourage me and help me avoid temptation.

— Angela Hutchins

One of the ways my husband, Dick, supported me was by coming to the Couples Only BODYPUMP Night. He said it kicked his butt, and he has an even better appreciation of how hard we are working these eight weeks to get a jump start on a lifetime of change and proper nutrition and shaping and toning our bodies. He is really glad I am doing it and behind me all the way — so I may as well get a good booty for him to view from back there. :-)

— Joyce Webber

It’s been so nice to have Rick and I both doing this together. Our two kids have been our biggest support. Hattie is always encouraging us with her kind words, or teasing us at times too. “Weigh in” is all she will say with a big smile. Cameron, he is all about our pie graph and our percentages every time we log our food. He has to be right there by our side, and tells everyone if we have a straight, happy or sad face. It’s been good for us all!

— Rick and Karon Johnson

My family is being very supportive and encouraging!

— Libby DeMaio

I just want to day I have the best support group at home. It’s my boyfriend he tells me how proud he is of me every week. That I am working really hard and he can see the results. I'm glad I have him on my side.

— Miranda Lynch

My husband is doing a great job of working flex hours to accommodate when I can/need to go in to work out. He has also taken on the task of getting all five kids ready in the mornings and to their various schools/babysitters when I have to go in to work out at 5:30 a.m.! He has been fantastic through this. He lends support by telling me how proud he is of me, and he also is picking up some work around the house since I’m gone more than usual. My kids see me doing push ups and sit ups in the living room and tell me how good I am at them — whether I am or not!

My mom lives in Montana, and she sends me encouraging e-mails, text messages, and calls whenever she gets a chance. She’s supporting from afar. :)

Many people from my church and circle of friends have also either just joined Club Fitness 24 or those who are already members have been really good to tell me when they’re going in to see if we can work out together. Greg and Chantel Sullivan have been really good about this as well. My coworkers at Maconaquah save the articles and tell me how amazing the dedication all of us have for it is. It’s crazy the amount of support I’ve gotten! It’s exactly what I needed.

People on Facebook who haven’t talked to in a long time, suddenly send me a chat message when I’m online to ask how I’m doing because they saw my name in the paper or a friend told them about it. They share my woes about missing chocolate, and they’re really encouraging!

At first it was embarrassing. Knowing that everyone knew I had joined this challenge was admitting that I hadn’t taken care of myself for a very long time. I didn’t really want to talk about it. Now, I’m showing people at church and at home whenever they come over how easy it is to use EasyClubFit’s Web site and they’re all really impressed with how much I’m learning.

This is such a great experience. I'm getting so much more out of this than losing weight. I’m gaining friends and confidence as well!

— Michelle Monize

My husband is always full of encouraging and supportive words. He, my parents and several of my friends have told me they can already see a difference in my appearance. My daughters (ages 10 and 11) are taking note, and getting on the exercise equipment we have at home. It has been the good kind of hard work that really, in the end, pays off and just makes me feel so much better physically and mentally. I am so glad I chose to participate.

— Joanna Bailey