Community and corporate groups are joining the Fittest Loser Challenge as well.
For the second year, the Daily Herald is sponsoring the Fittest Loser Community Challenge.
Twenty-three corporate teams and 13 park district teams are working to improve their fitness and lose weight.
Last year, the winning community team -- the Schaumburg Park District -- lost 15 percent of its collective weight. This year's teams are just as motivated.
Lutheran Life Communities' Wellness Warriors say their team members want to improve their health for themselves and their families through exercise and proper nutrition. In addition, they want to be an inspiration to their co-workers to improve their wellness.
Building a community of support for wellness goals is a common theme among those participating in the corporate and community Fittest Loser groups.
At the Buffalo Grove Park District, team members not only want to lose weight and get in shape, but also want to develop friendships while working toward a common goal.
The "Fat Bottom Girls" team from GOA Regional Business Association is already sharing recipes and tips they have learned, says Shirlanne Lemm, president and CEO.
"Each week one of us is going to bring in a healthy dish to share with the staff," Lemm said.
Group members are trying all sorts of new activities, from kickboxing to Pilates.
Holly Krawisz of Schaumburg, who is participating in the Schaumburg Park District's Unrepentant Thinners team, has taken up soccer.
"I joined a soccer team to help lose weight," she says. "It doesn't feel like working out when you're having fun."
Alexian Brothers Health Systems has teamed with the Daily Herald on this program and is offering free before and after health screenings for all the participants.
The community team with the most points will earn a contribution to their local park district foundation. Teams will be judged on total amount of weight lost; team participation in events and programs; and team spirit, based on online voting and Facebook participation.