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posted: 3/24/2014 5:30 AM

Teams move out of their comfort zones

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  • Lutheran Life Communities' Wellness Warriors member Amanda Seilheimer does circuits with a trainer twice a week, cardio and group fitness classes in her quest to get into better shape.

      Lutheran Life Communities' Wellness Warriors member Amanda Seilheimer does circuits with a trainer twice a week, cardio and group fitness classes in her quest to get into better shape.

  • Marilyn Anderson of the Itasca Park District's iFit Squad works out at boot camp.

      Marilyn Anderson of the Itasca Park District's iFit Squad works out at boot camp.

 
By Lisa Jones Townsel
fittestloser@dailyherald.com

The 23 corporate and 13 park district teams vying in the Fittest Loser Community Challenge banded together in no uncertain terms to propel their individual teams to greater success as they devised realistic, workable plans to drop pounds and gain more energy during Week 5.

Karen Loring of the NicoatFit team loved seeing the results of her hard work over the course of the Challenge; now she looks forward to buying new, smaller clothes.

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She and others are also enjoying cardio and intense weight-bearing workouts and finding new ways to stay fit online. The only downside, she and others say, is motivating themselves after hours to get their energy-sapped bodies to want to move more.

The Daily Herald's own Paddock Plankers (Herald Blue) say they're feeling the rewards of pushing themselves past their comfort zone. Some members are doing double-time workouts, completing dumbbell circuits during the day and cardio in the evenings. Others are regularly pacing themselves on the elliptical and treadmill to get their daily cardio fix. And all are trying to be more mindful of their eating habits.

Lutheran Life Communities' Wellness Warriors are gluttons for punishment.

Many say their most challenging workouts have been the most fun. Morelba Becerril said the burpees she did in the weight training class at the Biggest Loser Resort were really difficult.

"But I did it," she said, "and it felt good afterward." Completing tough workouts helped Tanairi Cruz to build confidence. "When I do leg (exercises), it's hard, but when I do it, it makes me feel like Superwoman," Cruz said.

And member Amanda Seilheimer is enjoying the process of becoming more fit, even though it also means "finding a way to balance everything," from school to work to workouts.

Diet Pepsi All-Stars members work out together most afternoons to motivate one another. And, they found out that they're a pretty competitive bunch.

A simple walk on the treadmill recently led to every one leaning over to check out walking speeds. Before long, they were all trying to outrun the other.

"The funny thing is no one was doing any running until this point," quips member Kevin Brooks. They've all committed to running one, maybe two, 5Ks by fall.

Members of Mt. Prospect Park District's Team MPPDeterminators have been a bit sore lately, and even groaning, thanks to the discovery of new muscle groups during workouts.

Member Scott Sinclair spoke for those who braved the Biggest Loser Resort's strength training class: "It was brutal," he said. Member Tressa Thomas said the aches and pains let her know, "I'm making progress."

Some members found success in trying new classes such as spinning, swimming, running, and weights. Member Stephanie Hopwood even took on boxing, which she now loves.

Members of the Itasca Park District's iFit Squad gave it their all this week. Some, including Harry Vyhanek, Denise Glennon and Marilyn Anderson, burned off calories in tough, kick-butt boot camp classes.

Days later, Glennon still recounted that she could "really feel it in her arms." Members continue to pull together to motivate one another in whatever way possible. During the week, they swap helpful tidbits about nutrition, strength training and heart rates.

• Community teams are judged on the total amount of weight lost, as well as their participation in events and team spirit, based on online voting and Facebook participation.

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