OK, let's just say that Week 6 marks a pivotal point for many of the corporate and community partners participating in the Fittest Loser Community Challenge.
While they are all determined to see this contest through to the end, some have faced a few challenges mingled with their successes at this halfway mark. Here, they open up about their journeys:
The Porte Brown Calorie Counters have been a little flustered. Their quotes range from "I thought it would be easier" and "It's hard to keep motivated when working so many hours," to "Since I started walking the track, I feel better, but the scale isn't reflecting it."
Others sound closer to a breaking point. "What started out as 'all hands on board,' has turned into feeling like we are reaching for a lifeline," said member Tricia Carlstrom. "This has been very challenging. Finding the balance between work, family and exercise is not easy. Our team has been slowly losing weight, but not to the expectations that we originally sought out to do. We know what we need to do, but executing that is a different story."
It's been an eye-opening week for the Tsurumi Pump Pumpers. Some learned that monitoring their food intake was central to their success, while others admit to still grappling with portion sizes, staving off hunger pangs and letting go of stress eating.
Some rave that they have more energy now that they're working out and have stronger, toned bodies to show for it. Other members are now more scale-conscious and have given up weekend overindulging.
The Challenge has supercharged them, too, with some ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or at least to run in a marathon or two this spring and summer.
The contest has been more like an adventure for the members of Bee Line's Fat Free Bees. They say the program has offered them some exciting challenges and exciting results.
"We have found that, the more we try, the more we want to do!" Yet, they do admit that trying to squeeze in good eating habits while juggling work, family and home is a huge challenge.
But, the rewards have included everything from better-fitting clothes to the "good ache" that follows a workout. The best part they say is doing the challenge as a team. "Without them," one member said, "the process would be a lot more daunting."
JourneyCare Team Mojo, which ran in the St. Paddy's Day run/walk recently, can envision the finish line. The team happily speaks of lower numbers on the scale; more energy; camaraderie with co-workers and feeling and looking more confident and sexy.
One member is thrilled that she doesn't pass out after Zumba anymore. Others are surprised that they are sticking to the plan and learning to combine activity with diet changes. And while stress threatens to throw them off balance, members say they make sure that it doesn't and then, as one put it, "readjust my mojo the following week."
Members of Arlington Heights Park District's All Healthy People Do team say they approach the Challenge as a mind-over-matter scenario.
"Once I was mentally committed, it was easier to get physically committed," said one member. Learning to "eat until I am no longer hungry and not until I am full" has been the biggest adjustment, relates another.
Some say they appreciated embarking on the journey as a team and that they are more serious about it at this halfway point. Members have noticed that their clothes are fitting better, which motivates them further. And some note that they are stronger with quicker reflexes. One person's toddler even told her that her stomach looked "straighter."
• 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 activity.