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posted: 5/5/2014 5:45 AM

Community teams drop weight, focus on healthy lifestyles

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  • Schaumburg's Unrepentant Thinners' Holly Krawisz won two tickets to Jillian Michaels' "Maximize Your Life Tour" at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. Her prize included a meet and greet with the Biggest Loser trainer. Getting to hold her was a bonus!

      Schaumburg's Unrepentant Thinners' Holly Krawisz won two tickets to Jillian Michaels' "Maximize Your Life Tour" at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. Her prize included a meet and greet with the Biggest Loser trainer. Getting to hold her was a bonus!

  • Sarah from JourneyCare Team Mojo has been experimenting with veggie-fruit smoothies.

      Sarah from JourneyCare Team Mojo has been experimenting with veggie-fruit smoothies.

 
By Lisa Jones Townsel
fittestloser@dailyherald.com

The 23 corporate and 13 park district teams have worked themselves into a frenzy, right up to the finish line.

They have learned better eating habits, disciplined workout skills and attained focus as never before. Subsequently, they have convinced themselves that a healthier, fit lifestyle is within their reach.

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The Prinova "Whey to Go" team was in full swing this week. They got out and enjoyed the great outdoors. Some biked for hours. Others helped with Little League and used the opportunity to get a few runs around the bases.

One member spent time prepping for a 30-mile charity walk. And, there was lots of gym work and other activities that have helped this group to drop more pounds.

JourneyCare Team Mojo members are finding new and creative ways to cook.

Zucchini spaghetti anyone?

Team member Mary found that she likes this new dish, almost as much as the mahi-mahi kebabs she learned about during Whole Foods' Seafood University.

Other members, like Sarah, share excitement about trying new stir-fry dishes, protein powders and new veggie-fruit smoothie options. Member Greg ventured out further and tried an "earthy"-tasting seaweed salad.

Team Unrepentant Thinners -- Schaumburg are looking up and reaching out. They're feeling confident and working hard to meet their goals. They are also having loads of fun along the way, like the time team member Holly got the chance to see "Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels up close and personally during a recent motivational tour stop.

Members of Mt. Prospect Park District's MPPDeterminators found that resisting temptations is hard work, but they've done it with aplomb.

Stephanie Hopwood eats mostly clean foods now but admits to missing cheeseburgers.

Christina Greco managed to change her family's diet during the challenge, by adding more chicken, fish and produce. She even shops differently, skipping junk food aisles.

The results have been more energy and noticeable weight loss. Tressa Thomas increased protein in her diet to sustain muscle growth. Eating simple, she says, is the way to go.

And member Marni Finder, who continues to practice great discipline by eating smaller portions, reports that she no longer craves old favorites like pizza and dessert. Parties now are more about "socializing than what's on the menu."

WINGS Program, Inc.'s Team WOWW members learned to modify their diets, even when it meant giving up sweets.

"It has been difficult," one team member admits, but she said she has more energy.

Maintaining a nutritional balance helped another member lose weight, although she has little time to exercise. But she no longer eats bread, pasta, fried foods or chips and has cut her portions in half. She still uses healthy oils, but measures them now before adding to salads.

For some, weight loss has been slow and steady, but overall members continue to find ways to reach their goals.

• 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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