At Work participants find support around every corner

  • Sue Turco supports her team with words of encouragement as they walk the track at Wood Dale Park District. From left are Sue Turco, Celeste Guadagno, Kathleen Guadagno, and Karen Christopoulos.

    Sue Turco supports her team with words of encouragement as they walk the track at Wood Dale Park District. From left are Sue Turco, Celeste Guadagno, Kathleen Guadagno, and Karen Christopoulos. Courtesy of Sue Turco

  • Heather Mares of NEC Display Systems' "Weapons of Less Consumption" gets support from her husband at the St. Paddy's run at Deer Park Town Center.

    Heather Mares of NEC Display Systems' "Weapons of Less Consumption" gets support from her husband at the St. Paddy's run at Deer Park Town Center. Courtesy of Heather Mares

  • Kathy Mistarz of Mount Prospect Park District's "MPPD All In!" pictured with her daughter, loves having her kids involved during workouts and uses the additional weight to help her build more strength.

    Kathy Mistarz of Mount Prospect Park District's "MPPD All In!" pictured with her daughter, loves having her kids involved during workouts and uses the additional weight to help her build more strength. Courtesy of Kathy Mistarz

  • Co-workers cheering on Fitz Chem LLC's "Skinny Dippers" for losing inches around their waists. In blue, from left, are Lori Tobler, Sonja Jacobson, Barb Merner, and Christy Macuccelli.

    Co-workers cheering on Fitz Chem LLC's "Skinny Dippers" for losing inches around their waists. In blue, from left, are Lori Tobler, Sonja Jacobson, Barb Merner, and Christy Macuccelli. Courtesy of Skinny Dippers

 
By Kat Polomsky
kpolomsky@dailyherald.com

Support systems come in many shapes and sizes, and the Fittest Loser At Work participants have been receiving support from their teams, families, friends, co-workers and others close to their lives.

Many participants have been getting support from the world of social media as well.

Lema Querishi of Wood Dale Park District's "Spin to Win" says, "I have posted the journey that I've been on with this Fittest Loser competition and everyone has encouraged me and complimented me on how the process has been going."

Many participants are also parents with young children. They are finding support from their spouses, and even let their kids join in.

Kathy Mistarz of Mount Prospect Park District's "MPPD All In!" says, "I love that I can also incorporate my kids into my workouts. At our recent Friday circuit, I put my daughter on my shoulders for our ropes exercise, but more regularly you can see my monkeys climbing on my back as I am doing planks. I look at it as welcome added weight to my workouts."

Another parent participant, Kim Holm of "Weapons of Less Consumption from NEC Display Solutions, says, "My son, Jake, has been a supporter for me during the contest. We went several times to find the trolls at the Morton Arboretum. We walked the entire arboretum until we found all six trolls."

Kim Holm also has an unlikely supporter, her dog named Ellie who, "is always pushing me to go for walks. If I don't feel like getting out, she will nudge me to keep moving."

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Other teams are relying on the support of their team members to help get them through at home struggles.

Mary Zumbrock, team captain of the Daily Herald team "PC Flubber," says, "The team members are all rooting for each other's success. Our families are counting the days until we can eat 'normal' again. They have not yet embraced the new normal. Some of our families like to taunt us with tasty treats we have fought to forego throughout the competition."

Some participants are receiving surprise compliments when they least expect it.

Team captain Aileen Tischausser of Elk Grove Park District's "Elk Strong" tells a story from her team member. "Theresa was in church Sunday and receives a text. Her friend was in a top balcony, sees her, texts her 'OMG you look fabulous! You lost weight!'"

Teams have been getting encouragement from co-workers, including the Village of Hanover Park Finance Department's "Hanover Net Loss."

The team's captain, George Sullivan, says, "Each week, Assistant Finance Director Marilyn Fumero develops a challenge for the team from calorie intake counts, steps week, and 20-minute a day work outs."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Keith Sher, team captain of "Losers Do Win," is participating with his wife Kathy, and both just completed the Trailbreaker Half Marathon in Wisconsin. Keith and Kathy were training for the run before the challenge.

"Part of our support group is a Saturday morning running group that trains every Saturday morning in Algonquin, regardless of the weather," Keith says.

Thanks to the support at home and in the office, At Work teams continue to succeed, with many having lost more than 50 pounds since the challenge began.

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