Fittest Loser Teams tell us how their homebound programs are going
It has been more than a month since the stay-at-home order was made and, like many of us, our community Fittest Loser Team Challenge members are struggling both mentally and physically.
Experts recommend staying active and sticking to a schedule, but let's be real -- that's easier said than done.
Since the Fittest Loser community began in 2013, it has been a platform to help individuals in the community reach their weight-loss and health goals, big or small, and this year's challenge has unexpectedly raised the bar on previous years.
Even though there is higher stress at home and more struggles to overcome, the Fittest Loser Team Challenge has become a support system for participants, helping them stay motivated and on task.
Many of the sponsors continue to offer online resources, including Push Fitness in Schaumburg, Planet Fitness, John B. Norris Recreational Center in St. Charles, Happy Eats Healthy from Chicago, and Equilibrium in Barrington.
Happy Eats Healthy with Monique has been a popular Facebook group for teams. Each day, Monique Costello, the founder, performs a livestream featuring healthy meals such as marinated white beans with avotilla, and stuffed zucchini boats.
Push Fitness is giving viewers on its Facebook page a sneak peek into a private session with a trainer. It's offering a variety of workouts with different themes each day. Trainers are getting the family involved and you can burn a few extra calories from a good laugh.
On Equilibrium's Facebook page, you'll find daily videos featuring full body workouts or nutritional livestreams.
Jackie Tithof Steere, captain of Bloomingdale Park District's "B-Fit, B-Flabuless," says in an email that her team has been watching. "If we had to pick a favorite workout," she says, "we'd probably go with Planet Fitness for their no equipment, relatively short at-home videos on Facebook or the John B. Norris Rec Center's yoga and aerobics/HITT workouts on Facebook."
Stacy Johnson of Schaumburg Park District's "Schaumburg Shredders" has been using her free time to become certified as a TRX instructor. Her captain, Kim Jurkowski, wrote to us: "Stacy has enjoyed her fitness journey so much that she wanted to motivate others as well. Stacy can now teach TRX classes! Congratulations, Stacy!!!"
Another team hoping to make an impact on others' lives is the Hanover Park Finance Department's "Hanover Net Loss."
"My favorite experience is right now, as I feel we need to inspire all the readers out there -- that when you are healthy and you work to maintain that health, your body is your greatest medicine," team captain George Sullivan writes.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a goal many individuals hope to possess and sometimes we face bumps in the road before we reach that goal.
Many teams are struggling with stress eating, which can quickly derail previous weight loss and can be a recipe for disaster.
To help compensate for stress eating, participants are looking to healthier options that have less of an impact than sugary, carb-rich snacks that comfort us during stress.
Mount Prospect Park District's "Sergeant Steppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" has shared their favorite healthy snacks. Barb Koch writes: "I've been eating a fair amount of celery. It's low calorie and crunchy." Christina Greco adds: "I'm loving my Greek yogurt with granola."
Anna Schuld of "Schaumburg Shredders" says she "has satisfied a sweet tooth" by adding cacao powder to hummus and using that as a dip for her strawberries.
Other participants are fortunate to have housemates to keep them on task.
Michelle Sprainis, captain of TTI Inc.'s "Waist Watchers" from Schaumburg, tells us: "I don't have any housemates to help me except for my dog who used to want to walk at lunch when it was warm."
Kimberly Holm of NEC Display's "Size: Sexy" from Downers Grove says her son, Jake, has been supportive of her workouts. "He left this past week for his new job as a law enforcement ranger at the Grand Canyon. He is still trying to help me even as he travels," Holm writes. "Last night we did a Zoom workout for core. He has trained with me the entire time and I hope he has internet that he can be on for the (team challenge) finale."
If these teams have helped motivate you during these difficult times, please give them a shout out on the Fittest Loser Facebook page and cheer them on at the "live" virtual finale on May 12.
The finale will announce this year's winners for the Fittest Loser Team Challenge, the winner of the Fittest Loser Challenge, raffle prizes and a few more surprises. This is a free online event. Register at events.dailyherald.com.
• The Fittest Loser Team Challenge will honor top teams and individuals as determined by weight loss and participation in challenge activities. Those awards, as well as a team captain champion, will be announced at the Fittest Loser Finale on Tuesday, May 12. Participants and the general public are invited for this online event and can register at events.dailyherald.com. Follow the teams' progress and join the discussion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheFittestLoserDH.