Fittest Loser Teams hit the finish line with unity, encouragement
The Fittest Loser Virtual Finale is a day away and final weights submitted by contestants have been tallied, and now we wait to reveal the 2020 winners.
In the meantime, teams have emailed us to share their final thoughts as the challenge comes to a close.
"We've learned we make a great group for encouraging each other and it truly helps to be accountable to someone who shares the same struggles," says Denice Sbertoli, captain of "Fab Friends" from Wood Dale.
Ann Marie Kuciuba from Mount Prospect Park District's "Sergeant Steppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" says she was impressed with the support team members' shared.
"I have learned that having a good support system is key and when you have great people behind you, you can accomplish any goal," Kuciuba said.
Allie Woodruff of National Express' "Bus' A Move" says her favorite accomplishment from the team challenge was consistency, guided by her teammates. "I think with the help of all of you girls, it allowed me to actually want to stay consistent and not give up," she writes.
COVID-19 arrived during this competition, and contestants had to face an unknown threat that completed altered their lives in a blink of an eye. But that didn't stop some contestants from reaching or even exceeding their goals.
"The moment in quarantine when our team found unity and strength would probably be last week during our first virtual meeting via Zoom. After missing a couple meetings prior to that because of the stay at home order, we were able to refocus by sharing our pent-up stories and progress from the lonely weeks before," says Jackie Tithof Steere, captain of Bloomingdale Park District's "B-Fit, B-Fabuless."
Other teams also discovered unity and learned a thing or two, despite being apart, which was not the purpose of a team challenge.
"I found unity and strength by doing the different online workouts from Push Fitness, Planet Fitness, Equilibrium, and Lifetime Fitness," says "Cast-A-Weigh's" Annamarie McMurray from Schaumburg.
Others are finishing on a high note, as well.
"The greatest take-away is the open communication between members and the willingness to let each of us into a part of each other's daily life," says George Sullivan, captain of Hanover Park Finance Department's "Hanover Net Loss."
Eliana Lucena of Schaumburg Park District's "Schaumburg Shredders" says this challenge changed her personally in that she now feels more control over her body and has more self-esteem.
The good news doesn't stop there.
"Kat, you could have easily just said let's call it off, but you didn't and a few of my teammates lost considerable weight and it has changed their lives," says Ron McCormick, captain of the Salvation Army's "Block the Plate" in Hoffman Estates.
Sometimes it isn't easy making the right decision, but you never know unless you try. Whether you competed in this year's Fittest Loser Team Challenge or not, you should take a moment to congratulate yourself for what you've been able to accomplish during this difficult time.
Tomorrow we celebrate our triumphs and announce the Fittest Loser winners during a virtual finale to begin at 7 p.m.
Everyone who registers will receive a link to the live finale and will be randomly entered to win a prize donated by one of the contest sponsors. You can register at events.dailyherald.com.
We invite all readers and participants, family and friends, to join us in celebration.
And remember, if you are ever feeling down or struggling, find strength in unity and take a moment to look in the mirror and say to yourself: "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" -- Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley.
• 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, at Chandler's Banquets in Schaumburg. Participants and the general public are invited and can register at events.dailyherald.com. Follow the teams' progress and join the discussion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheFittestLoserDH.