Fittest Loser At Work teams celebrate favorite moments

  • Mount Prospect Park District's "MPPD All In!" meeting for a workout. Clockwise from top left, Kathy Mistarz, Christina Creco, Maria Maurer, Cheryl Lufitz, Nikki Bittner, and Brian Hecker.

    Mount Prospect Park District's "MPPD All In!" meeting for a workout. Clockwise from top left, Kathy Mistarz, Christina Creco, Maria Maurer, Cheryl Lufitz, Nikki Bittner, and Brian Hecker. Courtesy of MPPD All In

  • Ruth Roenna of team "Hanover Net Loss" of village of Hanover Park's Financial Department received a gift for reaching her goals. From left to right, Sheryl Donovan, Ruth Roenna, Suzanne Thorson, Andrea Granias, and George Sullivan.

    Ruth Roenna of team "Hanover Net Loss" of village of Hanover Park's Financial Department received a gift for reaching her goals. From left to right, Sheryl Donovan, Ruth Roenna, Suzanne Thorson, Andrea Granias, and George Sullivan. Courtesy of Hanover Net Loss

  • Schaumburg Park District's "Schaumburg Shredders" are shown supporting each other. From left to right, Sandy Harris, Tony DeLeon, Sue Longo, Steve Richter, and Blake Hanauer.

    Schaumburg Park District's "Schaumburg Shredders" are shown supporting each other. From left to right, Sandy Harris, Tony DeLeon, Sue Longo, Steve Richter, and Blake Hanauer. Courtesy of Schaumburg Shredders

  • Fitz Chem LLC's "Skinny Dippers" having fun before the Foodie 5K. From left to right, Brandy Thompson, Barb Merner, Lori Tobler, Sonja Jacobson, Laura House, Christy Marcuccelli.

    Fitz Chem LLC's "Skinny Dippers" having fun before the Foodie 5K. From left to right, Brandy Thompson, Barb Merner, Lori Tobler, Sonja Jacobson, Laura House, Christy Marcuccelli. Courtesy of Skinny Dippers

 
By Kat Polomsky
kpolomsky@dailyherald.com

Fittest Loser At Work participants are already celebrating their successes as they prepare for final weigh-in appointments this week.

Steve Richter of Schaumburg Park District's "Schaumburg Shredders" says his "triumphs are being able to do intense cardio without being winded, and dropping his shirt size from a 3XL to 1XL." He reports a lot of struggles, but keeps on track and remains focused on his goals.

Maddalena Sparacio of Wood Dale Park District's "Piyo 5" says, "I think, personally, it's been difficult and rewarding at the same time. While weight loss for me has been minimal, I feel healthier and more cognizant of what I eat."

Monica O'Byrne, team captain of Coldwell Bankers Residential Brokerage's "The Down-sizers" says, "One of the ladies shared with me that she has lupus and since starting the challenge, and cutting back on her sugar, many of her symptoms have lessened or disappeared. No more pain in the joints and swelling! That alone is worth it."

Many teams say they couldn't have done the program without the support of their teams and are happy to have made new friendships during this challenge.

Aileen Tischuasser, team captain of "Elk Strong" from Elk Grove Park District says, "This team will continue just for the fact that we totally enjoy being together and the support! This was a win/win no matter what!"

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Kathy Mistarz of Mount Prospect Park District's "MPPD All In!" says, "The biggest triumph, in my opinion, was the fact that each member of our team encountered at least one week where they were the fittest loser and that is a great success!"

Many team members are grateful for the program and have been able to accomplish more because of it.

George Sullivan of village of Hanover Park's Financial Department's "Hanover Net Loss" says of his team member: "Ruth would try many diets which did not involve the use of exercise programs or equipment until she joined Hanover Net Loss. She decided to be the best teammate she could be by putting her fears behind her and get on the new treadmill her husband Lou purchased for her. Ruth started by only being able to walk a few minutes, then a brisk walk, and finally a 30-minute jog."

Lorrene Conino, team captain of Salon Lorrene's "Cut it Out" says, "Life is so busy, it gets in the way and the length of the challenge is perfect! It allows you to go for it, fall off your mojo then get back up and run again. It really helps adjust your lifestyle."

Some teams struggled with getting the whole team together for activities -- but this didn't stop participants from doing their best.

Kim Holm of NEC Display Solutions' "Weapons of Less Consumption" says, "I completed the 5K at the Elk Grove Pavilion. It was hard because I was the only one from my team that could go at my time slot."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Another struggle for team members has been overcoming holiday and celebrations with bad food temptations.

Tiffani Holmes of "Core Boosters" of HRBoost, LLC says, "The most difficult time for me was celebrating my birthday during the challenge. It was a struggle to have so many opportunities to get together with friends and family for meals and make healthy choices. I stayed strong by trying to pick restaurants with healthy options but also by organizing a friends and family beach birthday workout."

Luckily for most participants, no weight was gained, but instead teams gained friendships, healthy habits, and determination.

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