Fittest Loser teams come up with creative names to stay motivated
The Fittest Loser Team Challenge has returned for its eighth year with more than 230 participants, representing over 50 businesses, park districts and teams of individuals competing to lose the most weight.
There are some returning companies and familiar faces competing for the chance to take the lead in this year's competition, including "Size: Sexy," the team from NEC Display Solutions in Downers Grove, which already made great progress within the first week.
Some companies participating have several teams this year, including the Wood Dale Park District with last year's team captain champion, Sue Turco, who has six teams seeking to live healthier lifestyles.
Mount Prospect Park District is back to defend its titles after winning first and third place last year.
Contestants began the challenge with a complimentary health assessment provided by Amita Health at the Elk Grove Village Pavilion Fitness. In the span of three days, each team contestant met with nurses to discuss heart health, stroke risk, dietary needs and body fat to help prepare everyone for their journeys to a healthier lifestyle.
Each participant also received a complimentary one-week membership to Planet Fitness, a three-month indoor track pass for the Elk Grove Village Pavilion Fitness and other perks to help contestants during the challenge.
Since being weighed in, captains have met with their teams to discuss goals, plans and the Fittest Loser sponsored activities they'd like to try out.
In addition to the challenge activities, a new app for team members called Journyz will help participants keep tabs of their progress while sharing encouragement and achievements throughout the competition.
Many teams share the same goal -- to live healthier lifestyles. "We're staying away from fad diets and making sure that we are getting more active, something we sometimes have a problem with when we are in meetings or working from home, comfy in sweats," said Heather Ross, captain of the team "Bus' A Move" of National Express.
Michelle Lewis, captain of EMKAY's "You'll Be Seeing Less of Us" of Itasca, says her team wants to become better versions of themselves and to be role models for their children.
June Fergus of "B-Fit, B-Flabuless" of Bloomingdale Park District says she is "all about visual reminders."
"I have a chart in the bathroom with my daily weight," Fergus said. "I post these reminders on the fridge and pantry cabinet in the evenings."
Other teams -- including "Waist Watchers" of TTI Inc. of Schaumburg, and "Block the Plate" of The Salvation Army in Hoffman Estates -- plan to monitor portion control throughout the challenge.
Wood Dale Park District's "Bike Fight Fit Purple" -- or as they've been calling themselves, "The Purple Crush" -- says their main goal is to get fit. "The competition is very motivating and we love the sense of community that all of us are working toward the same goal," Jennifer Anaya wrote.
Teams are off to a great start within the first week of the challenge, with some teams reporting more than 10 pounds lost collectively.
Teams are given a long list of mostly free activities to participate in during the 12 weeks, which include a variety of exercise, nutrition and cooking classes along with special enter-to-win opportunities provided by Daily Herald Media Group sponsors.
The winning team and individuals will be honored and awarded prizes at the Fittest Loser Finale on May 12 at Chandler's Banquets in Schaumburg. Participants and the general public are invited to attend and can register at events.dailyherald.com.