BATESVILLE — The sixth Southeastern Indiana YMCA Community Transformation Challenge party March 14 for six women and two men started with David Bowie singing “Changes” during a Power Point presentation. Ooohs and aaahs could be heard as before and after photos of the contestants were viewed.
The grand prize winner was Ray Weidner, who dropped 8.72 percent of his body weight, earning an overnight stay for two at Belterra Casino. Although he was out of town for the final gathering, Weidner must have been a constant visitor at the Y – despite working in Harrison, Ohio, and living in Brookville – because he accumulated the most points of any contestant, 75, worth a local gift card.
Two Batesville men also received prizes for shedding weight: Tom Karbowski, 6.45 percent, duffel bag and shoes; and Chris Bowman, 5.91 percent, massage.
The top female loser was Leacarol Bennett, rural Batesville, at 6.69 percent, good enough for a massage. Second place honors went to Marveen Boor, Sunman, at 6.67 percent. She won shoes and a duffel bag.
Organizer Angela Hurley, SIY wellness director, told them, “You are the oldest females in the group. As you age, your metabolism slows down, so that’s phenomenal you were the top two losers!”
Nineteen competitors between 29-68 committed to the challenge and eight were still watching their food intake and activity levels 10 weeks later.
Collectively, they lost 78.8 pounds or an average of just under 10 pounds each.
“Everybody gets a pedometer,” Hurley announced. “Does everybody know the goal for steps you should take in a day?” Katie Kersey, Harrison, Ohio, guessed 2,000, but the correct answer is 10,000. A pedometer makes it easy to count.
Karbowski teasingly suggested the contest should start after the Super Bowl next year, because it’s so hard to diet during festivities like that. The director replied, “You’ve got to learn to deal with those situations.”
It wasn’t too long before conversation turned to food. Bowman brought what he called his special brownies. When quizzed about what that meant, he amended the adjective to healthy. The unusual ingredient was pureed black beans (please see box). Eaters agreed its flavor was undetectable. Hurley suggested a substitute for beans would be one can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling), which adds moistness, but not fat.
Karbowski reported, “The turning point for me was when you taught us to make lunch. I’ve had a bad lunch for 30 years. That was very helpful.”
Hurley said the Y provided all ingredients and competitors made their lunches together for the next day. “They saw how quickly it could all be put together, it was tasty and it only cost $2.54 for each lunch!”
Each created a turkey sandwich on two slices of whole wheat bread using 2 ounces low-sodium turkey breast, tomato, spinach and half an ounce of mozzarella cheese. For dressings, salsa or mustard were the healthier options, but light mayo also was there. “We teach moderation, not deprivation.” The lunch also included four strawberries, a 6-ounce yogurt and one piece of dark chocolate.
For the points contest, weekly between Jan. 4-March 7, participants could receive up to five points for taking group classes, up to five points for individual workouts that lasted 30 or more minutes, two points for attending the Wednesday Transformation class and one point for turning in food journals. They could not earn more than one point each day for taking a class or doing an individual workout.
According to Hurley, “The group this year was very outgoing and we really had a good time together. They really liked to joke around, which of course always makes exercise more fun.”
On Wednesday nights, when Hurley was assisted by instructors Amy Armbruster and Abby Lauber, “they really enjoyed the variety and most found out they enjoyed some things that they never would have tried on their own.”
On the other hand: “It's probably unanimous that they hated the ‘Poker Face’ routine and they all groaned when they heard the word plank or BOSU” (both sides utilized, the balance trainer is flat on one side and a squishy half ball on the other).
What does the director recommend for someone who is heavy, but wants to start moving? Walking is good for a beginner. “Even if you just start with a couple minutes, it is a better option than sitting on the couch.” The Y’s SilverSneaker classes can provide a great start, too, “because you can sit in a chair while still exercising.”
For those who want to get fit and have lost some weight, but have run into a plateau, she advised, “they need to shake things up and do something different. Add resistance training, change up the cardio ... and keep a food journal to see if there is room for improvement.”
Hurley emphasized, “Losing weight and maintaining that loss is a lifestyle change. First and foremost, I always recommend not to make any changes that you are not willing to stick with in the future ...
“Don't focus on the number on the scale! ... Most people will notice their clothes fitting looser before they see a change (in pounds) ... Take it one day at a time, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose.”
In addition to setting small goals instead of one seemingly insurmountable one, she pointed out, “One setback does not mean you failed – it just means that you are human.”
Her final wisdom: “Remember that you didn't put the weight on overnight, so it's not going to come off overnight.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 113; or debbie.blank@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com.