The 2012 “contest” is over but the lifestyle will stay forever!

From Karen:  This has been the best 12 weeks of my life!  The knowledge that I have filled my brain with is the knowledge I need to continue a healthy lifestyle.  I KNOW that this is the life I must live forever to be successful with the “heavy life” I had been living.  I deeply miss the Push family and the other loser contestants, I have made friends I will have for the rest of the my life, and friends that have been thorough this journey with me and truly understand the challenges with living an overweight life.    I must move on to motivate myself, to push myself, and see this body of mine be under 200lbs.    I have a new workout location, have been given a 6-month free membership at Curves, and I am going to continue this lifestyle forever, its the new ME.  I am runing a 5k, yes I said RUN, in August and have to meet that challenge with full force.  I can WALK but to this day have not run so its something to work towards.  Thanks to everyone for your support.  I must go now and walk some stairs!  Tony “aka capt n crunch”  I would not have done this without you.  A miracle worker you are and I promise to make you proud.  I might be away in body but never in mind!  Thanks again!


From Matt:  Last night’s finale was unbelievable. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people that showed up to support us losers. Thank you to everyone that took time out of their lives to celebrate with us. Everyone was so positive. Dr. Paul’s numbers on how everyone improved were very impressive.
During the past 12 weeks, I had the opportunity to meet 6 other people that were also battling to get their health back. We each came from different backrounds, different ages, different personalities, but one common goal. To get our health back and live a long active life with our families. It was an absolute honor to be part of such a dedicated group of individuals that lost over 400 lbs.

Emptying The Tank

From Matt:  With only 5 days remaining in the competition, it is a race to the finish. My guru mechanic has gotten the 64 Chevy hitting on all cylinders. The question is whether or not there is going to be enough fuel in the tank at the finish line. There is no holding back now. It is time to run the engine as hard as you can and hope for the best. I don’t want to look back and think there was something that I could have done that I didn’t risk. Pedal to the metal and head for the finish line. If you are looking to get your classic machine out of the garage and running, get in touch with my guru mechanic Mark Trapp at Push Fitness Schaumburg.

People are seeing the changes!

From Karen:  Same as the past three years,  I head to University of Illinois for Moms weekend. This being my last, it was an emotional adventure. I see a student that I have known for 3 years and he says “Mrs M. You look great! what are you doing?” I looked immediately at my son and said “you told him about my fittest loser.” My son said ” no.”  OK,  then it hit me…this 21 year old college student can see it…see the new me..the shrinking me coming out of the heavy me….I guess its true.. I now can say I do believe , I believe that it shows more than in the sagging clothes. Time to get back to fitness,  no time to blog …  its crunch time!

Week 11 “Are You Kidding Me”

From Brian:  OK,  so week 11 of the Fittest Loser begins. I drop my wife off at the airport and she is going to be gone for 9 days at a conference in Orlando. Me and my son have a free week and half together….BOOM! He gets ill and is puking…..I think typical teenager…out with friends eating everything and now he’s sick….next day he can’t go to school still sick. Hhhmmmmmm. Sunday night into Monday morning I am sick – same thing….geez! Tuesday morning…..Hey, I feel better (or so I think), head into Push Fitness and work out with Super Steve…..Feel good heading to work afterwards… 2:30 PM..uh oh……..not feeling so good. by 5:30 have 101 fever and stomach is a mess. This goes on for 2 more days……can’t eat, can’t work out….start feeling a little better today late Thursday and son is back at school. Get a call from son….backpack stolen out of the gym at school with new iPhone4, his new glasses, his graphing calculator and all his course work………Now had I still been 275, I have no doubt I would be on the floor with a full on stroke but since I’m in much better shape, I’m not even winded going all out gorilla about the whole thing. No idea what the scale will say this week but having a great frame of mind definately helps deal with things when life happens…….Serenity now!

Tough Week – Keep Pushing!`

From Brian:  Well, Week 9 prove to be the toughest week of the competition thus far. A two- pound loss doesn’t add up. I have been doing two a day workouts, watching my diet and I have witnesses at home to everything I have been doing. My trainer Steve up’d the intensity of my workouts. I was in the Navy 6 years and never once threw up at sea. I can count 4 times this season where I have almost come to that in training. Maybe its my body fighting back, maybe I’ve put on muscle mass to a greater degree than fat loss, maybe I need to tweak my diet a little. Maybe more cardio and less strength, maybe more strength and less cardio…it’s a mystery. All I know is while I am disappointed in two lbs…its still a positive number.  I will continue to push, to eat well, to hammer my workouts, to stay positive and to let the cards fall where they they may. I guarantee you this….invite everyone back for an “after the Fittest Loser” weigh-in at week 20 and this contestant will be a rock and continue to reflect the qualities and mission statement put forward by Push Fitness.

The end is near!

From Karen:  OK,  everyone I really need help here. I am beginning to worry about what my life will be like when this is all over! Its freaking me out.  I need a fitness center! I love the pool and want group exercise classes. I haven’t given up on the chances I can still work out at Push but I need other choices as well. This is stressing me out and all us LOSERS know stress is not a good thing in weight loss. I am OCD with planning and have things in order so now is the time to set up the next few months of my life.  Suggestions?????

Burn Baby Burn

From Matt:  We are in week 9 and feeling strong. Last week I was experiencing some intestinal cramping. They said that may have been a withdrawl from the statin that I was taken off of. The cramping has ended and I am feeling gooooood! My wellness guru has stirred the pot one more time and added some new treats into my exersice menu. This week there were more weight and muscle confusion circuits. He told me to grab two 20-pound dumbells and head for the stairs. When we got to the stairs he told me to climb up to the 6th floor and come back down, You know you have complete faith in your trainer when you don’t even question what he tells you. Three sets of those and I was gasping for air. I apologize to the maintenance department who probably thought there was a broken pipe from all of the water in the stairway from my sweat. The great part of working out with weights is that you are burning hours after you are done working out. That is the good burn.

Where am I and who are you?

From Matt:  That is how I felt during my workout last Thursday. In the middle of my workout, my eyes rollled back and I knew I was going to hit the floor. Fortunately for me, Mark was there to make sure I was OK.

It can be an uneasy feeling when you know you are going to pass out. I sat there on the floor with sweat pouring out of my body trying to figure out what I did wrong to have this happen. After 2 bottles of water and an apple, provided by my guru body mechanic, things started to clear up.

Talk of the finale!

From Karen:  I have been getting emails talking about the finale! I thought when I committed to this adventure, it was ending May 2013! Was this not a year long journey? I am not at all happy about this adventure being over. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but its has been my “routine” and I do admit I kinda have enjoyed every moment of this “Me” time I have made for myself. The entire food thing is a challenge, the workouts are CRAZY but I amaze myself at what I am able to do. Tony has grown on me and has helped me prove to myself I can do many things I NEVER thought I would be able to do, and that I am worth every moment that I invest in ME! Just under 4 weeks to go and I am fighting to the end to reach my self made personal goal! I KNOW I will do it!

Running vs. Walking

From Katie:  I KNOW that running burns more calories. I have known this for a LONG time, and yet, still, I hate it! There isn’t anything about running that I enjoy (except the calorie burn). Every time I pick up the speed (whether it’s on the treadmill or outside), it’s agony. However, I feel like I could walk for days!
Why is it that all the activities I enjoy don’t have very high calorie burns (biking, swimming, walking, playing volleyball)? I miss bike riding. It’s been almost two years since I’ve been on my bike (I had pregnancy to thank for that last summer), and I am SO looking forward to getting back on! The pool? Well, I’m too embarrassed to put myself into a bathing suit so that shall have to wait until maybe June?
As I was watching The Biggest Loser the other night they were talking about how exercising can be fun! There are times that I really do enjoy my workouts (especially Saturday morning boxing boot camps), but when running is involved, that’s simply not the case! Any tips out there on how to make it more enjoyable?

I have a new name … Ms Turkey Burger!

From Karen:  I arrived at work today “Monday” morning and the front page of the Daily Herald Health and Fitness section is Tom and I.  Well I am cooking turkey burgers.  In the parking lot I at work, I waved my usual wave to a fellow worker and he replied “Hey, Ms. Turkey Burger”  I would assume he read the paper this morning.  What a celebrity I am !  Great workout with Tony this morning … his creativity is amazing!  I am feeling great and ready for another great week! 


Improve exercise sessions by carrying a cold thermos?

Can holding a cold thermos help you lose weight?

From Joe:  Reporter  Anahad O’Connor reviewed the evidence indicating that you might improve the quality of your exercise sessions by carrying a cold thermos around, especially if you are overweight. You don’t use it for hydration but for cooling purposes!

…the scientists recruited obese women, ages 30 to 45, with no other health problems. The women took part in three group exercise sessions a week for three months, and held special cooling devices in their hands as they walked on treadmills and performed lunges and other exercises.  In one group, the devices circulated cold water, but in the other group, the water was room temperature.

Raceway to good health

From Mike:   I am not sure what it was, but yesterday was perfect. When I stepped out of the car and walked towards the trail, a cool breeze zoomed through the trees and cooled my body. It was quite perfect.

 It became more perfect when I put my headphones in my ears and tuned into 94.7. The first song playing as I began my jog up a hill so steep, it’s difficult to walk up, was Lake Shore Drive. The way the piano leads in the song is enough to send chills through my body on its own.

The VEST! The weight vest and I met today up close and personal!

From Karen:  So, today I walked into Push with a positive attitude and then was notified that while looking at the board … I am in last place in this contest. Hard to believe that working so hard I am in last place. I need to tell everyone that is following this adventure,  I am truly doing 100% of everything I am asked to do —  the diet, the workouts, everything and it just is what it is. Someone at the end will come in last place and as much as I hope its not ME, it will be someone. With that said, Tony strapped on the weight vest and the workout continued. Not for punishment in any way,  but for a harder training session. I admit I DO NOT like the vest. Between the vest and the ball I was carrying, it totaled about 25lbs and it made me deep down inside MAD. What was I mad about? When I walked into Push at the start of this adventure, I was just about 25lbs heavier than I am today. I just kept telling myself, “you deserve to feel this, this is the old you, the person you walked around with everyday, the weight I was just a short time ago” And now today I am using that weight for a better workout.  Karen…I am proud of you…I am proud of every day, even being in last place. I am proud of all you have done and all you are going to do before the end of this adventure. Thanks fellow losers for your support and Tony, Mark, and the Push crew… I am going to fight till the end and do my best.

Linsanity? I think not

From Mike:  The only thing insane going on last night was the way Derrick Rose scored with every step I took on the treadmill. We were a perfect team. I was keeping the pace and he was doing the scoring.  It really worked out well when I was at a full sprint and passed the ball to a cutting Derrick Rose for him to slam it home. I played more minutes than him last night. I opted to play through the timeouts and commercials. We worked hard and are looking for a repeat performance Wednesday.

1964 Chevy Impala

From Matt: What a classic piece of metal. That car was huge , with a powerful engine and built like a tank. Let’s say that car was left in a garage for 16 years. Along comes my mechanic( Mark Trapp) who is an expert in his field. His eyes are huge as he looks at this car and is thinking where do I start?  He opens the hood and all of the parts are there. He performs a diognostic test and the results do not fair well. There is a lot of work to be done and he needs to put a plan together that will get this tank running again. He returns with an intense look about himself and tells me that with alot of hard work, determination and the right attitude, there is no reason that we cannot get this car running again like it did 16 years ago. Well my friends, we are entering week six and my mechanic has got the engine started. There still is a ton of work to be done to get it out on the street, but the engine is running and it is feeling good.

Great week, small victories motivate

From Brian: This has been an amazing week. Feeling great, settling into a nice routine ,but its the small victories this week that made the difference.

First victory was to recognize I am on the last hole on my belt. The need to go buy a new belt or punch a new hole brings a smile. My clothes, especially my pants were getting to big. I went to the basement and dug a box of clothes that is probably 8 to 10 years old. Pulled out a bunch of Jeans and Khakis that are a couple sizes smaller than my current clothes. Tried them on and they all fit comfortably. Bonus in that it confirms the work is paying off and at the same time, I have a new set of clothes for the next few weeks of the competition and don’t need to buy interim clothes.

Take a vacation, break a bad habit

From Joe:  It’s counterintuitive. Attack a bad habit such overeating when you are on vacation? That’s when most of us put on the pounds! Yet this is exactly the kind of advice that New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg provided when he was recently interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

In his new book, “The Power of Habit,”  Duhigg reviews up-to-the-minute information from the cognitive sciences about how habits are formed and broken. A key element in this process is the brain’s predisposition to conserve energy by automating behaviors which you perform with regularity. By turning these behaviors into automaticities, the brain conserves your decision-making resources for when they are needed to face novel challenges in life.

3 Consecutive years of ho, ho, ho-ing

I have been Santa for the last three years. Maybe 2012 will be the year to retire.

From Mike:  For the past 3 years, I have been dressing up as Santa Claus for Christmas. My wife and I have an annual Pre-Christmas Christmas party and Santa Claus always showed up to eat the snacks and help drink the beer.

 This past Christmas was the best for Santa yet. With many of my friends and family members now having kids, I actually played Santa for people that thought I was really him. I went out and rented the suit for a weekend (I contemplating making an investment and buying my own nice one, glad I didn’t).