“The biggest lesson I’m taking away is how important it is to take responsibility and time out for my own wellness. I’m eating better, I’m more active and, overall, I feel great. I want to continue my weight loss because my ultimate goal is 25 pounds—it means at least another 10 after this challenge—and better overall fitness. I seriously need to improve my upper body and core strength. I will continue to work out at least four days a week because that will be the only way to attain and maintain these goals!” — Patricia Holden, Blue Team, Zarwin Baum
“My biggest lesson is the importance of having support. I’ve been on ‘diets’ my entire life. As I got older, I would go on a diet but wouldn’t tell anyone, mostly out of fear of failure and hearing ‘I told you so’ or ‘I knew you couldn’t do it.’ But sharing and working with others trying to achieve healthy habits is marvelous and satisfying. My latest habit is keeping a journal of what I eat. I’ve tried many times before but never this long. It’s truly an eye opener. And it’s helped a lot with planning meals.” —Carol Kubacki, Yellow Team, Center City District
“It sounds so silly to say, but I learned that exercise is not a bad thing, and that I don’t need to eat the entire bag of cookies or chips. I guess I knew those things before the challenge started, but I never told myself those things and believed it. The one habit I hope to continue is the walks I take with my seven-year-old daughter (once spring rolls around). I learned more about her day in that 20 minutes we spent walking the neighborhood than I would when we were having dinner together. Since we are unable to take those walks now, she and I go swimming on Friday nights at the YMCA. Not only am I getting the exercise that I need, but I am getting special time with her.” — Maureen Gochenauer, Orange Team, Advanced AV
“I definitely have better eating habits, and amazed myself with the insane stamina I learned I have. I pushed my body just a bit more after a long day on my feet walking and still managed to go to the gym.” — Luis Vega, Yellow Team, Center City District
“Things learned with this challenge it’s not easy balancing work, studying, and family. But as my girlfriend and I did things together—eating better and cutting out certain foods—it has bought us closer together and that is what doing things together is all about.” — Terrance Keene, Yellow Team, Center City District
“Although my initial motivation at the beginning of this challenge was to win (obviously), I quickly realized that my team was at a disadvantage because our overall weight was much less than the combined weight of all of the other participating teams. With that in mind, I wanted to find a way to truly get something out of this challenge (even if it didn’t mean winning). I had no idea just how much this challenge was going to impact my life and what state of mind I would be in two months later. First, I lost over ten pounds from working hard and trying to eat better. It took me the full two months to lose that weight, but since I have lost that weight and have seen a tangible difference looking back at me on the scale, I am now motivated more than ever to continue working out, making healthy food choices, and losing weight. Ten to 15 more pounds to go!
“A week ago, I read the book Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin (catchy title, huh?). Since reading that book, I have applied everything I’ve learned through this contest, leveraged my newfound ability to lose weight in a healthy way, and am actually trying to adopt a vegan diet for a minimum of six months. Mind you, I have never, ever thought of giving up meat and dairy products, or thought of myself as a vegan or vegetarian, for that matter, but since reading this book and realizing through Be Well Philly that weight loss is obtainable through changing one’s lifestyle (versus just going on diet after diet), I now have the willpower to cut out all the fat from my diet and literally cleanse my body of all my previous unhealthy eating habits. One of my goals is to say no to the easy way out and eat a slice of pizza or get a cheesesteak, but to truly think about what I’m putting into my body. I hope to strut around in my bathing suit this summer and, for once, not be self-conscious but be self-confident. I am so happy I was a part of this challenge—it was exactly the motivation I needed to implement the healthy lifestyle my body deserves.” —Lauren Siliani, Green Team, Razorfish Health