2019 Get Fit Challenge Update

We checked in with the Get Fit contestants to see how they’re progressing and what challenges they’ve faced on their journey so far.

By: Alicia Carter | Photos by Julie Perdue and Chip Hogsed

The past two months have been busy for our Get Fit Challenge contestants. In addition to working out multiple times a week with their trainers, they have also committed to group activities, such as a nutrition class and shopping trip with resident whole food health coach Stephanie Wolfe, as well as a hot yoga class at Alkaline Wellness Center. Now that we’ve passed the midway point, it’s time to check in with the contestants to track their progress. Not only are we blown away by the dedication each contestant has shown, we are also impressed by their weight loss — so far, the contestants have lost a combined total of more than 60 pounds and 6% body fat! We’re excited by the progress they’ve made so far and we can’t wait to see the final numbers when the challenge ends in March.

Starting weight: 293
Current weight: 267
Starting body fat percentage: 39.3%
Current body fat percentage: 36.1%

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Keeping on track with my meal plan. I have never been on as strict a plan as I am currently on. 

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: My biggest accomplishment follows along with my biggest challenge in that I have been able to stay on the strict meal plan. I have never been able to keep a journal of my foods or keep to a specific plan in the past. I have always modified my diet to fit my lifestyle and what I wanted the diet to be. Now I see that I have to modify my lifestyle to work with the meal plan in order for it to have the greatest impact.

Read Brian’s blog

Michelle W.
Starting weight: 325 
Current weight: 302 
Starting body fat percentage: 53.4%
Current body fat percentage: 52.7%

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Trying to balance everything. I have gained a lot of respect for people who have made living healthy their way of life. For several years I bought my breakfast at a fast food restaurant on the way to work and stopped again to pick up dinner several nights a week because it was so quick and easy. Now I am prepping almost all of my meals. When I went shopping I grabbed whatever I felt like eating without reading the labels. Now my trips take much longer and I am finding out that lots of things that I thought were “diet” foods weren’t really good choices. Changing my thoughts about food, finding quality foods to eat, and finding delicious ways to prepare these foods has been time-consuming and truly daunting at times. Couple that with fitting in a new workout routine into my already hectic week… it can be overwhelming.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Wearing a pair of jeans that I haven’t been able to wear in a couple years. I have already had so many “wins,” but this one felt the best. I didn’t think that they would actually fit; I just tried them on to try to help me judge my progress. I was amazed when I put them on and they easily fit! That was a great morning! Every sore muscle and drop of sweat is well worth the feeling I get when I notice my clothing getting loose. I’m looking forward to needing a new wardrobe!

Read Michelle’s blog

Jennifer Clack
Starting weight: 227 
Current weight: 218 
Starting body fat percentage: 50.2%
Current body fat percentage: 49.3%

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Pushing my body past the point of giving up, right when I think I can’t do anymore my adrenaline kicks in and keeps me pushing.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Showing my daughter the exercises and also lifting a max of 250 pounds on a deadlift! Never thought that was possible!

Erikka Chambers
Starting weight: 190 
Current weight: 187
Starting body fat percentage: 30.7%
Current body fat percentage: 29.4%

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Eating enough protein along with eating several small meals throughout the day. I was used to eating three meals a day. I was not really a snacker so this change was challenging.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Sticking to workouts four times a week. If I have plans after work on a day that falls between Monday-Thursday, I make up the workout on Friday.

Read Erikka’s blog

Terry Gross
Starting weight: 235 
Current weight: 235
Starting body fat percentage: 37.4%
Current body fat percentage: 36%

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Juggling life with everything going on right now. I know that normal exercise is crucial to get and stay fit and have a good, healthy lifestyle, but busyness gets in the way of that sometimes. Trying to schedule days in the gym and move my family to another town and keep everything up to par at work is a tough thing to juggle. Scheduling issues have been the biggest challenge for me. I was not planning on moving when signing up for this challenge, but it is called a challenge and that is exactly what it is doing for me right now in life!

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Getting back in the gym and getting over being sore from not using muscles I haven’t used in a while. Being a little sore after the gym is a good thing (I think?!) and knowing that it was from a great workout rather than it being too long since you have been in the gym is a little sweeter. Making something a habit is a very difficult thing sometimes, but making the gym a habit is a great feeling both mentally and physically!

Read Terry’s blog

Group Activities

On January 8, the Get Fit team gathered at Suwanee Magazine HQ for a nutrition class led by whole food health coach Stephanie Wolfe, Gwinnett County’s only National Board- Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Stephanie met with the contestants to talk about how they can adjust their approach to nutrition in order to live the healthiest life possible. “You are what you eat, so don’t be cheap, easy, or fake!” she says. Stephanie led the contestants through a class designed to teach them how to make responsible decisions related to their diet, such as cutting out all processed foods and incorporating more whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. She explained how to read labels as well as correct portion sizes. Each contestant left with the knowledge to take control of their diets, because even though working out is essential, abs truly are made in the kitchen.



Stephanie met the Get Fit contestants at The Fresh Market Suwanee on Jan. 22 to help show them what foods to look for when grocery shopping for the week. She guided the group around the perimeter of the supermarket as well as the aisles, giving tips to the contestants on healthy foods to try and why it’s so important to look for certain ingredients in foods. Stephanie shared about foods that are wonderful fuel for your body and the healthiest ingredients to look for, as well as the types of foods and ingredients that are best avoided. She also gave suggestions on tasty, nutritious recipes. The Fresh Market Suwanee generously donated $100 gift cards to each contestant so that they could stock their kitchens with healthy foods.

We decided to take a break from lifting weights for a 75-minute hot yoga class at Alkaline Wellness Center in Suwanee on Feb. 5. The “Hot 75” class features 40 postures created to get you toned, flexible, and healthy by working your entire body. When the Suwanee Magazine team and Get Fit contestants arrived at Alkaline Wellness, we weren’t sure what to expect. Although some of us had tried yoga in the past, none of us had experienced a hot yoga class. When we walked into the studio, the instructor had already prepared mats for each of the contestants. And at that time, the temperature in the room was manageable. But as the class began and we started moving through the different postures, they turned up the heat, and soon the room was 105 degrees! We were told we’d sweat, but we weren’t prepared for the amount of sweat that came out of our bodies as we literally sweated out toxins hiding deep inside. The class was difficult, but we got an amazing workout and truly felt great by the end (and many of us commented on how well we slept that night). Thank you to Alkaline Wellness for letting us crash the class — we’ll be back!


Nutrition 101
By Stephanie Wolfe

Feeding your body well doesn’t have to be such a challenge. That’s why I offer “Smart Shopping” trips to answer the most frequently misunderstood concepts. I even provide recipes to get my clients off to a healthy start as they go home from the grocery store. I love to teach folks how easy it can be to avoid nutrition- related diseases, improve learning and behavior, control weight, increase energy levels, prepare healthy snacks, and make great meals that your body will love as much as your taste buds do! I love food, and there is no reason not to love it, as long as you understand what is in it and where to find the best sources of fuel for the body systems you depend on every day. So many people let the aisles and aisles of choices at the grocery store intimidate them. They stare at the produce and think it will take hours to prep or don’t even know what they would use it for, or they are mesmerized by the wall of yogurt or eggs wondering what is best! The Get Fitters can now shop with confidence after discovering some of the secrets to identifying healthy foods and what to do with them. I believe they went home from the store more set up for success. My motto is “Work with me if you’d rather Die of Old Age!”

Living foods are what I call “Go Foods.” To fit this category they need to be: 1) Grown, not manufactured. 2) Colorful like the colors in the rainbow. 3) Can be eaten raw. (Not that you must eat them raw, but you must be able to eat them raw.) These living foods help you to live long and strong. Natural immune boosters, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and phytonutrients are just a few of the good reasons to eat living foods.

These are the opposite of Living Food. I call them “Slow Down” foods and you want to focus on quality and quantity here. Also, the front of any box, bag, jar or can is nothing but advertisement so turn off the marketing manipulation and look at the ingredients first (the nutrition info second, but most do not realize the myths hidden here). You are looking for 10 ingredients or less, no High Fructose Corn Syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial ingredients or colors — ingredients you can pronounce and would eat alone. Be sure you know that there are more than 30 names for sugar — this way the manufacturer doesn’t have to claim sugar as the first ingredient, therefore highest content in the container.

Check out my classes at Sugar Hill E Center or at wholefoodhealthcoach.com.


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