Lining up to get lean at the Augusta Y

Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 10:08 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 12:04 AM
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As they weighed in Monday for the Team Lean contest at the Family Y of Downtown Augusta, Luke Swanson and Brad Curry engaged in the kind of one-upmanship you don’t want to win.

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Virginia College medical office management student Natasha Miller, 28, checks the blood pressure of Lakeisha Brown, 28, of Hepzibah, as she signs up for the Team Lean competition at the YMCA in downtown Augusta.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Virginia College medical office management student Natasha Miller, 28, checks the blood pressure of Lakeisha Brown, 28, of Hepzibah, as she signs up for the Team Lean competition at the YMCA in downtown Augusta.

“I gained 12 pounds over the holidays,” Swanson said.

“I gained like 30,” Curry said.

Last year, about 1,350 people signed up for the contest with the Family Y of Greater Augusta despite weather hazards on the day it was supposed to kick off, said Millie Schumacher, the community relations director.

“The cool thing about that was we got snowed out on our original day,” she said. “So we were thrilled with those numbers and certainly hope that this year the numbers will be even bigger than that because we’ve deliberately spread it out to all of the branches.”

Instead of a central initial weigh-in, the kickoff is held at each Y branch facility in the area. During the past four years, those participating in Team Lean have collectively lost nearly 50,000 pounds, Schumacher said. But that’s not what the focus is on, she said.

“What we get most excited about is seeing people get engaged and changing their lives and making lifestyle changes,” she said.

Swanson and Curry, who are competing as part of a team for radio station WAFJ, work out together and plan to step that up while their approach to diet is simple.

“I am going to eat less,” Swanson said.

“Eat better, and less,” Curry added.

Team Lean runs for 12 weeks, which might not seem long but can be a challenge, especially at the halfway point, Schumacher said. That is when many of the participants might “plateau” on their weight loss and get frustrated, she said.

Because of that, the Y makes a special health presentation during that sixth week. Participants come back for another health check, and the Y brings in its registered dietitian and trainers to help them break out of the rut, she said.

“That’s the week that we really try to coach people through that,” Schumacher said.


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