Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spotlight On: Dawn Ferullo, Erica Castro and Team Orange!

As a Largest Loser community, we would be remiss not to mention the tremendous efforts put forth by the orange team, and the incredible weight loss results achieved by two of its members.

The orange team is also known as the "warrior team" because they truly are the warriors of the program. This group consists of participants who have gone through the Largest Loser program in the past. They were no longer seeing the results that they worked hard for in previous seasons, and they were eager to hash away at Largest Loser again and seek those health and weight loss goals.

The warrior team regulations are similar but different from the competitive red, blue and green teams. Each week, they would attend workouts, weigh ins, and lectures. However, this team was not eligible to win the Largest Loser program as a result of the number of times they have participated in the program. Although this team did not receive formal recognition, there were two outstanding performers who achieved Largest Loser-winning numbers: Dawn Ferullo and Erica Castro.

Dawn Ferullo

In 9 weeks, Dawn lost an impressive 37.8lbs and 18.1% of her total body weight. If the orange team was eligible to win the Largest Loser competition, she would have been our female Largest Loser. We commend Dawn on her tremendous efforts and results, and we hope her journey continues to be a successful and sustainable one!

Erica Castro

Erica's successes are not one to overlook: 32.8lbs lighter and 16.8% total body weight lost! These figures would have put her at female Largest Loser runner up. We are so proud of her and hope she continues to take the appropriate steps in maintaining her healthy lifestyle.

3 cheers for our warriors, indeed!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Final Week Recap

After ten weeks of food logging, early AM workouts and weekly weigh ins, Largest Loser 2014 is officially over. However, this is far from the end of the fitness journey. Everyone should be proud of their efforts, and we hope this program gives them the momentum (good word, Jess!) to make wise choices long after the conclusion of Loser.

On May 4th at JCC's Vine Auditorium, participants gathered along with friends and family to celebrate their accomplishments over the past two-and-a-half months. After their final workout and weigh in, participants enjoyed breakfast and a slideshow commemorating all of their hard work. The love and respect the teams have for their trainers, for each other, and for the other teams is undeniable. We hope to see you come together for future classes at the JCC fitness center, the Bagel Run, and more!

In case you missed it, here are the results and awards from the final week ceremony, and -- of course -- Laura's rockin' tribute to the green team journey:

The Largest Loser 2014 team is the green team! Total weight loss 276.6lbs and total body weight loss 10.9%!

Robert Salke lost 57.4lbs and 26.2% and Kathy Torres lost 29.8lbs and 16.4% of her body weight!

Largest Loser Team: Green Team -- 276.6lbs and 10.9% total body weight

Largest Loser Male: Robert Salke -- 57.4lbs and 26.2% total body weight

Largest Loser Female: Kathy Torres -- 29.8lbs and 16.4% total body weight


Red Team
  • Best Effort: Olivia
  • Team Spirit: Bettina
  • MVP: Deb
Blue Team
  • Best Effort: Vin
  • Team Spirit: Joseph
  • MVP: Kathy
Green Team
  • Best Effort: Ralph
  • Team Spirit: Lisa
  • MVP: Sandra
Orange/Warrior Team
  • Best Effort: Amy
  • Team Spirit: Vicki
  • MVP: Sharon
Yellow/Shadow Team
  • Best Effort: Mary
  • Team Spirit: Barbara
  • MVP: Jack
 "Eating Clean": Laura's Ode to Green Team's Fitness Journey!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 7 Recap

The holidays are over, and the Largest Loser contestants are back to the program in full swing. Despite food-intensive holiday celebrations, coupled with no weigh-in accountability last week , each team can proudly say that they continued to lose weight. For Week 7, the blue team topped the weight loss percentage at 1.2%, followed by the green team at 1.1%, the yellow/shadow team was down this week 0.7%, the red team down 0.58% and orange/warrior team down 0.57%. Congratulations on self-monitoring, despite not having official workouts and lectures last weekend. You were given some "real world" experience in making sound choices.

This week, the Losers came back to an adrenaline-infused Sunday as they prepared for their very own "Tough Mudder" challenge! First, they had their nutritional lecture with ACE Certified Health Coach Pam Hutchinson. New Loser contestants and returning Loser contestants discussed personal challenges and how to overcome them. One new contestant mentioned that setting high expectations at the beginning of the  program added stress in achieving her goals. Social situations and breaks in routine are also setups for added challenges. Pam provided some great suggestions, such as reading the book "I Deserve This Chocolate" and remembering three things: refocus, recommit, and reconnect.

After the lecture, all teams except for the non-competing Shadow Team  met outside for the  long-awaited, Tough Mudder style challenge. Each team had to successfully  hurdle obstacles on a hill, roll tree stumps, push small tires individually and then carry a massive tire collectively. The mighty blue team prevailed, completing their mission in a lightning-quick ten minutes!

Great job to everybody who gave it their all in this season's final fitness competition!

Green Team 

After two weeks of holiday and gym closings, the Green Machine still managed a close second in the rankings.

While we all struggled to eat clean, through the Passover and Easter menus, we all still managed to lose, or stay steady.

For many of us, this holiday brought a new way of thinking through traditional meals: exchanging some items healthier choices or simply making smaller portions of the favorites.

We were each very successful in overcoming the challenges brought by two weeks of no structure.

Biggest challenges involved chocolate and passover wine...

For the upcoming week, we will keep moving forward, with the final goal in sight. We'll log our food, get our 10,000 steps in and stay the course.

Eat clean, be lean, GO GREEN!! 

Yellow Team

Shadow Team - Week of April 20th.

A sense of realism took the spotlight the night of April 23rd as several of us realized that the goals we set in early March were not going to be realized.   A group discussion provided support for each other and reinforced that these two months were just the beginning of a journey toward better health, both physically and mentally.  Implementing even half of what we have been introduced to from the trainers and lectures will not only provide us with more energy but better overall health. 

With age everything becomes more difficult, especially losing weight.  Infirmities inhibit certain movement and it's incumbent upon us to find ways around those limitations.  The payoff is a longer healthier life! 

The evening was punctuated with the following quote:  "I wish I could love it, but I hate every minute"!

Orange Team

Our final week and a bit of a rough weigh in for our team. As we discussed on Sunday, the holidays, stress and a break in our routine caused some of us have a lapse. However, we are following Pam's three Rs and we are back on track. 
A big shout out to our most consistent "losers"- Dawn and Erica. They have each lost about 30 pounds and look amazing! 
As part of our final blog, we would like to thank everyone who makes this program possible, Susan, all of the trainers and all of our guest speakers. The past ten weeks prepared us for the journey we are about to continue on our own, either to continue losing or maintaining a healthy weight. We appreciate all that you do! Thank you to all involved at the JCC Fitness Center. Good luck to everyone in this final week.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week Off

In observance of the holidays, the Largest Loser contestants had the week off and did not have to weigh in on Sunday, April 20th. While the JCC fitness center was open to those who wanted to keep their workout regimen, there were not organized activities such as workouts, weigh ins and lectures. Normal activity will resume next week.

A couple of items worth mentioning this week regard Largest Loser Phase 2 and the Largest Loser Awards Ceremony.

Largest Loser Phase 2 - How to Register
The structure the contestants experienced this week -- having weigh ins every other week vs. every week -- is similar to Phase 2 of the Largest Loser program. Folks are encouraged to continue their fitness journey once the Loser program is over, as support and lectures will keep contestants on the right track toward the goals they set forth in March!

Contestants: If interested in continuing with the program, please speak to Susan, Barbara or your trainer. If you know of non-Largest Loser contestants who would like to participate, please have them contact Susan at Reserve your spot before 4/30 to avoid a hike in registration fee.

Largest Loser Award Ceremony

On Sunday, May 4th, we will have our final weigh-in followed by an awards ceremony to honor and recognize all the hard work put forth by teams and individuals. Friends and family are welcome to join us for this final event!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 6 Recap

In addition to the Week 6 workout and weigh-in, the Largest Loser competitors were treated to a nutritional lecture on the Mediterranean Diet and an olive oil tasting with Bill Bradley, RD.  Participants learned how they could emulate the lifestyle of the people of Crete, and they learned how they can consume (healthy) fats while reducing their risk of heart attacks and diabetes.

Bill Bradley, RD, lecturing on the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle.
Largest Loser is getting closer to the end now, but for some, the weight loss journey is finally starting to take flight. While there are plenty of participants who experienced weight loss from the beginning, there were others who did not see the results so quickly. However, the latter group is learning that patience and understanding how weight loss works ultimately ends with positive results. With a supportive team and staff to back them up, some participants are finally seeing the 5-pound drops this week, that they had hoped to see this competition.

This week, the Green Team ("The Greenies") took the lead in total weight loss. Following in second place was the Blue Team, then the Red Team, Orange Team, and Yellow Team.

Additionally, the top 5 men and women are as follows:

  1. Robert
  2. Steve G.
  3. Owen
  4. Marc
  5. Adam
  1. Erika
  2. Dawn
  3. Kathy T.
  4. Melissa L.
  5. Maureen 
Green Team

Green rules the scale again!!
Even being down one team member we came in first for the weight in this  week. We are moving and shaking up the competition with two of the top male losers, Robert and Steve.

With the upcoming holidays, our goals are to maintain our journals, get the steps in and keep moving!!


Blue Team

We are nearing the end of our Largest Loser program, and within the last few weeks of this program, many of us are working hard to try and either reach our goals, come close to reaching our goals, or committing to make the necessary changes in our lifestyles to continue towards a healthy lifestyle. 

On Sunday, April 13th we were introduced to the Largest Loser Part 2 program, and other options that we all can consider utilizing to continue towards maintaining or continuing with our weight-loss journey. As we look towards the light at the end of the tunnel we should all look towards that way being extremely proud of the work we have done. We still have some time to go, but Blue Team...we have done a great job.  

Red Team

Red Team had another great week of workouts with Vince & Lisa. Thanks for continually pushing us! Vince also took our measurements again and they showed some pretty dramatic results. Some members of the Team lost up to 6 inches - wow! It reinforced that it's not always about the number on the scale. One of our members, Deb, was recognized today as the team member who showed the greatest commitment and passion. I think everyone on our team would agree with this and a big thank you to Deb also for our "Red Rules!" headbands. It was also announced that Mark is currently one of the top five male Largest Losers and Melissa and Maureen are in the top five females. That's a real accomplishment, congrats! Keep going and keep strong Red!

Orange Team

With only three weeks left to the program, it's crunch time!

Great lecture today about the Mediterranean Diet. A common theme we have heard from all of our guest speakers is to keep food simple and get back to basics: lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins.

Congratulations to Dawn and Erika. Both ladies are in the top five for female contestants with the greatest percentage of weight lostl. Our team did a great job on the scale this week. Everyone who weighed in was down. Keep up the good work, Warriors!

Wishing everyone a Happy Passover and Happy Easter. -The Orange Team

Yellow Team

At the Wednesday, April 9th workout there was a moment when all one heard in the aerobics room was the grinding excitation by the "Losers".  We all crossed a threshold that evening from 'loser' status to that of finely tuned athletes (well not quite, but you get the idea).   The dream that our personal goals were being realized provided the additional momentum that will be needed to maintain the grueling effort of dieting and exercise for the remainder of the program.

Great job this week, everybody!  Hope you enjoy your purchases from Sunday's lecture.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 5 Recap

We are now more than halfway through the Largest Loser program. Teams still continue to workout during the week and meet on Sundays for their AM workouts, weigh ins and lectures. They remain true to their weight loss goals, and once again, ALL teams posted total weight loss percentages this week. The orange team led the pack with .90 total weight loss. The yellow/shadow team was not far behind with .84 weight loss, .79 loss for the blue team, .76 for the green team and .40 for the red team. Everyone continues to work hard while continuing to grow their awareness of nutritional value and their own dietary habits.

Orange Team

We are half way through the program and this week the Orange Team was number one for percent weight loss! Go Warriors!

Our workouts are getting more demanding. Jess and Alex are challenging  us physically and mentally. So much of this program is about changing how we think, not just about food, but about what your body can do as well. We have to step out of our comfort zone to get results and our trainers and getting us there. 

On the days we do not have team training, team members are swimming, spinning, and taking advantage of all of the fitness classes the JCC has to offer. 

Congratulations to the Red Team for winning this week's competition. Good luck to all participants in the last half of the competition. Make it happen!

Yellow Team

On Wednesday, April 2nd, passing the halfway point of the program made everyone take a serious look at where they are and where they want to be.

Golden Girl Barbara, our septuagenarian, put on a stunning show during Wednesday night's workout and her steady planks were photo-worthy.  On Sunday she also realized her largest weight loss since the opening week's weigh-in.  The team was tickled to have Bullet Bob return to the Sunday, April 6th, workout after a multi-week absence.  Others on the team choose the Vince led swimming hour and there has only been praise from those participants.  The gym workout was once again well organized and challenging.

Sunday's lecturer, Tara, was excellent, to the point, and informative.

Blue Team

Team blue rocked the house this week with some great weight loss numbers. With our workouts getting more and more intense each week our bodies are transforming week by week. Some are noticing flatter tummies, toner thighs, and the biceps are even that much more muscular.  Despite the pains and aches we are feeling after team workouts we still push even harder week after week.

Green Team
Robert was our top loser again with 4.4 pounds lost.  
Jen lost 3. Doing a great job keeping her calories up at a decent level and then cycling the amount throughout the week.
Lisa lost 2.2 despite a hectic week with her mother being in the hospital. She is the model of planning and preparation!
Iris lost another 2 pounds. She is much fitter after 6 weeks so is able to burn more calories!

We came in third in the relay race. Red was clearly the fastest group. Unfortunately for greenies: Laura was home battling stomach flu and Steve pulled his hip flexor immediately into the race so things got very disorganized quickly!!

Team accomplishments would have to be that the group really has the "clean eating" concept down. Lisa in particular has done an amazing job at eliminating all added sugars from her diet. Amy is doing a great job managing her carb intake to help take control of her health.

The retest of the mile last week produced drops for every member of the team, some with as many as 3 minutes!
Red Team

This week Vince and Lisa really amped up the Red team workouts and each member of the team rose to the challenge. Our training included some intense cardio tabatas and intervals that included foot work on the ladder and punching the bag (FUN!). We love our trainers Vince and Lisa and are so grateful for their consistent and positive encouragement, you guys rock!   A number of team members are still working through injuries and illnesses but we continue to show up at team workouts and giving it our all.  While our overall number on the scale was a bit lower this week, some members of the team broke through plateaus and we are so happy for them and others are seeing the difference in their clothing which is very encouraging.  Red rocked the challenge with our strong runners (go Maureen for leading the pack!) and the nutrition information we have learned as part of the program.  Go Red!(thnx, Joy)*

Team members are starting to talk about how we are going to continue the momentum after the competition is over and we are happy to hear that the trainers will be offering a continuation program for us in May and June so that we can continue to work together so that each team member can reach their fitness goal.  We look forward to hearing about the details of this program

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 4 Recap

The Largest Loser program is officially halfway over now, and all teams still remain dedicated to their weight loss efforts with numbers to back it up. This week, the green team cleared victory with a 1.4% total weight loss. The blue team and orange team tied for second with a 0.8% weight loss. The red team trailed right behind with a 0.7% weight loss, and the yellow team followed behind with 0.4% total weight loss.

While there were no fitness competitions this Sunday, teams still reported to work out, weigh in, and attend their weekly lecture. ACE Certified Health Coach Pam Hutchinson spoke about portion distortion, and made participants aware that in our culture, "you eat with your eyes". Pam provided guidance and tools that would help teams overcome the portion challenges when planning their meals. A small group of repeat participants worked with Clinical Psychologist, Cheryl Gelernter, PhD., to delve into eating behaviors to better manage their personal weight loss.

With the teams now several weeks into the Largest Loser program, some contestants have been faced with challenges such as illness/injury that could potentially curb their weight loss efforts. The green team lost trainer Casey Canada, as he has to return home. Still, each team collectively managed to yield positive (rather, negative) results. Great job to all teams!

Green Team

Even as we battled flu and the loss of a trainer (good luck, Casey!) we managed to take the top spot in % of all teams this week, with 1.4 % loss of body fat.

Robert continues to be a force and we all held in there with losses on the scale.

Workout accomplishment this week:
Completion of Tabata homework, fitting in workouts no matter how small, in the face of life's adversities.

Goals for the week: eat more greens, stay active, eat mindfully. 

Blue Team

The blue team continues to work hard to drop those pounds. Thank you to Pam for teaching us about portion distribution.  We as team blue have hopefully learned to not eat with our eyes.  Team blue had some great weight loss numbers which allowed for us to tie with the orange team (our cousins), coming in second place in team weight loss this week.  

Orange Team

This week we faced some challenges. Team members continue to deal with injuries, sick children, family functions that make food choice difficult and busy work schedules. Life happens and we need to remember to account for that in our lifestyle changes. 
We had an awesome workout Tuesday night with the Blue Team- 30 people, 13 stations and lots of sweat! Thursday night we ended our training by running a mile. Congrats to Amy who took two minutes off of her time!

The Orange Team also wanted to thank Lisa for her Saturday morning workouts. Boy can we feel those tabatas. Vince has also been offering a water workout Sunday mornings for those who have mobility issues. Another great opportunity to burn calories and lots of fun too. 

Yellow Team

Wednesday, March 26th – the workout was the best organized and most challenging of the first month.  The circuit/stations that were laid out looked “oh so easy”.  They were not.  About three minutes into the first round of stations the exercises took on the feeling of “boot camp”.  With drill sergeant J. Johnny Johnny and Major Tully leading the way, it was a perfect mix of energy bursts and rest periods.  We were also graced with a guest appearance from Hall of Fame trainer D. Forsilius.  The wiley veteran kept the pressure up with words of encouragement while ensuring we endured maximum pain and fatigue from the “wave rope” station.  We hope she returns.  Everyone was fully exhausted from the workout and we knew it was time to end the circuit training when one Loser chose to not stand up but roll on the floor from one station to the next.  Even the Golden Girls were tested towards by end of the circuit training but none of the team dropped out!!

Our inspirational leader, Austin, returned in a week and half to resume his mastery of the plank position. 

Our Sunday, March 30th weigh-in showed the group losing the least amount of weight (percentage-wise) of the teams but percentages may be deceiving.  The middle weeks of the program present their own set of challenges.  We are not yet in great physical shape and are probably still in the process of "breaking down" muscle tissue in some areas of the body.  Other parts of the body may be getting stronger and those muscles weigh more than the fat it replaced so great weight loss will not be realized each week.  Our commitment to the program and doing the right thing is still strong and week by week we should be able to exercise harder and for longer periods.  When physical limitations affect strenuous exercise, dieting and adherence to the nutritional guidelines we have received will keep us on the right path.