It can be incredibly difficult to get into shape on your own. Studies show that it is easier for people to stick to a healthy-living plan or a weight-loss plan if they do so in a group. 

In Brown County late in 2012, a challenge was issued and 10 groups totally 90 participants answered it. The 90-day challenge was a friendly competition of sorts in which groups competed to see who could lose the most weight and inches from January 1 to April 6.

Teams were devised by several methods, one was the team was pre-formed or already put together before registration. Another way was the trainers at TK Fitness and project facilitator Cookie Gamblin put teams together.

“We put them together by schedules, preferences and weight compatibility,” said Gamblin. “We had to make sure that weights were pretty even.” 

 Participants attending both nutrition and weight loss classes needed to achieve healthy weight loss. Some classes that the participants took part in were Zumba, Piloxing, a combination of pilates and boxing, Boxing Boot Camp, RIPPED, Kickboxing and Touche. 

Teams were also encouraged to do outdoor activities. For example, Team Journey embarked on a five-mile walk from the Early’s Longhorn Stadium to the top of Bangs Hill.

Each team also had a “team motivator,” or the person who kept participants engaged and also kept track of the weight/inches lost and reported to Gamblin. 

The winner was awarded a cash prize that was comprised of all the registration fees each participant paid at the beginning of the challenge. The prize was divided amongst the winning team. The winning team received a cash prize of $220 each.

The victor of the 90-day challenge was Team Journey, which lost 167 pounds and 147.75 inches total.

“Even better, the overall pounds and inches lost for all teams that participated was 687 pounds and over 800 inches lost,” said Anna Allen, of Team Journey.

Team Journey was composed of team motivator Anna Allen, Gretchen Campbell, Ferrisa Childs, Claudia Donaho, Veronica Duncan, Melinda Ethridge, Debbie Gierisch, Tammie Godwin, Irene Hurtado and Kerri Jacobson. 

Trainers for the 90-day challenge included Natali Maldonado, Megan Adams, Linda Vongphakdy and Lucina Garcia. 

“It changed so many lives including mine,” said Allen via e-mail.