Completing the challenge in Nelson
After six weeks of hitting the gym and focusing on personal health, Keith Page has won the Nelson Star’s Get Fit Challenge.
Pleased to be rewarded for his efforts, Page is happy with the prize — a six-month gym pass to Power By You where he’s been working out. It means this positive first step toward fitness can continue, he says.
“I feel really good,” Page says. “This six weeks has been a good refresher as to what I need to be doing, but making that into a habitual life change is going to take longer. This gives me access to the gym so I have somewhere to go and get my energy out, all under supervision so I keep learning. I want to make this a life change not just ‘there was this one year where you worked out for six weeks and lost a bunch of weight.’ This will turn it into a full transformation not just a blip.”
The Star-organized challenge garnered great attention with many people wanting to participate. The five who were chosen worked hard toward their fitness goals with several achieving what they set out to do, says Publisher Karen Bennett.
Page was selected as the winner of the Get Fit Challenge for successfully reaching what seemed like an impossible goal.
“He set an aggressive goal,” Bennett says. “Losing 21 lbs was huge.”
Page also lost a total of 13.5 inches: his chest was 47 and now is 44. His hips are down two inches to 42.
“I am in pants I haven’t worn in seven years,” he says.
The 32-year-old founder of Green-Light Communications, bachelor and rugby player says he contemplated dialing back his goal set six weeks ago but for him, 10 lbs. didn’t seem like enough of a test — truly buying into the challenge aspect of Get Fit.
“For me, I can’t set goals that I don’t feel are at least challenging,” he says.
Participating in the challenge taught Page what he needs to do to get into shape. Part of that was establishing a routine. Morning classes with Cody Abbey at Power By You have helped him out of his traditional role as a late starter. Hitting the gym after a healthy breakfast followed by an early start at the office has enhanced his daily routine, he says.
“The whole cycle of my day has improved in all sorts of aspects. It’s been a super positive experience,” he says.
Page attended an average of four to five classes a week.
“I feel I did a really good job of going to class, hitting every class I could,” he says. “I got myself in a good rhythm… good structure to get these benefits.”
The four other participants of the Get Fit Challenge are similarly pleased with the experience and the results they achieved.
Cathy Robinson, a 56-year-old receptionist struggled with a slowing metabolism. She found motivation through positive reinforcement and camaraderie at The Circuit as she worked out with women similar in age.
“Once they found out who I was and why I was there, I had a lot of encouragement and input from others about their experiences. You get the feeling that what’s happening to you isn’t extraordinary, it’s normal,” she says.
When Robinson entered into the Get Fit Challenge, she had her mind set on losing pounds. Over the course of the six weeks she realized that feeling great matters more than society’s focus on size.
“At first I was looking for big numbers in terms of pounds and over the course of the fitness challenge, I adjusted my thinking into inches and how you feel more than what shows on the scale,” she says. “We hang too much on numbers that don’t really mean anything. Even if there hadn’t been inches lost, I know I feel better.”
The energy that carries her through her day will motivate her to stay active and she plans to continue her routine of working out three times a week.
Natalia Skiba agrees. The 25-year-old also felt an energy boost from working out.
“Waking up in the morning is a challenge for me,” she says. “But waking up early in the morning and going for a workout, it just made my days better. I didn’t feel tired at the end of the day, which was awesome, and I felt full of energy at work. It made me feel really good.”
Skiba enjoyed the experience of working out with Helen at Renew, learning proper technique lifting weights and losing about 8 lbs.
“Overall I feel a lot stronger. I feel really good,” she says. “I am toned. I lost weight, which I am really happy about.”
The process has inspired Skiba to get that gym pass she didn’t think she could afford at the beginning of the experience. She wants to keep the momentum started with Get Fit.
Tera De Vuono wants to capitalize on the momentum of the challenge as well. For her, it all stems from wanting to keep the positive going.
“It was good for me in my life, what it did for my mind, too,” she says.
Learning about the body, muscle groups and the importance of core strength, pilates at Kootenay Pilates turned out to be a good fit for the 42-year-old who juggles family and work.
“I love pilates — absolutely love it. I like the type of exercise. I saw huge results and it wasn’t hard on the body, the joints,” she says pointing out an ankle weakness that noticeably got better.
Committed to changing her eating habits, she lost 11 lbs and between 10 to 12 inches over her body.
“I did better than I thought I would in that time,” she says.
Overcoming the challenge of committing to the regime at first, she learned the importance of continuing what’s been established.
“I learned that I have to keep exercising,” she laughs.
Lindsay MacKay always enjoyed the cardio aspect of exercise, but had let her strength fade. This challenge pointed her in the right direction, she says.
“It was just the kick in the pants that I needed to keep going forward. From the beginning I took it really seriously and was committed to see what I could accomplish in the six weeks.”
The 33-year-old teacher with two young children took it day by day, fitting in workouts into her busy life. Before she knew it, exercising was part of her lifestyle.
“If I didn’t get a workout in, it was like there was something missing,” she says.
MacKay notices her clothes fitting looser and with her family on board, she lost 13 lbs. – though the numbers didn’t play centre stage.
“It’s never about losing weight. It’s about how we can get healthy,” she says. “It’s a really positive thing for my family too.”
Working out at Transcendent, she is noticeably stronger which is what she aimed to do entering into the challenge. She can now do several routines such as dead lifts, squats and pushups with ease.
“I can see it – there’s muscle!” she says.
Participating gyms included Kootenay Pilates, the Circuit, Renew, Power By You and Transcendent fitness centre.
Additional sponsors of the Get Fit Challenge were Sears, Nature’s Health, Vince De Vito, Kootenay Co-op, Mallard’s Source for Sports, Gerick Cycle and Ski and Mountain Waters Spa and Wellness.