“They rocked it!” is how fitness program assistant Michelle Bourgeois describes the success of the Be Your Best This Summer program participants.
The 12 week program, which comes to a close at the end of this month, was put on by Panorama Recreation Centre and the Peninsula News Review.
Participants Debbie Taylor, Shauna Johnson, Monique Huber, Melanie Kerr, Christy Day, Jennifer Verscheure, Colleen Baines and Michael Hall worked out twice a week with the group (some did more on their own) and maintained a healthy lifestyle.
“This group has been making exceptional improvements in their health and well being,” said Bourgeois. “I’ve just seen so much improvement in their body awareness, self confidence, fitness knowledge – the gym can be a scary and intimidating place and I can say I don’t think any of them are scared of it anymore.”
In total, the group of eight lost 79.6 pounds and 60 inches over the 12 weeks. Program participant Jennifer Verscheure said she saw exceptional results. The mother of two lost nearly 30 pounds and 10 per cent body fat.
Verscheure said the program helped her gain confidence to continue such a lifestyle.
“The main difference for me with this program is that it made me realize how important it is to take exercising seriously. I have lost significant amounts of weight many times in my life, but now I feel like I have the tools of exercise and nutrition to keep me on track and I never thought I’d be someone who could achieve that on their own,” she said.
The most exciting part was seeing her body transform.
“I was losing [pounds] as I had before, but I was noticing a completely different body. I was losing it in a different way,” she said.
One program participant had a major lifestyle adjustment during the program but amazingly stayed committed to the program, said Bourgeois.
“One of our participants, Michael Hall, the token male as we called him, he [and his wife] had a baby in the middle of the program and he still rocked it.”
Hall, who lost almost 10 pounds and 2.25 inches, said the biggest thing he learned from the program was the importance of establishing a routine.
“After working from home for a year I needed to adopt some new, healthier habits,” Hall said. “[Now] I feel better, I feel stronger and I’m more energetic.”
Be Your Best This Summer participant Melanie Kerr said the program boosted her motivation.
“I had been wanting to start exercising for quite a while before I started the Be Your Best program, but I lacked the motivation to get up and do it,” Kerr said. “The program helped me to start working out and now I don’t want to stop. I know I would still be sitting around on my butt if it weren’t for Be Your Best and Michelle.”
Kerr, like Verscheure, said one of the most important tools she learned through the program was nutrition.
“I’ve learned a lot about eating right and made a huge improvement in my eating habits,” said Kerr. “I feel much more energetic from all the exercise, which in turn makes me exercise more, so it all works out pretty well. I’m a great deal more confident in myself, not because I can notice a huge change in the mirror but because I know I’m doing something to change it.”
Participants in the program got to try out several different classes that are offered through Panorama.
Panorama plans to offer a similar program again in September for $175 for 12 weeks. Classes will run Sept. 26 to Dec. 15 and space will be limited to 10 participants.