Natalie Cannady -
Speechless. That is how these two ladies left me! We had a lot of physical troubles and trials along the way in this competition. Hurdles that were faced and conquered by these two amazing ladies. They worked hard. They actually learned the tools they need to continue. Now comes the part that can be just as hard: maintaining momentum. My biggest advice is to have someone who is unyielding in letting you give up. Someone to tell you “no” when you decide to stop going to the gym or start eating bad stuff. You guys now have a UFC family, and I know you can rely on each other for support. You also have us too. Don’t think we are gone… we are still lurking in the gym with support and advice. You all can do this, you know why I know? Because you already have been for 12 weeks. I’m so proud of the Purple Team. Muriel the overall winner and then winning for the Team weight loss. I think that speaks volumes to what these ladies can do.
AD Abston –
This is the last week of the 2012 UFC and it seemed to go by so fast. I learned so much about the team I had this year. I just would like to say to both of them if someone asks you if you are competitive you need to say most definitely! They worked so hard through this competition and it made me proud to be their trainer. The last thing I would like to say to finish out this season will be a prediction. Portia Jones and Michelle Cox will reach there goal by the end of this year and will maintain it for several years! I believe in these two with all my heart and mind.
Week 8 (5-21-12)
Well, there are 4 weeks left and everyone is scrapping to do their best. Everyone knows what to do and what is expected. It doesn’t always make it easy though and although the challenge will be over in 4 weeks, I expect all will continue to practice the principles they have been taught. The challenge is fun, but lives are being changed and that’s even better!
Week 7 (5-14-12)
This week has been a killer. I’ve been sick with a bad virus the first two days of the week. I had to miss the weigh in due to a high fever. I was so upset. I’ve never missed a weigh in before. Purple Team represented very well though! Rhonda lost 2 pounds to make her total loss 13.3 pounds and Muriel lost 4 pounds to bring her total up to 21.5 pounds lost. Not to shabby for six full weeks of working out. It’s coming off the right way. Through proper nutrition and increased activity these ladies are seeing great results that only steady weight loss can produce. Their skin is rebounding beautifully and they both look more radiant everyday I see them from the beautiful smiles on their faces. I am so very proud. Now that all the hearts and rainbows are out of my system. My ladies do have their struggles. Meeting calories, being more intense on their own, and fighting the major battle of food choices. There is no excuse for picking bad foods anymore. They have the tools to look it up and make an educated decision. I was told by Muriel after this past weigh in that the gloves are coming off and it is on! I believe her whole heartedly. These ladies want to win, and they will do what it takes to get there! GOOOOOO Purple!!
Week 6 (5-7-12)
Week six and we are at the point now where we know what works for each participant. Everyone is starting to see what happens when you eat right. So now that we have the basics down it’s time to turn up the heat. Now is when we find out who wants it the most. Now is when we find out who really meant what they said on the application. Or they realize it’s too hard and find an excuse to quit. I hope no one is thinking about slowing down because the best is yet to come! GO RED!
During Monday’s competition, each person had to hold a full cup of water in each hand with outstretched arms. One by one, the contestants’ arms would slowly drop spilling some of their water. Michelle Cox (middle with red shirt) won by keeping her arms up the longest — almost 5 minutes!
Week 5 (4-30-12)
It’s hard to believe that we are almost half way through this journey. Last week’s mental challenge was fun! It’s ironic to have a mental challenge because more than half this challenge is mental. If you think about the three hours that’s mandatory to exercise and then think about the rest of the hours in the week it takes to plan, eat correctly, arrange schedules, motivate yourself to get your workouts in, etc., you quickly see it’s just as much a mental workout. It’s definitely doable, but there is an adjustment. By week 5 everyone has a good feel for each other. The teams know what to expect from us and we know what our teams are capable of. The intensity has increased since week one and discussions about nutrition continues. Like I said before, exercise is the easiest part. Jamie and Robert are both doing good and are game for anything. It’s a joy to work with both of them. I’m really looking forward to seeing what these two can accomplish physically and in their lifestyle. Good job guys I’m proud of you both!
Week 4 (4-23-12)
Another week has come and gone. The Purple Team is working hard — sweating in the gym, and keeping our food and water in line. Rhonda has made great gains in strength and balance. She told me last night that she was actually able to cut her insulin use in half!! That in itself is incredible to me. I am so proud of her. Muriel has made some very visible changes. People in the gym and around her are noticing and complementing her. Muriel has had a hernia that she has been dealing with and with her physician’s guidance we have tightened up her muscle wall and it is much less noticeable and she looks and feels great. I love both of these women’s drive and attitude in the gym. They both just keep saying that God has led them here. They are both utilizing all available to them as much as possible for the best results. Our last weigh in we posted some great numbers, this coming weigh in it is very important for them to understand that we are hitting a realm where inches are king. Pounds are just the princess here. Their clothes are about to start fitting looser and looser. Which means much, much more than pounds on the scale. Those inches are the difference between being on insulin and not, they are the difference between being one size or another. Pounds can’t give you that result, it has to be inches. I am so proud of them striving to do better for themselves and setting goals for themselves that are completely realistic. I am blessed and proud to have these two fantastic ladies on my team. GO PURPLE!!!
Week 3 (4-16-12)
We have come to the end of week three of our challenge. I am very happy with the two ladies I have on the RED team. The first weigh in went as I thought. We didn’t have big weight loss numbers and I feel that even though I told them this would happen you can’t help but feel a little disappointed. So this week when I worked with Portia and Michelle I watched to see how they would respond to the disappointment of the weigh in. They both came with the same attitude, that of a fighter. I know now what type of team I have this year. I know how hard they will work to be the UFC winner. It’s hard to get people to change everything in their life for something they can’t see right away. So as a trainer I see something totally different than my clients do when they look in mirrors. They see something they want to change. I see something that will change! To all the teams participating this year keep working hard and good luck to you all. This is a very special group. I think they understand that the winner of this year’s UFC will not be the only winner!
Week 2 (4-9-12)
The excitement of the third Ultimate Fitness Challenge is high it seems to me. Not only for the contestants, but for us the trainers and spectators. Just like any new program you try to find ways to improve what has already been done and I think everything is clicking. All the contestants are great! Green team is made up of myself, Robert Furrey, and Jamie Holder — two competitive, hard working individuals. They both have the ability to do whatever they want based on what I’ve seen the last two weeks. In the early stages I’m learning what their weaknesses and strengths are both physically and mentally, while also finding out what they do or don’t know about nutrition and exercise. I’m getting the opportunity this go-around to train them together, which is something I haven’t gotten to do much the last two rounds, because of varying schedules. The companionship is good. As far as everyone else, it’s cool to see everyone support each other from one team to another and for their peers to do so as well. It’s labeled a competition, but everyone has the same needs and goals, which is to become healthier by living a healthy lifestyle and in turn passing on what they have learned and accomplished to people they care about. It’s going to be a good one!
Week 1 (4-2-12)
Another Ultimate Fitness Challenge has begun. It’s time to show these people what you can do Purple Team! Rhonda and Muriel are both a joy to work with already. They don’t ask a lot of questions about their exercises, no complaints, they just hammer through. They both have joint issues to work around, but they are taking it all in stride. Our nutritional goals this week are to drink lots more water, starting with a full glass of water in the morning to start it off right! Did you know that your body’s ability to shed pounds is greatly increased when you drink lots of water!? Another part of our goal this week is to make sure that we are getting in a high quality breakfast. Something that has low sugar, great protein, whole grains, and most importantly make them feel full and gives them energy!! The Purple Team will be making great changes to their eating habits through the use of an online journal called www.sparkpeople.com. This site also has an app that they will use throughout this competition to keep them in their calorie range and show them where they are making mistakes on their protein, carbohydrates, and fat. SparkPeople is a free website and the app is free as well. There is also an app and website for SparkRecipes, a wonderful tool to help you make your favorite foods and get better nutrition from it with less calories! Cheer us on Baptist Health because we are here to win!!