Kelli Meier just wants to lose a few stubborn pounds.
Mike Iconis is aiming to drop nearly 30 so he can be around for his two young daughters and wife.
Anthony Stover has a vision of being in the Air Force or Navy reserves but first he must get fit.
This is why Meier, Iconis and Stover are sweating it out and participating in the Decatur Biggest Loser Fitness and Weight Loss Challenge.
The competition, which began Feb. 2, is the brainchild of David Nash of Pinnacle Fitness Bootcamp and Jeremy Rhett of CertaPro Painters. They are sponsoring the six-week fitness challenge with prizes of $500 in cash and $400 in gift certificates for painting services for those who lose the most. It is designed to improve awareness of healthy habits and challenge local residents to adopt healthier lifestyles.
Some 85 people have signed up for the challenge—some participants in Nash’s boot camp sessions and others who are not.
“We want to help them get healthy,” said Nash.
Meier, 42, is a Decatur mother of two who enrolled in Nash’s boot camp to slim down and firm up after the birth of her second child. She attended 5:30 a.m. classes for seven months with good results but said she decided to join the contest in hopes of whittling away her final 10 pounds.
“You would think it would be easy,” said Meier.
She said she has added an additional workout to her weekly routine; cut down on portion sizes, bread and snacks and greatly increased the amount of vegetables she eats.
“Now you are more conscious about what you are eating,” said Meier.
At her second weigh-in on Feb. 9, Meier was pleased to see she had dropped 4 pounds.
Iconis, 34, of Tucker has struggled with his weight for his “entire life,” but his daughters—ages 3 and 6 weeks—are his motivation to get it right this time.
At 6-foot-3, Iconis started the competition at 328 pounds. He had dropped 10 by the first weigh-in.
“I’m rather competitive,” said Iconis, adding that he hopes Decatur Biggest Loser will kick-start a healthier lifestyle. “The 500 bucks doesn’t hurt.”
Although he didn’t work out much during the first week because of a hectic work schedule, Iconic said he followed many of the “tips and tricks” suggested by Nash in the welcome packet. Eating breakfast, incorporating healthy snacks into his diet and coming to terms with portion control have paid off, he said.
At Nash’s 8:30 a.m. boot camp on a recent Thursday inside the Leapin’ Lizards Play and Party Center in Decatur, he ran participants through a workout that included 50 crunches and leg lifts, lunges and jumping jacks, working with weights as well as a “chipper,” a series of a trio of timed exercises including a run along Sams Street.
Meier was overjoyed at shaving more than 30 seconds off her chipper time.
“Looking good, y’all looking good,” shouted Nash whose Pinnacle Fitness T-shirt states “No Excuses Just Results” on the back. “Let’s go. Pop it. Pop it.”
Stover, 30, of Atlanta has a March 30 deadline to shape up for the physical test for the reserves. Although he admits to falling behind in documenting his weight loss so far, he said he remains committed “because I like competition.”
Decatur mother Catrina Knight, 34, said she’s learned a wealth of valuable information about her body and nutrition since signing up for the challenge and the boot camp. She said she wants to pass the information on to her two daughters.
The challenge wraps up on March 16.