Curves Chicks like losing

By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
Register Reporter

Register/Anne Kazmierczak
Laughter is a big part of the Curves Chicks workout plan. From left, Honey Whitcomb, Shirley Shaw, Renee LaRue and Cindy Hesse share good times in their quest to stay at the top of the Allen County Meltdown list. So far, the team has lost a collective 100 pounds.

Through eight weeks of the 12-week Allen County Meltdown, one team has consistently remained at or near the top for pounds lost.
Curves Chicks, as of Thursday, have lost a collective 100 pounds.
The team is composed of nine women who belong to Curves women’s fitness center. Some might say that gives them an advantage: afterall, as club members, they have access to fitness equipment others may not.
But other groups are working out regularly, too. So what makes these women the No. 1 Meltdown team?
Peer pressure, team members said.
“It’s good that we’re doing it together, because if one doesn’t feel like (exercising), the others make her,” laughed Honey Whitcomb.
The women also are dedicated.
“We come to Curves at least three times a week and we’ve been walking one or two breaks a day,” Whitcomb said.
She and fellow teammate Renee LaRue both work at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, and walk around Iola’s square during work breaks. Twice around the square equals a mile.
“We do at least a mile a day, or two if we can get both breaks in,” Whitcomb said.
Working out together keeps the women on task.
“When the Meltdown group comes in they know they’ll be held accountable,” said Curves owner and team member Cindy Hesse. “Each woman gets a weekly weigh-in and a monthly print out of her weight and inches lost.”
In addition, they take part in regular talk therapy sessions to relieve the stress in their lives, said Hesse.
“It’s definitely a stress release,” said Whitcomb. “Just being able to take 20 minutes to get away from the office and the phone calls. Your personal life can be stressful, too.”
The group admits they can’t do it alone.
“Cindy is great at getting us motivated,” Whitcomb said. “Especially since she’s going through the same thing herself trying to lose weight.”
Hesse admitted that’s true.
“Nine years ago we had a two-story house,” Hesse said. “I couldn’t go up and down the stairs anymore,” due to her weight and subsequent strain on her knees, she said. “We had to move to a single-story home.”
Since beginning her own weight management program in January, Hesse said, “I’ve lost so much weight I’ve been able to add walking to my routine. I walk 2 1/2 miles now,” she said.

“I GOT DIAGNOSED with diabetes this winter so I joined Curves,” said Shirley Shaw, another team member. As sole caregiver for her elderly mother, Shaw realized she also had to start focusing on her own health. “I had to take care of me, so I would be here to take care of her,” she said. She didn’t know the rest of the team before joining the club, but the other women welcomed her, and “Since I was losing weight already I decided to join the Meltdown team.”
“I’m not one who is able to follow a diet, so the exercise is good,” LaRue said of her reason for joining the team.
The Curves rotation, 30 seconds each on 14 different machines interspersed with 90 second cardio rest periods, builds muscle, Hesse said. Research has shown that muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so even when resting, “muscle burns calories,” Hesse said.
The whole workout is designed to be completed in 30 minutes. Plus, said LaRue, “you aren’t sore afterward” and “you don’t get sweaty.”
Shaw repeated Curves motivational slogan: “I’m worth 30 minutes of my own time.” All the women agree with it.

THE WOMEN credit both the exercise and a meal plan espoused by Curves for their continued weight loss.
The meal plan emphasizes high protein, low calorie eating, but is not a continuous diet, Hesse said.
“You follow the plan for 30 days then you are off it for two to four weeks,” she said.
That slow go seems to avoid the pitfall of most dieters: sudden rebound into former eating habits.
“We’re just making better food choices,” said LaRue.
It seems to work.
“I’ve basically lost 35 pounds in 8 weeks over the course of four months,” Hesse said.
The weight management class is free and open to anyone, Hesse said. The next classes are at 6 p.m June 4 and 11 a.m. June 6.