Lutherans melt the most

By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
Register Reporter

 

Register/Anne Kazmierczak
Iola Commissioner Bill Shirley congratulates Meltdowners, from left, Saundra Upshaw, Beverly Johnson, Linda Brocker and Laura Caillouet-Weiner on their progress.

The Allen County Meltdown ended Saturday with a finale in Riverside Park. Scores of walkers braved the heat to stroll 5 miles along the Prairie Spirit Trail. Afterward, final weigh-ins were calculated and prizes awarded at the Recreation Community Building.
A dozen and a half Melters received door prizes ranging from water bottles and Foreman grills to a tennis racket and month-long memberships at Curves gym.
Speakers who’d participated in the quest to help Allen County become a ton lighter told the crowd what motivated them and how they attained their goals.
Most used the time-tested coupling of exercise and dieting.
Sherry Herder, captain of Humboldt’s winning “Lumbering Lutherans Plus One” said her team lost a combined 122 pounds.
Half the 10-member team was already participating in a “biggest loser” challenge when the Meltdown started, she said. For the Meltdown, however, the team — composed of nine Lutherans “plus one Methodist” — made a concerted effort to meet twice weekly for exercise sessions led by Herder.
The meetings quickly became more than just a work-out routine for the team.
“It has brought us together,” Herder said of the bi-weekly sessions. “We pray together, about weight loss and other things,” she said, “Because we believe with God we can get through this.”
The women, whose ages range from 19 to 71, plan to continue to meet.
Herder advised others to find a good support system in their quest to change their lives. “Find someone who is enthusiastic about it because that helps,” she said.
Iola Register City Editor Bob Johnson spoke about a heart-attack scare 20 years ago that made him start to pay attention to his diet. He and his wife Beverly attacked the Meltdown mainly through portion control and walking, he said.
“If you cut back on 500 calories a day, you lose a pound a week,” he advised.
“Losing weight is a mind thing,” Helen Ambler said. “Maintaining is just as difficult as losing.”
Ambler informed the crowd that studies show stress and lack of a good night’s sleep contribute to weight gain. “We all know what to do,” she said.
“I’m hoping through the Meltdown we’ve all turned the switch on and next year when we come in here we’ll say, ‘Oh, my, these people are all so thin,’” she concluded.
David Toland, Thrive executive director, said he hoped the teams would continue losing through the coming year.
“This is a lifestyle change,” he said. To encourage that he said, “The scales at the Thrive office will still be available. The Web site will stay up. What you’ve started, keep doing.”
As of Monday morning, the Meltdown Web site tallied 1,800 pounds lost. Meltdown coordinator Sunny Shreeve said final numbers will be available later this week.
The top Meltdown “losing team” was the Lumbering Lutherans Plus One, who lost 6.3 percent of their start weight. The greatest individual loser was Dawn Montgomery of Chunky Dunkers 2, who lost 18.9 percent of her starting weight.
The Lutherans received $750 for their efforts, while Montgomery was awarded $250 for hers.