CHF’s War on Weight battle begins

The War on Weight is on as the Cayman Heart Fund has revealed the 16 contestants who will take on the battle of the bulge.


Back row from left are WOW Committee member Summer LaRue, Sandra Erskine, Sharee Ebanks, Karen Rudey, Ruth Myles, Viene Dilbert, Tasha Eden, Cheyenna Stewart, Melanie Ebanks, WOW Committee members Andrea Knox, Leandra Charles, David Dinner and Jacqueline Smith. Front row from left are Hendrick Oosthuizen, Allison Payne, Diane Campbell, Jodiann Jackson, Max Hillier and Laura Johnston.
Photo: Submitted

The heart fund began looking for 10 contestants in July and was inundated with more than 75 applications, causing fund members to up the number of warriors to 16.

‘I was extremely touched by the overwhelming response from the community. It was heart wrenching to know we could not accept everyone. With encouragement from our committee and help from our sponsors we were able to accommodate an additional six contestants,’ said Mrs. Suzy Soto, chairman of CHF.

Beginning Monday, WOW contestants will work in conjunction with the heart fund to promote a healthy change in lifestyle while competing in a weight loss challenge for the next 16 weeks. At the end of the contest, prizes will be distributed for various categories such as total body fat lost. Cayman Airways, Renaissance Salon, and other companies will donate prizes.

Participants will compete to lose weight by altering their diet, exercising on a daily basis and making health conscious choices while under the guidance of a dietician, personal trainer, and general practitioner.

The initial medical screening included a blood test for cholesterol, thyroid and sugar levels, among other factors.

Cayman Health Laboratories. Physicians John Addleson and Marli Ellis will conduct these tests as well as supervise the candidates’ progress ensuring weight loss is safe and consistent. Nutritionist Chad Collins will establish a customised eating regime for each individual based on measurements, physical health and exercise, among other information. During the contest, Mr. Collins will monitor progress and offer counselling both in person and online.

Ernest Ebanks of Body Sculptor will supervise the contestants’ physical activity, track weight and body fat percentage, and provide an exercise plan for their specific needs. Participants are encouraged to attend Boot Camp four times a week and increase daily physical activity during the competition.

Marking its second year as a non-profit organisation, the CHF has a number of goals, one of which is to reduce the incidences of cardiovascular diseases in the Cayman Islands, as well as improve the quality of life to all those effected by this disease by providing the community with information, education, and participation through free screening clinics, contests, events, and its annual expo.

‘We are looking forward to our first day of the competition. The WOW Committee has chosen an enthusiastic group of participants dedicated to promoting a brand new way of living. Our committee will support the contestants throughout their journey towards becoming healthier and thinner. This year we have a teenager representing the younger community and promoting teen health,’ said Summer LaRue, vice chairman to the WOW Committee. ‘Our goal is to get community awareness of the obesity problems we are experiencing in Cayman, and to try and get everyone to do something about it.’

Full of Beans will host the kick-off party on Thursday, 27 August, where participants can get to know one another and speak with sponsors and organisers. Full of Beans will add a weekly WOW lunch special on the menu as well as offer all CHF members a 10 per cent discount. has created a website completely dedicated to the competition. Log on to view contestant profiles, track progress, and stay informed on the all WOW activities at