WOW contestants sought

What prompted mother-of-one Cheyenna
Stewart to put the brakes on her rapid weight gain and reassess her life was
the nagging realisation that she was short-changing her three year old
daughter, along with the thought that if she did not get her health in order
she may not be around to watch Reyah grow up.

What helped her turn her weight issues
around andin
the process her self-esteem, was becoming a participant in last year’s War on
Weight competition, sponsored by Cayman Heart Fund, s

Stewart arrived from Michigan as a small
but curvaceous 150lb in 2005, but three years on, the full-time accountant,
college student and mother  was tipping
the scales at a hefty 210lbs, way too much weight for her petite 5’4” frame.

“Having begged me to take her to the park
one day after preschool, my daughter asked me to race her and I couldn’t,” she
said. “An everyday activity that I took for granted was being denied my
daughter… the realisation that I was not only short changing her, but also
myself, really shook me.”

Spurred into action, Stewart took matters
into her own hands. She used her young child’s energy as a motivator by taking
regular walks, her daughter accompanying her in the stroller.

Looking back it seems obvious to her that a
combination of factors had led the weight to pile on over the course of three
years: “I had a very stressful job, fell pregnant and was not eating
regularly,” she says. “On a typical day I’d skip breakfast and sometimes missed
lunch as I was busy, when I got home I’d cook the family meal but eat very
little as I needed to hit the books”, she adds.

It was only later, as a signed up member of
the War on Weight Competition that she learnt that her erratic eating pattern
was starving her body of the nutrients it needed. “I was so focused on my job,
my family life and my study that I wasn’t eating enough and so my body was
actually holding onto the calories as it thought it was starving,” she
explains.

Days after she took up walking, she signed
up and was accepted as a contestant on WOW. Not only did she stick to the
16-week programme of exercise, nutritional counselling and socials, which
kicked off last August, she ended up losing 18lbs just in time for the
Christmas holidays.

“We had a great group of contestants… We
were so supportive of each other and kept up each other’s morale.”

As well as undertaking mandatory exercise,
for an hour five times a week (2010 contestants have access to Body Sculptor’s
Fitness Programmes and facilities): the group has a ‘buddy system’, where participants
from the same district can opt to walk and work out together. Contestants will
also benefit from several thousand dollars worth of medical and psychological
advice in the form of twice weekly visits with WOW’s nutritionist, and will
receive ml and monitoring. Another perk of the programme is the free  providedthem about.

Contestants can also expect to attend
events to promote nd to participate at various community activities.

For Stewart the help and advice of
nutritionist Chad Collins was particularly helpful: “He not only checked out
Body Mass Index, he taught us how to use food guides for when we ate out and
gave us customised meal plans,” she says.

Having trimmed down significantly with a
tried and tested formula for how to get rid of the remaining weight, Stewart
finished the programme confident that she could continue losing weight. “Though
I was still some way off my ideal weight, I felt like a winner. I’d faced down
weight issues, tackled them face on and knew I was changed for the better,” she
says.

Having gone from a size 14 to a trim 10
meant gaining energy and making the commitment to continuing her healthy
lifestyle regime. Seven months on not only does she lift weights once a week
but hits the at her local gym, Reyah, who sometimes accompanies her to the gym
colouring book in hand sees her mother “extercise” as she calls it.

Having dropped another 17lbs and still
losing, last year’s fourth place winner vows to work out alongside this year’s
contestants to reach her ideal weight of 150lbs.

To for the WOW competition WOW and
Saturday, 24 July.

Involves:

Signing up for a 16 week-long weight loss
challenge

Regular scheduled activities including: an
hour of group exercise five times a week, bi-weekly visits with a team of
medical professionals to ensure weight loss is safe, a nutritional plan monitored
by a registered dietician

Each contestant having access to more than
$2,000 worth of expert advice, counselling and training

Support from past WOW participants, as well
as the WOW committee being on hand

The winner being selected in accordance
with criteria approved by WOW’s expert advisors, as well as points gained by
programme participation.

The winner receiving a year of nutritional
and personal training support as well as a day’s pampering at an on-island spa.

The three top losers each winning a prize
package, including gift certificates to help them continue their weight loss
programme.

It was only later, as
a signed up member of the War on Weight Competition that she learnt that her
erratic eating pattern was starving her body of the nutrients it needed.

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