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The teams and individual winners coming in first and second in the Semper Fit Slimpossible fitness challenge pose for a group photo with their prize packs at the awards ceremony on March 26.

Photo by Eve A. Baker

Semper Fit Slimpossible challenge wraps up, fitness prize packages awarded to winners

2 Apr 2015 | Eve A. Baker Marine Corps Base Quantico

Participants in the recent Semper Fit Slimpossible challenge lost a collective 180.5 pounds between Jan. 20 and March 26. The contest promoted overall physical fitness and health, and contestants earned points for participating in group exercise classes, blood pressure checks, and body fat assessments, as well as for weight loss. The award ceremony was held March 26 for the top two teams and individual competitors.

Coming in first in the team competition was Waist Management, consisting of Doug Doer, a capabilities analyst with Marine Corps Combat Development Command, and Tim Connolly, an analyst with Training and Education Command. They earned a total of 290 points. Tim lost 10 pounds, and while Doug lost nine during the competition. He has actually lost more than 60 pounds since last year, with “20 to go,” he said.

Doug and Tim went to the gym together every morning before work and did 35 minutes of cardio or weights, and they would bike at lunch. In 2005, they biked the entire length of the C&O Canal together, which stretches 184 miles from Cumberland, Maryland, to Georgetown.

The second-place team, The Golden Girls, with 254 points, consisting of Master Gunnery Sgt. Rolanda Bailey, enlisted assignments monitor for supply and administrative Marines, and Gunnery Sgt Zhivonnie Edwards, a sergeant instructor at Officer Candidates School. Bailey lost 11.6 pounds, and Edwards lost five pounds. Their exercises of choice were running, spinning, yoga and pitayo.

In the individual category, Quantico fire fighter Brian Nicholson came in first, with 147 points, having lost 21.6 pounds.

Nicholson credits his weight loss to healthier eating and daily workouts at the gym. He says he spends about two hours at the gym every day, starting with weights and then doing at least 35 minutes of some type of cardio exercise at the end.

Nicholson participated in last year’s challenge as well, but said he used the crash dieting method, and that wasn’t healthy for him. Now he focuses on portion control and limiting fast food meals to emergency situations only.

The second-place winner was Lt. Cmdr. Erika Digel, from the Washington Navy Yard, who earned 136 points and lost 15.4 pounds. Her exercises of choice are zumba, cardio-based fitness classes and swimming. She swims for 45 minutes three times every week.

Though 27 teams of two and 35 individuals began the challenge in early January, only eight teams and nine individuals made it through to the end.

Previous contests have had more competitors stick it out to the end, but organizer Lisa Vice said she was seeing unhealthy weight loss methods such as crash dieting, so this year’s contest was based on points earned, not simply pounds lost.

The prize packs for the first place team and individual included fitness equipment and gift certificates worth more than $150, and the prize packs for second place were worth more than $100.

— Writer:

Marine Corps Base Quantico