Top row: John Comastro, Rose Umana, Jeff Parcell and Laura Miller shun doughnuts; Chris Miller, Rose Umana, kickboxing trainer and Cindy Brennan work out after work; Bottom row: Chris Miller, John Comastro, Laura Miller, Rose Umana and Jeff Parcell in their “before” photo; and Waisting Away team members step up to the Daily Herald Fittest Loser Challenge.

No, not wasted away in Margaritaville!

“Waisting Away” is the name chosen by five Anderson Lock employees who formed a team to compete in this year’s Daily Herald ‘Fittest Loser at Work Challenge.” Laura Miller, Rose Umana, Jeff Parcell, Chris Miller and John Comastro lost a combined total of 59 pounds in the 12-week challenge. Co-worker, Lisa Kelley, also entered the competition as a member of the “Drop it Like it’s Hot” team, representing the Des Plaines Park District, where she works part time.

“We are participating in the challenge this year to feel better, get healthier, and look better,” Laura Miller wrote in their entry email. “Our main goals are to lose 100 lbs, maintain healthier attitudes, explore new foods, and be more active. Our team plans to try new activities including a 5k and new heathier foods, while leaning on each other for support and team bonding.”

The Daily Herald, one of the competition sponsors, published regular challenge updates, including three photos which included members of these two teams. In one, teammates gathered around Anderson Lock vending machines. The caption identified team members, then said, “Laura Miller, Team Captain of team ‘Waisting Away’ of Anderson Lock yells at her team to “Put the cookies down!” A week earlier another Daily Herald photo caption noted, “Team Waisting Away of Anderson Lock teamed up with members from the Elk Grove Park District team ‘Drop it Like it’s Hot’ at the Zumba Party.” And, a couple of weeks before that, four of the Waisting Away team members were pictured in our company lunchroom with an open box of doughnuts, under the headline, “At Work teams focus on nutrition.” The caption included team member names, and, “The team is faced with temptation but chooses a healthy alternative. They went for a walk after this picture was taken to get their minds off the doughnuts.”

More than 2,000 pounds were lost by 400 contestants from 75 different companies in this year’s Fittest Loser Challenge. In addition to weekly weigh-ins, teams were challenged to attend five different co-sponsored activities, like the Zumba party and a Smoothie class. A cardio-kickboxing trainer led a workout class at Anderson Lock after work one day in April, and he is being invited back to help team members, and other interested employees, build up their strength, and keep lost pounds off.

To see more photos and information about the Fittest Loser at Work Challenge, click this link to Daily Herald news stories: