W shapes up to shop with 2017 Spring Fitness Challenge

Lauren Shuman

Online Editor

The 2017 Spring Fitness Challenge is already underway, with 244 W students and faculty members competing to be the “biggest loser” this semester.

For five years now, Campus Recreation and Passport to Wellness have sponsored and organized this weight-loss competition. Yet LeAnn Alexander, director of Campus Recreation, says there’s more to it than just dropping a few pounds.

“Weight is, of course, pounds. It’s one aspect of being healthy. But our ultimate goal is for people to be more active, to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle,” Alexander said.

This year’s challenge is called “Shape Up to Shop.” The two students and two faculty members who shape up the most by losing the highest percentage of weight will each win a $500 Visa gift card.

The first weigh-in was held in January. Volunteers and staff from the College of Nursing, as well as Campus Recreation and Passport to Wellness recorded participants’ weight, took their blood pressure and provided nutritional expertise. Free T-shirts and high-protein snacks from the Culinary Arts department gave participants even more motivation.

There will be three more weigh-ins before the winners are announced at the Big Reveal. The program is also hosting special guest speakers throughout the semester to talk about health and wellness.

Students Allie Chesnut and Chris Richardson are both participating in the challenge, and have seen positive results already.

“Now that I changed my diet, I’m a better football player and I just feel better health-wise, period,” Richardson said.

“Once you get into a routine of eating better and working out almost every day, then you seem like you have more energy when you wake up, like you’re ready to go,” Chesnut said. “You start seeing a change in your body, so it motivates you to try even more and try even harder.”

It may be too late to sign up for this semester’s competition, but there are still plenty of ways to create your own shape-up process with the wide variety of resources offered here on campus.

“I think [students] have every opportunity to be healthy,” said Marion McEwen, wellness coordinator. “We provide a lot – now whether or not they all take advantage of it is completely up to them.”