Cayman’s biggest losers are big winners

The Cayman Heart Fund’s War on Weight saw 16 contestants battle it out for the top spot to become Cayman’s biggest loser. The winners gained so much more than simply weight loss. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull reports.
The second annual War on Weight initiative began at the end of August with 16 people all overweight and keen to get in shape and eventually be crowned the biggest loser at the end of the year. This diverse group came together with a collective aim – to lose weight and hopefully adopt a healthy lifestyle that will continue.
The committed and highly motivated group came from all walks of life and all ages. They were supported along their entire journey by WOW committee members (an offshoot of the Cayman Heart Fund). WOW committee members, Summer LaRue, David Dinner, Andrea Knox, Jacqueline Smith and Leandra Charles, were all keen to further their own healthy lifestyle and weight loss plans and were each assigned three or four contestants with whom they worked out.
Ernest Ebanks from Body Sculptor took part in the training of the WOW contestants for the last two years, supervising workouts, tracking weight and body fat and supervising contestants in taking part in his Boot Camp sessions, which are already designed for effective weight loss and were therefore perfect for the WOW contest. Nutritionist Chad Collins monitored the contestants’ diet throughout the programme and Doctors John Addleson and Mari Ellis conducted blood tests to check for blood glucose, cholesterol and thyroid abnormalities. Individuals’ statistics were measured and noted, such as age, height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, Body Mass Index and body measurements (shoulders, arms, thighs, calves, waist, chest and hips).
Laura Johnston says that once she was selected from the significant number of entrants to become part of the War on Weight initiative she was “thrilled and scared at the same time”, as she realised this was a commitment to herself and her sponsors, too. It was the impetus she needed. “Basically I need to be accountable to someone other than myself. Now I am,”
she confirms.
Initially quite scared to commit to exercise a minimum of four days a week, Laura says she became hooked. “I love it. If it rains I miss my boot camp and go to the gym instead, but I really love the structure of boot camp,” she says.
Laura came second in the WOW initiative, losing 22 pounds and over 30 inches from her body. She says she now feels great: “I have much more energy than before the WOW. I will endeavor to keep the weight off and continue to lose more weight. I have joined the gym and Body Sculpture and I want to continue with boot camp.”
Following the nutritional guidelines from Chad had been very easy and Laura says his advice was excellent advice and was clearly spelled out for the contestants.
“In the beginning I was hungry all the time, but then I became used to it,” she states.
Laura says she would encourage others to participate in the WOW contest: “Anyone that needs a jump start and is committed should try this programme,” she says. “On the whole it was a wonderful experience for me. All of the contestants were very supportive of each other. I am so thankful for this opportunity. I want to thank all of the sponsors. Body Sculpture. Chad Collins, the Cayman Heart Fund, Full of Beans, the Dr. Addleson and Ellis, Rayall Roberts and all of the supporters we gained along the way.”