Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The 2011 Go Red challengers lost a total of 85.6 pounds and 68.5 inches, dropped their total cholesterol by 183 points and slashed their triglycerides by 461 points.  By Lisa Hanchey

Wednesday, May 18, is the official send-off for the 2011 Go Red for Women Personally Fit Challenge ladies, and I must say that I’m sad it’s over. This year’s group of women really supported and inspired each other to push through the tough times in order to meet their personal fitness goals. But, like all good things, the challenge must come to an end, allowing the ladies to take flight and maintain results on their own.

For the last hurrah, the ladies were honored May 18 at the Go Red Luncheon sponsored by Lafayette General Medical Center at the Hilton Lafayette. The popular event featured speakers Dr. Nick Cavros, LGMC cardiologist; Dr. John Patterson, cardiologist at Cardiovascular Institute of the South; keynote speaker Holly Clegg, author of the cookbook Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age!; and emcee Tracy Wirtz, KATC TV3 news anchor. An annual highlight is the “Red Purse” auction, offering designer bags packed with themed gift certificates. Following breakout sessions with health and fitness experts, medical professionals and inspirational women, the attendees adjourned to a delicious, heart-healthy luncheon.

During the program, Personally Fit owner Dawn Foreman, who led the women selected for the challenge, announced the overall results. For 12 grueling weeks, the ladies participated in FUEL (Food Used as Energy for Life — Personally Fit’s group weight loss program), and personal and small group training sessions. At the end, the seven women completing the challenge (it started with 10) lost a total of 85.6 pounds and 68.5 inches; dropped their total cholesterol by 183 points and slashed their triglycerides by 461 points.

The “Biggest Loser” was Rose Cormier, Health Information Center coordinator/public relations coordinator of the Woman’s Foundation Inc., as well as part-time actress and singer.

Cormier lost an astounding 23 pounds and 13.25 inches, with her cholesterol tumbling by 88 points, LDL dropping by 38 points, triglycerides by 118 points and glucose by 31 points.
“It is such a blessing to be able to help improve the lives of the ladies and their families,” Foreman says. “All of our ladies made great strides to a healthier lifestyle; these changes will stick. Every year just keeps getting better. More women apply, and the level of excitement regarding the program keeps rising. Women drive the bus — they make the health and nutrition decisions for their families.”

This year, The Independent Weekly, one of the event’s media sponsors, will bestow its first “Most Inspirational” award on one unsuspecting challenger at the annual luncheon. For this important honor, the seven finishing ladies in the Personally Fit Challenge selected the woman in the group who most inspired them. In truth, though, it could have been any one of the seven.

For participant Anna Nugent, office manager/collections at Overhead Door Company of Lafayette Inc., the choice was not easy. “This is a very hard and difficult decision,” Nugent wrote. “It was a great honor in itself to be chosen to participate in this program. I applied and accepted this challenge to better my health and to lose weight. Not only did I accomplish my biggest goal [which was to be able to get off my diabetic meds], I also met the most incredible group of ladies. We were all inspired by each other. We pushed each other with encouragement and with laughter, and I am sure there were a few tears. This was difficult for me to decide on one person, because without all my ‘Go Red Warrior Princesses,’ I feel I would not have been able to accomplish my goals.”

Breaking the rules a bit, challenger Cormier actually cast her vote for Personally Fit’s Foreman. “If it wasn’t for her, her business Personally Fit, her staff and her food program, FUEL, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Cormier says. “If it needs to be someone who was one of the Go Red for Women participants, then I would have to say the five women — Anna, Bonnie [Robert-Will], Debbie [Mercke], Carol [Hebert] and Eileen [Green] — who I like to call the Go Red for Women Zena Warrior Princesses — who really participated as much as they could in the three special workouts each week with the trainer. They participated in the FUEL program, tried to work out individually — morning or evening — tried to attend various aerobic classes and gave me a great deal of support and friendship. My life is forever changed.”

To participate in FUEL or the 2012 challenge, call Personally Fit at (337) 989-5239. Invitations to apply for next year’s Go Red for Women Personally Fit Challenge will be mailed in December. To receive your invitation, go to

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