That's what at least one member of the come-from-slightly-behind champions vowed after winning this year's community weight loss competition for charity.
Never Say Never pounded out the miles, sweat and salads to win the 2010 Tribune Chronicle-St. Elizabeth / St. Joseph Health Centers Fitness Challenge championship.
From left, Jeff Tate, Joe Matig, Tony Cella, Pete Millica and Terry Swager are the members of Never Say Never, the 2010 Fitness Challenge champions. The team was awarded year memberships to the Mayor Ralph A. Infante Wellness Center in Niles.
The Calorie Counters, from left, Becke Ballentine, Colleen Rose, Bob Perlick, Grace Walker and Amber Hill.
The Kings of Carz, from left, Bob Marzullo, Tom Roberts, Tino Merlo,
Pete Luongo and Craig Sutch.
''We were miserable. It was probably the worst week of our lives,'' team member Pete Mollica said.
But when grueling work leads to winning: ''It makes it really worthwhile,'' he said.
Still, ''the lettuce market will go down with this Challenge being over,'' he said. ''We're not having lettuce!''
Seventy-five teams of five members each spent February and March eating better and exercising more - some of them LOTS more - to shed the pounds.
At the ends of Weeks 1 through 9, the quintet calling themselves the Calorie Counters were at the top of the heap. It appeared that they would become the first team in the nine years of the competition to lead the Challenge from wire to wire.
But in the final week, Week 10, second-place Never Say Never made its move and finally, convincingly powered past the Calorie Counters.
When the scales stopped jiggling, Never Say Never had lost a Fitness Challenge record 18.9 percent of their starting weight, and the Calorie Counters dropped 17.8 percent.
''It was extremely disappointing,'' Counters captain Bob Perlik said. ''I thought we could keep it, and to lose in the last week...''
Never Say Never earned $1,500 for first place for its designated charity, Someplace Safe Inc. domestic violence shelter, and the Calorie Counters collect $1,000 for second place for The Nicholson Center for adults with disabilities.
The Calorie Counters followed detailed nutrition plans, including eating six smaller meals a day instead of three large ones, and drinking lots of water, plus they went heavy with high-intensity interval training.
After the first week, Perlik commented that "my blood pressure dropped from 170 over 90 to something like 135 over 78. That benefit alone, with the heart problems in my family, that's giving me motivation."
But after 10 weeks and a Challenge-best 69.5 pounds lost, Perlik said, ''I was pretty maxed out. We peaked too early. We were able to keep it going for a while.
''Never Say Never, they did it. They have the experience.''
The Nevers finished as runners-up last year and won the championship in 2007 as Inlaws/Outlaws. They took 2008 off.
Motoring into third place this year at 14.3 percent was the Kings of Carz, co-workers at Toyota of Warren. Third was good for $600 for its designee, the Children's Rehabilitation Center.
Call it teamwork. Or call it nagging. Whichever it was, working together, eating together and exercising together kept them in the top 10.
''We're with each other for some long hours,'' team captain Tino Merlo said midway through the competition. ''Every time someone picks something up, we're all looking at him: 'What have you got? How many calories is that?' There's no cheating."
But man does not slim by grilled chicken salads alone.
''We all go to the gym. It's strictly a cardio workout, mainly treadmill and bikes.
Charging into fourth place at 13.9 percent was the Lite Brigade, earning $400 for the Rich Center for Autism. The team ranked ninth in weeks 2 and 3 and spent the previous three weeks in sixth place.
Team captain Merle McConnell said, ''All team members are old football players. I guess our competitive spirit is still with us even at our age.''
Ken Ferrance is 68, Paul Kopko is 67, McConnel is 62, Don Young is 59 and Dave Zelenek is 45.
''The last week, two on our team did body cleansing. Ken, who lost 12 pounds the last week, ate vegetables and did the Cleveland Clinic Diet. Paul stayed on his Atkins Diet. Paul lost 40 3/4 pounds - 17.79 percent, in 10 weeks. Don just continued to watch and ate mostly vegetables.
''All team members exercised throughout the competition,'' McConnell said.
Rounding out the top five at a 13.6 percent team loss was Four Tubbies and a Chubby Hubby, netting $350 for the American Cancer Society.
''The team approach was wonderful support and just enough guilt mixed together. You don't want to make Sue (Somich, team captain) mad!,'' team member Karen DeFrancesco said.
''I am hoping to continue on to greater weight loss since I had to take in all my pants, and now if I gain the weight back, I will have no clothes to wear to work every day,'' she said.
Sue Shafer, Tribune Chronicle community events coordinator, said a major goal of the competition is encourage people to begin a healthier lifestyle and to keep at it long enough until eating better and exercising morphs into a habit.
''It really is pretty amazing to have this many people trying to concentrate on losing weight and doing it in a healthy way,'' Shafer said. ''And a couple of tons later... It's awesome.''
Tony Cella of champions Never Say Never said keeping it going is his plan, too.
''I went to work out this morning and I didn't want to. I've come too far to stop,'' Cella said the day after the last weigh-in.
This year ''I stopped all soda, chips, I even stopped coffee,'' Cella said. ''I switched to a fiber diet and it helped. Before, I did a low-carb diet with low fiber servings. I was trying something different. I found something that works.
''I sent my guys an e-mail. I said, 'The fat lady is not done singing. We're going to do this.'''
The team started at 1,087 pounds - an average 217.4 pounds a person. Ten weeks later, they were down by 205.75, meaning they lost almost the equivalent of a teammate.
In this game, losing means winning.