You'd better believe it.
The Believers Bulge Busters not only shook loose from their up-close-and-personal rivals, they also raced to the front of the pack.
The Bulge Busters survived a week of shenanigans to become the new leaders of the 10th annual Tribune Chronicle-St. Elizabeth / St. Joseph Centers Fitness community weight loss competition to benefit charity.
“French Chef” Steve Ferrebee of the Believers Bulge Busters delivers a dozen doughnuts to rival team the PsyCare Shake Weight Shedders in Howland as part of the annual Fitness Challenge hijinx.
"That's pretty phenomenal," Bulge Buster Bruce Buckler said. "It's exciting.''
The Kings of Carz, who ranked No. 1 in each of the first three weeks, dropped to second place. And last week's second-place team, the PsyCare Shake Weight Shedders, now shudders in third.
Buckler's daughter, Janelle, is captain of the Shedders and his wife is captain of the Busters, which has made for some interesting talk around the dining room table. It also led to some dirty tricks.
At noon Wednesday, Steve Ferrebee of the Busters donned a French chef outfit, complete with foofy hat and phoney mustache, and delivered a big ol' box of doughnuts to the Shedders at the PsyCare clinic in Howland.
What the Busters didn't know was that the Shedders already had made arrangements to deliver Blue Iris cupcakes at 1 p.m. to Believers Christian Fellowship in Warren, where Bruce Buckler is the children's pastor.
''We had fun this week trading pastries and doughnuts,'' Buckler said. ''This caps it off."
Buckler admits that one of the doughnuts did make it to his home.
"My grandson ate it. He's the only one in the house able to eat real food!''
While the race at the top is clustering up like grapes, the best single-week performance came from the other end of the vine. A team of family members known as the Peanut Heads posted a one-week loss of 2.06 percent, which rocketed them up from 43rd place last week to 21st this week.
"We had a couple members that were slow to start," Peanuts captain Lisa Winch said. "We knew we had to kick it into gear.''
The team lost 20 pounds last week, nearly half of their four-week total of 46.25 pounds.
''We just got real serious. One member started spinning class this week and we get on our treadmills. More exercise is about it.
"My dad (teammate Dan McEowen) said he hasn't been under the weight he's at in 20 years," Winch said.
Also making a big move was the team Right to Bare Arms, which zoomed from 48th place last week to 19th this week.
However, to qualify for Team of the Week honors, all five teams have to weigh in and weights have to be reported in both the current and preceding weeks to make it a true one-week difference. Various people throughout the Fitness Challenge missed a weigh-in and a couple sites didn't get numbers reported on time for the March 3 weigh-in.
It's another number besides what's on the scales that's adding to motivation, Bruce Buckler said. Each Fitness Challenge team selected a nonprofit organization for which it is playing. Each group will receive at least $225, and the top 10 teams earn more for their charity - up to a minimum $1,350 for first place.
"What's driving us is we want to do well for the Bella Women's Center," Buckler said, citing his group's service organization of choice. "It's like all the other teams with these great charities. They all believe in their charity. We're passionate for the cause.
"Of course there's the health issue of it. Hopefully, we'll make some changes that will last beyond 10 weeks."
Things are a bit bunched up at the top.
While Believers Bulge Busters convincingly are in first place by having lost 8.55 percent of their starting weight, a pound or two could have jostled the standings in the next three spots.
Kings of Carz have lost 7.95 percent, the Shake Weight Shedders are at 7.91 percent and the PB's Pastry Puffs had a great week to move up to fourth place - and nearly into third - at 7.90 percent of starting weight lost.
If a Fitness Challenger is trying to lose weight - which seems to be one of the key points of a weight-loss competition - should his or her exercise program stick to cardio work only?
''Absolutely not,'' said Ryan Foertch, manager of the Humility of Mary Health Partners Competitive Edge Sports Medicine. ''You should lift weights and do sit-ups.
''You want to target all muscle groups, but most importantly you need to watch your diet and caloric intake,'' he said. ''You can work out all you want, but if you continue to eat everything, then you won't change your body composition. You have to eat right and exercise."
GROUPS WE'D LIKE TO
TAKE TO DINNER
Each week, we take a look at one of the charities and services for which our teams are playing. This week, we check in with Tom Rider, captain of the Fat Compactors, who are playing for the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation.
''I am the girls varsity golf coach at Warren JFK,'' Rider said. ''I have been the coach for 15 years and started the team in 1997 so my daughter could play high school golf.
''In 1996, the Warren-Youngstown area had the highest concentration of girls high school teams. Toledo had a few and the Cincinnati area had almost as many as Warren-Youngstown. There were NO girls golf teams in the Cleveland area.''
''In 2001, a group in the Cleveland area decided to hold a girls golf tournament to further interest in girls golf in Ohio,'' Rider said. ''This Ohio Girls Golf Foundation was a few years old at that time and was giving out scholarships to help girls attend college and even helped finance girls who qualified for National golf events.
''I attended this first tournament with the JFK girls golf team and was really affected by this group's enthusiasm. I am now tournament director and this will be our 10th anniversary tournament on July 18 at Avon Oaks Country Club. There are now 263 girls golf teams in the state with over 100 in northeast Ohio.''
So let's get back to the aforementioned Peanut Heads. How did they come up with that team name?
''It's a family joke,'' Winch said.
Once looking through some photos, some family members became distressed to see how they had grown as persons. It wasn't the kind of growing they wanted to do.
"One family member said, 'My head looks like a peanut!'" Winch said.
The phrase "peanut head" stuck.