Eight of the teams in the top 10 stayed there. Believers' Bulge Busters kept first place, Refuel remains in second, and the Wellness Warriors took over third. But there was a whole lot of shaking, shifting and reshaping of the standings throughout the bulk of Week 2 of the Fitness Challenge community weight loss competition to benefit local charities.
The Farm Team led the charge, vaulting into Team of the Week status with a single-week best of shedding 2.25 percent of their starting weight. Those nearly 21 combined pounds lost last week by the five team members ran the Farm Team from 53rd place last week to 37th this week.
"Everybody is on portion control," team captain Bob Biery Jr. said Friday afternoon after returning from a bicycle ride. "That and exercise."
From left, Becky Litowitz, Addie Litowitz, Bud Hite and Tammie Williams — also known as the Honeybadgers —?square off against Luanne Hite, second from right, and Dave Williams, who are both on the Steamrollers team.
Biery, a member of the Trumbull County Board of Health and owner of Hurd's Store in Southington, said he's on track to lose his goal of 20 pounds over the 10 weeks of the Challenge.
"I just quit eating bread, which I ate a lot of, and I cut out the doughnuts with the guys at the store in the morning. I cut out pop, I eat three meals a day, and I don't eat anything after 6 at night."
Two other teams moving on up were the Steam Rollers - from 39th to 42nd - and the Honey Badgers - from 54th to 50th. They are rival teams of brothers, sisters, spouses, nieces and nephews.
"It's a great support system," Steam Rollers captain Tammie Williams said. "Even those family members who couldn't participate in the Challenge come in to The Well with us (to walk). It's been great."
Williams said there's no worry about starting in the lower half of the standings.
"Our name says it all. We're going to build up steam and take care of the whole thing," Williams said. "Keep on truckin'. We're steam rolling along."
---- On the menu
For those of you who came in late, the Tribune Chronicle / St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth Health Centers Fitness Challenge works like this:
Teams of five designate a service organization for which they are playing. The team that loses the greatest percentage of its starting weight wins at least $1,350 for its charity; second place, $900; third, $540; fourth, $360; fifth to seventh, $315 each; eighth to tenth, $270 each; all others, $225.
Also, the team with the best one-week showing earns a bonus $10 for its charity that week, putting another $100 in play.
Believers' Bulge Busters collected the $10 the first week and, as mentioned above, the Farm Team picks up the 10 bonus bucks this week.
---- Tips and tasty tidbits
Challenge dietitian Lauren Manusakis of Humility of Mary Health Partners challenges our Challengers to give up dieting and instead concentrate on developing healthy eating habits to last a lifetime - an extended lifetime. This week, she discusses mindful eating:
"This concept stresses a person's relationship with food," Manusakis said. "Identify the following: Hunger and fullness cues; triggers to eating such as emotions, boredom, stress, social pressures, social events; and valuing the quality of food eaten verse the quantity.
"This focus helps us disengage from habitual routines with foods," she said.
"For example, are you eating when you're not hungry? Do you have 'No Food' zones established to prevent you from pigging out in front of the TV at night? Do certain stressors in your life cause you to eat more, or eat unhealthy foods?
"How can you change these to be more mindfully aware of what and how much you are eating? What can you change to adjust your relationship with food?"
Take care of these, and you could take care of "dieting" for good.
"Some people eat to live," Manusakis said. "Do you live to eat?"
---- Fat facts
Sixty-six five-player teams entered the 2012 Fitness Challenge, second only to the 75 that played in 2010. The third-largest number of teams in the 11 years of the Challenge was 62 in 2007, followed by 61 last year.
The fewest number of teams was eight, in both 2002 and 2004.
Twelve of this year's teams are sponsored by Covelli Enterprises, the most from any one business or organization. Those teams are comprised of the employees of the Covelli corporate offices in Warren or their food franchises, Panera Bread and O'Charley's restaurants.
---- Groups we'd like to take to dinner
Teams often have very personal reasons why they play for the groups they do. Such is the case for Southside Environmental, as team captain Jason Davis explains:
"The charity we chose is the Danielson-Davis Relay For Life team," Davis said. "This will be our sixth year in the Niles Relay For Life.
"The charity is for my mom, who has fought and defeated ovarian cancer twice over the last 13 years, and she is currently undergoing chemo again for ovarian cancer," Davis said.
"My mom is the strongest person I know, and her courage, strength and determination is my inspiration for this Challenge."
---- Food labels
How do teams come up with those names? This week, we ask Laureen Theodore, captain of Bankers Beauties.
"We all work at the bank (Farmers National in Niles) and we feel women are beautiful from the inside out no matter how big or small you are.
"The employees at Farmers National Bank have been like a family to me," said Theodore, who lost a son, Michael Jr., in an automobile accident. "They have helped me get through the days by crying with me, letting me walk away to calm down when I'm having a rough day. They pray for me and give me a hug when I need one. That's why we chose the name Bankers Beauties."
---- Smacking of the lips
At least three teams this year are centered around the Trumbull County Courthouse, populated by sheriff's deputies, clerks of court and other officers.
"It's vicious over here," Deputy Rochelle Dykes of Trumbull County Deputies 137 said. Rival teams like probation officer Vince Peterson's All In will try sabotage to gain the upper hand.
"They send us boxes of doughnuts, cookies, candies," Dykes said.
But Mike Platt, captain of the third team, the Phat Pharm, is laying the smack down:
"Roach and Vince, it's a new year but the same results - see ya at the finish line," Platt said.
Big words considering that at the moment, it's the Deputies in ninth place, All In in 15th and the Phat Pharm trailing them both in 22nd for now. Stay tuned.