Lighten Up! Challenge 2013: The weight loss and workouts continue

Losing weight is one thing. Being able to sustain it is another. “You need to work out real hard, keep working hard and keep eating the right foods,” said Yolanda Gomez of Kingsburg. The four Lighten Up! 2013 Challenge contestants continue their exercise program at Xcelerate Fitness in Selma.

Gomez dropped five pounds to 240. She had previously lost three pounds in the first two weeks.

“The more you put into it, the more you get out of it,” said Christy Roberts, trainer at Xcelerate Fitness.

Roberts said a big factor in Gomez’s weight loss has been the constant support of her five children encouraging her at the workouts.

“What her key to success is that she has a supportive family,” Roberts said. “She has a buddy every night, which is really a testament to how much her family loves her and how much they know she wants to do it as well.”

Ray Chavez recovered from a knee injury the previous week to drop 5.8 pounds. His current weight is 351.4.

“All the injuries I have are getting better,” said Chavez. “Yeah, I am still sore, but not as bad. As my weight goes down, a lot of the pain and soreness will go down.”

Chavez said finding a good eating balance is something essential to the consistent loss.

“The key is finding that balance in eating and making sure I can be productive in the afternoon and not eating so late,” Chavez said.

Dennis Wilson continues to lose weight as well. He lost another three pounds and is currently at 231.8.

“This is not a diet, this is not a fad, this is not Weight Watchers,” said Wilson. “This is a new way of life. If you just do this just to lose a few pounds and just go back, the results are going to stay the same.”

A key to Trent Jackson’s continuous motivation has been getting positive reinforcement from family and even people he has never met.

“I’m still getting a lot of encouragement,” Jackson said. “Some guy I didn’t even know said, ‘I have been reading about you in the Kingsburg Recorder.’ It’s nice to know that people care.”

Eric Garcia, who trains Jackson and Chavez, is proud of both of their accomplishments and says the duo has lost six to 10 inches from their chest, waist, neck and hips since they have started the competition.

“Overall, this week has been great for both,” said Garcia. “The most rewarding part for me is watching them leave with a smile on their face, knowing that they have been to a place that they wouldn’t be able to get to on their own. And if I get them coming back for more, pushing themselves harder each time, I will be achieving what I set out to do.”

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