Two city schools battle for ‘fittest of fit’ honors

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 16, 2002

The main topic of study over the last three weeks for a numberof elementary school teachers has been about cutting calories,getting in shape and sending donuts to the “enemy.”

Teachers and faculty at Martin Elementary School and BrookhavenElementary School have challenged each other to get fit thissemester.

Staff members are working hard to ensure they are part of thewinning team — the school that loses the most weight by the lastweek of classes in December.

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“The losing school has got to cook supper for the winningschool,” said BES Principal Pam Fearn, who thought up the ideaalong with Martin Principal Danita Hobbs.

They started the fitness challenge with the help of school nurseRosie Oates and a fitness center owner Todd Peavey, who performedpre-challenge tests on the participants.

“He gave us two goals. One is what we should lose by December,and the other is our ideal weight,” said Fearn.

Peavey also determined each participants’ body fat, while Oatesset up information cards about height and weight so participantscan keep track of their progress.

Then they sent the staff members on their way in search of themost successful way to lose weight and get in shape.

“Each teacher can do their own thing,” said BES assistantprincipal Lorraine Carey.

Teachers have chosen plans to eat smaller portions of food, eathealthier, not eat sugar, drink plenty of water or just adopt aregular workout program.

“We want this to be a lifestyle, not just a diet,” said Oates,who stresses healthy weight loss rather than crash dieting.

She has offered a number of suggestions and plenty of advice tothe participants. She is joined by the entire staffs at bothschools in an effort to support the participants.

“It’s neat because it promotes camaraderie. It also promotesbonding with the staff at the other school,” said Hobbs. “They’rereally having a lot of fun with it.”

Some of the “fun” includes tricks and treats, such as tastydonuts sent to the opposing team’s schools. Last week, Carey madeher famous bear claw cinnamon rolls especially for the staff atMartin Elementary.

Despite the temptations, the teachers have stayed away andmanaged to lose quite a bit of weight each week.

In the first weighing by Oates, who plays a neutral role in thechallenge, Martin Elementary teachers lost a total of 66.5 pounds.The next week BES staff members recorded 69.25 pounds lost, whilethe third week of weighing saw the Martin Elementary staff losinganother 60.25 pounds.