The top three teams in the 12-week Get Fit Challenge presented by Bothwell Regional Health Center kept their spots in the 24-week challenge that ended this weekend with a weigh-in at W-K Chevrolet.

The purpose of the Get Fit Challenge is to promote a healthy and happy lifestyle in Sedalia and surrounding communities by offering unique opportunities and spreading the word of all things healthy in the area.

The challenge kicked off Jan. 19 with the Get Fit Health Expo presented by Healthy U. More than 100 teams signed up, some for the 12-week option that ended April 13, some for the 24-week option, and most signed up for both.

In first place was Tara Sleeper and Marianne Davis, team Miss Fits, who lost 26.71% of their initial body weight. Second place was Eddie and Dawn Bybee, team 2991, who lost 25.78%. Third place was Tansel and Anna Jones, team Fit Thru Faith, who lost 15.36%. Fourth place was Billie Capps and Christy Radu, team Weapons of Less Consumption, who lost 14.18%. In fifth place was Kourtney and Shane Able, The A Team, who lost 10.11%. 

Davis was the overall winner, losing 31.64% of her initial body weight. The Democrat will again donate to a local nonprofit and the Get Fit Youth Fund, and Davis chose Cancer Perks, the same organization she chose after winning the 12-week challenge.

Miss Fits

Davis and Sleeper held the first-place spot and both said it feels great to win both challenges. The duo was close to first place in the 2018 challenge and was determined to win in 2019.

Sleeper stayed consistent with her Keto diet and continued to lose weight despite not having much time for exercise in her busy schedule with work and band practice. 

“I’m definitely more confident, my clothes fit better, my skin looks a lot better since doing Keto. I’m sleeping better,” she said. “... it’s a more consistent level of energy. I feel overall a lot better.”

Davis said she missed less than a dozen days of working out at the gym so far in 2019. She said willpower was her best tool, getting up the strength to go to the gym even when she didn’t feel up to it and saying no to cake at a recent family wedding. After she became frustrated with pounds not coming off, she also avoided looking at the scale for the last six weeks of the challenge.

“I feel great. Mentally I feel better about myself, physically I wore an 18 before and now I wear a 9,” she said. “My feet aren’t swelling, my asthma decreased, just made me more aware of what I’m eating — I go to the store and look at everything. I didn’t eat anything white, rice or bread. Last night we had tuna fish sandwiches and I wrapped it in lettuce instead of bread.”

Both women said they plan to continue their new healthier lifestyles. Davis said she hopes to lose an additional 20 pounds by the end of the year.

“I’m not doing the challenge next year. Everybody else can try to win it again, but I’m not going back,” Sleeper said laughing. “People at work were checking me to see if I have any bread or carbs, but nope I’ve found too many substitutes. I’ll have a cheat day once a week or so, but I’m eating food it’s tasting so good it’s hard to believe it’s diet food. I don’t see myself gaining the weight back.”


The husband-wife duo stayed in second place and Dawn Bybee said it “feels awesome” to do so.

Bybee said their strategy was 95% diet, eliminating processed foods and added sugars and incorporating more natural foods.

“The plan is to maintain and be able to compete next year, but not to have the ammunition to compete,” she said. “I think it’s a pretty cool program, but if you only work during the program then you’re not really succeeding. We did it with no supplements, no gym membership, it had to be us doing it with the knowledge we had so it could be sustainable.”

She said they both are feeling better overall mentally and physically and that it “just puts you in a better frame of mind.” She also added that they met the goal they listed when signing up for Get Fit in January — lose weight — but as the challenge progressed, she realized they were aiming for a different goal.

“The name of the contest is Get Fit not Get Thin. It’s not about weight loss as much as it is getting fit,” she said. “We followed programs in the past but didn’t feel good. Where if you educate yourself and learn how to get fit, then, in the end, all of those things follow. 

“... Now I know the ultimate goal – in a year we compete again but come back reasonably close to where we are now.”

Fit Thru Faith

Tansel and Anna Jones also stayed in third place after claiming third in the 12-week challenge; they also placed second in 2018.

“It feels pretty good,” Tansel Jones said of third place. “Considering last year was only 12 weeks and this was double the amount of time, we wanted to make sure we continued to do what we did the first 12 to do just as well in the second 12 weeks and not only that but to be able to extend it to the rest of the year and keep going.”

He said the couple focused on strategically planning ahead, especially when the summer months hit and were full of family events and outings with plenty of food options that didn’t fit their new diet.

He also said their biggest goal was not to fall back into bad habits once the challenge ended, noting they planned for long-term in 2019 compared to short-term in 2018. They now have a better idea of how to be more strategic and plan to continue down the healthier path.

“We’re feeling good, just more active, getting out there, doing more things, more mental clarity, just feeling better all the time,” he said. “For me personally, I move easier, I'm not as winded, I just feel better overall. I got back into clothes I’ve been holding back and that feels good. Even losing this amount I was able to go to Walmart and buy T-shirts and not have to special order my clothes. It just motivates me even more to continue.”


Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.