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Spring brings more energy, but more temptations
By Kent McDill | Daily Herald Correspondent

Wendy Kreiser


Jan Vitullo


Mike Anderson


Deb Mirabelli


Frank Valenti


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Published: 4/26/2010 12:01 AM

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The 2010 Fittest Loser competition started in the dead of winter, when it's hard to feel good about yourself.

But the weather has changed, and the Fittest Losers are enjoying the spring with their new bodies.

Eight weeks into a 12-week competition sponsored by Push Fitness in Schaumburg, the five contestants are following a strict diet-and-exercise program to see who can lose the most weight as a percentage of his or her starting weight.

While spring boosted their energy, good weather provides new distractions, and the competitors have to figure out how to fit their new lifestyle into their spring routine.

Here's how they plan to tackle the challenge.

Mike Anderson, 23, of Palatine

Current weight: 339

Weight lost: 39 pounds

"With the weather getting nicer, maintaining the workouts should be easier because now working out inside is not the only option. The diet should be easier as well, because now food can be grilled instead of cooked on the stove or in the oven, increasing the ways the food can be prepared."

Wendy Kreiser, 25, of Streamwood

Current weight: 328

Weight lost: 19 pounds

"I love being outdoors and spending as much time as I can outside during spring and summer. I always go for walks with my kids. I know I will be active with them, but I also know there will be summer birthdays, family get-togethers and other events. I just have to remember to eat clean and keep moving. Normally, I would eat what I wanted and just sit back the entire time. I plan on being up and moving around."

Deb Mirabelli, 44, of Berwyn

Current weight: 215

Weight lost: 21 pounds

"As the contest goes on there are things that are easier and things that are harder. The regimen is getting difficult to keep feeling 'up' all the time. But it is easier to get the meal plan together as now I 'get it'. The workouts are getting more intense, and it is difficult."

Frank Valenti, 54, of Bartlett

Current weight: 259

Weight lost: 36 pounds

"The warmer weather has actually motivated me to go outside for my daily exercise because I love enjoying the outdoors. While being outside, I have been stopped by my neighbors and they have been giving me compliments on my weight loss and sharing words of encouragement."

Jan Vitullo, 50, of Lombard

Current weight: 206

Weight lost: 26 pounds

"I love this time of year. I just never loved what had been hiding under my oversized sweatshirts all winter long. It is easier to eat lighter in the summer months. I am happy it is grilling season. Also, being able to trade in the treadmill for a walk outside in the sunshine will be helpful in keeping me moving and motivated. Starting this program in February was perfect timing."