FDL Reporter.com -- Working together, a trio of Fond du Lac co-workers set their minds to dropping pounds — and just maybe taking home a check for $10,000 in the process.
Darlene Angle, Brenda Uhlig and Michele Born, employees at All About Life Rehabilitation Center,115 E. Arndt St., banded together with two corporate employees in a weight-loss mission that started in April. They called themselves "Foxy Ladies."
It was part of a contest being touted by their parent corporation, Extendicare Healthcare Services. Though they didn't win the big check, they felt like winners with their new slimmer shapes and increased energy.
"We just got an email from corporate to take part in this (The Wisconsin Matchup weight-loss contest) and a group of us thought, ‘Let's join up,'" said Angle, administrator of the All About Life facility.
The top three teams would be awarded cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000, respectively.
The All About Life team started walking at lunch and weighing in every week to keep track of progress.
"I'm not one for the gym," Angle said about her decision to lift weights and walk at home.
Angle lost 25 pounds in three months. At times, she was averaging a loss of almost three pounds a week.
"I was surprised how just an hour of exercise (a day) helped," she said.
A change in diet helped, too.
Before, it was carbohydrates, pasta — anything she could make quickly. Those foods were replaced with more fruits and vegetables and, importantly, a healthy breakfast before work.
"If I didn't eat breakfast, I would be looking for what's in my desk or what snacks were in the gift shop," she said.
Angle said she learned it was OK to have a more relaxed attitude toward eating on weekends.
"I think that's why most diets fail," she said. "If you say I can't have this anymore, that's all I'm going to think about."
Foxy Ladies team member Brenda Uhlig, a mother of four who dropped two clothing sizes in three months, said she had to cut her huge soda-drinking habit.
"I was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago," the 37-year-old Mount Calvary resident said.
She switched to diet soda — something she didn't like as well.
Uhlig, director of nursing at All About Life, said her weight loss came as a result of her focus on portion size and by trying to cut down on the all-day munching.
Her willpower was boosted by an increase in activity.
"We walked every day on our lunch hour," Uhlig said of the Foxy Ladies trio. "Me and Michele (Born) would go to the gym for an hour after work."
Thinking about a workout often was worse than actually getting out and doing it.
Uhlig said a weekly weigh-in and the support and camaraderie of her co-workers made a big difference
She advises anyone attempting weight loss to stay focused.
"It's not just going to fall off," she said. "It takes diet and exercise. You've got to be able to burn more than you put in. You need to have an activity."
At the beginning, riding a stationary bike at the gym was a challenge. Now, Uhlig, a fan of the "Biggest Loser" TV show, is used to riding for 45 minutes.
Bonnie Shaw, director of business services at All About Life, said co-workers were proud of the Foxy Ladies for sticking with their goals.
"It's easy to go to a fast food place and grab hamburgers," she said. "But they stuck to it, ate better and walked every day — even in the winter.
"You can really tell," she continued. "They look really good.