A sailing trip to St. Thomas with his son’s Boy Scout troop was the motivator for Brent Cable’s 58 pount weight loss, which made him the winner in Liberty’s annual Commit to Get Fit (CTGF). The Boy Scouts of America has weight restrictions for high adventure trips and at 289.5 pounds, Cable was over the limit.
The IT manager and former Navy Petty Officer was one of 141 participants in the annual fitness challenge which begin in January and concluded earlier this month after weeks of exercise, group sessions with trainers and changes in eating habits.
“My main motivation was that trip I’m taking this summer with my son, Andrew,” Cable said. “We’ve been talking about it a long time and I didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity with him.
“Fifty-eight pounds was not my goal when I started. My goal for the 12 weeks was to lose 30 pounds. It just kept coming off and I just kept working at it. I was surprised as anybody when I got on that scale at the final weigh in.”
The total weight loss for the 65 people who finished Commit to Get Fit was 479.1 pounds, according to Chris Lucas, Recreation Programs Manager for Liberty.
Other top losers, according to Lucas, included the top female loser who weighed in at 40 pounds, Liberty Mayor Lyndell Brenton who lost 24 pounds, and his son Cameron Brenton who lost 33 pounds.
“Those people did awesome. However they were pretty big outliers. Most people lost on average between 5 and 15 pounds,” said Lucas.
Losing the weight took commitment and work.
Besides working out six days a week Cable made changes to his lifestyle: drinking water instead of soda — he had been a three to four can-a-day guy; cutting down on eating out which meant planning meals a week ahead; following his trainer’s advice to not cut the things out of your life that you love, but to moderate them, such as eating fewer chicken wings and eating Weight Watcher’s ice cream instead of regular.
The first couple of weeks of exercise he could only run for 30 seconds at a time. He can now run four to five miles.
“My doctor said this is the healthiest he’s seen me in quite a number of years. I was on the verge of being diabetic. He’d been pestering me to go on cholesterol medicine,” said Cable. All of his numbers have dropped and there’s no need for the medication.
“Once I figured out there is no magic pill for this but diet and exercise, and I was able to commit to that, then it’s pretty easy.”
As the top weight-loss participant in CTGF, Cable doesn’t know if there’s a prize attached.
“In the end it really doesn’t matter. Because my prize was good health,” he said.
Climbing three flights of stairs is not so hard anymore.
After 12 weeks of training, exercising and counting calories Liberty Mayor Lyndell Brenton shed 24 pounds. “I was pleased, I lost some weight. I feel a lot better,” he says now.
And he can climb three flights of steps in his office building without his legs burning. No longer does he have to stand at the top of the stairwell gasping for a minute before he enters an office.
Brenton signed up for Liberty’s Commit to Get Fit Challenge at the encouragement of his son, Cameron.
His biggest challenge was exercising on his own.
“For me it’s easy to participate in a group situation…during the week it would be a little more difficult to motivate myself to go downstairs (at home) and spend 30 hard minutes on the treadmill. Not at a leisurely pace on the treadmill, but 30 hard minutes. That was difficult at times to make myself do that.”
Having a trainer to keep him accountable was important, he said. “I was really appreciative that they (trainers) accepted us at whatever level we were at and worked with us at that level.”
He also became more aware of what he was eating. “For me it was knowing approximately the calorie count for something and putting it in the perspective. Well, I don’t really want to spend 30 minutes on a treadmill for that food intake. I just had a different viewpoint. The effort I was going to have to make to burn those calories wasn’t worth it.”
Weight loss wasn’t the only benefit, although that was the reason he joined. He saw improvements in his cardiovascular system, too, which surprised him. “I guess I didn’t feel that I was that out of shape to start with.”
His son Cameron Brenton lost pounds. Last year in a similar program he lost 62 pounds. but gained it all back. “Instead of getting back in the game, I turned my back on everything that I worked hard for. I already had clothes that fit, it’s easier to be overweight. It has become more socially acceptable to be overweight now, so I never saw the big deal.”
This year he didn’t get serious with his diet until the halfway point, Cameron Brenton said.
“I wish I would have done this from the beginning. I saw the effects of a strict diet within the first week, and believe that I would have met my 60 pound goal had I started this from the beginning.”
His sister Caitlyn DeSalvo realized about halfway through the program that she should have chosen a different day to train. Saturday mornings were hard day for the teacher and young mother to give up for training. Ultimately she lost 10.5 pounds.
“I wish that I had committed more to myself. However, I am not going to focus on what I wish I had done, but focus on where I am going; continuing on my journey to get and stay fit as well as eat a healthy, balanced diet.”
Amy Hayes approached Commit to Get Fit in a different way. She wanted to work out with other like-minded people who would motivate each other.
At the final weigh-in she weight 145 pounds, having lost 7 pounds.
“I was pleased. I didn’t really go into this to lose weight. I went into it to learn exercises. I would absolutely do it again,” said Hayes who can now run 100 miles in a month.
Liberty is already planning for next year’s Commit to Get Fit and may even hold more than one. “We’ve already started the work of planning that and build on the success that we had this year and add a few more bells and whistles,” said Lucas.
Winner Brent Cable will get a prize — a $100 Visa gift card; and his team of four, 85Crew, took the winning team prize of $75 Visa gift cards for each.