Final numbers in on Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

MARQUETTE – The numbers have been totaled and for the first year since the Healthy Lifestyle Journal: Community Wellness Challenge began three years ago, Gwinn was forced to give up their winning title to Marquette.

“We were so excited!” exclaimed Deb Sergey, RD, IC supervisor, MGH Wellness Center. “We were surprised because at the halfway point, it was anybody’s game.”

Through week eight of the challenge, 33,682 cups of fruits and vegetables were logged, 315,338 minutes of exercise and 454 pounds lost.

The individual winners included Beverly Olson who logged the most vegetables and fruits and activity in Ishpeming, Cathy Ohnmeiss, who logged the most activity in Marquette and Brian Anderson for logging the highest number of fruits and vegetables in Negaunee. The team winner was married couple, Bill and Marti Upton of Marquette.

The Uptons, whose team name was, “Team Fat Busters,” have participated all three years of the program. They exercised everyday and at the end of the challenge their numbers were as follows: Bill logged 3, 044 minutes of exercise and 304 cups of fruits and vegetables and lost 10 pounds. Marti logged 2,866 minutes of exercise and consumed 302 cups of fruits and vegetables. She lost 14 pounds.

“We keep wanting to exercise even though it’s over,” Marti said. “We don’t want to stop and are sad the program is over.”

That was one of the first suggestions both made for next year. That the program be extended. Another idea they had was holding a potluck event in each region with a recipe swap.

“I can’t for the life of me understand why more people wouldn’t want to be involved,” Bill said. “It’s a great program and hardly anyone in Marquette doesn’t need to do this.”

To them, the hardest part was incorporating five cups of fruits and vegetables into their diet each day. But they did it.

According to Sergey, they expect to do the project again next year, but will not know for sure until this fall. She added that a survey is currently online at and she encourages participants to log on and fill it out. All of the feedback will be viewed and taken into consideration for next year.

“I really hope that the participants have learned how to balance their activity and their nutrition and that they continue to do this,” Sergey said. “It’s not just a temporary fix. It’s a lifestyle improvement.”

Abbey Hauswirth can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.