Local News

Five People Take Old-Fashioned Approach To Improve Themselves

Posted February 14, 2005

— Plastic surgery is all the rage on reality TV shows right now, but some people are changing their bodies for the better the old fashioned way.

Phyllis Spencer, Joyce Bailey, Satbir Minhas, Jamie Woodlief and Dewan Gates are battling it out at a Raleigh gym in a three-month fitness challenge. Many of the participants have specific goals.

"I'm going to Cancun this summer, and I'm trying to be able to walk around with my shirt off," Gates said.

"I'm getting very close to 50 and I want to be healthier," Bailey said.

"My ultimate goal is to run a full marathon," Woodlief said.

The participants work out three times a week for one hour. Since their bodies and goals are different, the gym will not choose the winner based on weight loss alone but on overall fitness.

"I'm going to base it on who works the hardest, who progresses the most, who puts the most into it, who's the most consistent," fitness director Maren Piefer said.

The participants' workout is designed to improve speed, flexibility and strength -- things Minhas will need to get back into the sport of squash.

"I'm aiming to compete in the amateur nationals in March of next year," he said.

After just three days of the fitness challenge, Spencer already sees results.

"I'm noticing changes in my clothes, noticing changes in my energy level," Spencer said.

Even those the participants are competing against each other for the prizes, you would never know it.

"I'm not sure it's one against the other really. I think it's more about seeing where you were when you started and then where you end up," Minhas said.

Plus, there is always someone cheering them on.

"I love the fact that we are motivated. We have to keep moving. We can't say, 'Ah, I'm done,'" Woodlief said.

When the fitness challenge is done, all five believe they will be winners.

"This is a lifestyle change now, and I have a lot to live for and I really want to live," Spencer said.

WRAL will continue to check back in on the progress of the five participants. The winner will get a bunch of prizes, including a one-year membership to Velocity Fitness, a $100 gift card to New Balance and free meals at Sweet Tomatoes.

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