BFIT program launches for another season at fitness center

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

BOLIVIA—They have everything a weight-loss endeavor could need—personal trainers, a nutritionist, plus three months’ free membership at the Dinah E. Gore Fitness & Aquatics Center.

The center’s latest BFIT crew launched last week with initial meetings with the center’s personal trainers and nutritionist Cheryle Jones Syracuse.

BFIT is an acronym representing four missions—Believe in yourself. Focus on your goals. Improve your lifestyle. Train to achieve your dream.

The BFIT crew consists of residents who applied and were chosen to take part in the program, with goals of losing weight and shaping up through a professionally tailored exercise program in a 12-week time span.

“We wanted to reach out to the community,” said center assistant director Ashleigh Terry, one of BFIT’s personal trainers.

She said it’s a way to reach people who either can’t afford a center membership or who just need guidance by a trainer and access to beneficial exercise classes offered at the center.

“Our biggest thing is coming here and working out,” she said, adding participants meet bi-weekly with their assigned trainers.

Among the latest BFIT participants is Carol Letts, a nurse from Southport who wants to be in better shape for her April 28 wedding. She was inspired when she saw photos of herself from her brother’s wedding last October.

“I wasn’t happy with those pictures,” said Letts, speaking at a preliminary BFIT meeting Feb. 15 with Syracuse.

She cited collegiate drinking and not eating well that caused her to gradually gain weight. Though she has shed some pounds, Letts said she’d like to tone up and lose more weight.

“When I walk down the aisle, I want everybody to say, ‘She looks good,’” Letts said.

Another BFIT participant, a retired teacher, cited a sedentary lifestyle. She said she could sit and crochet for a 10-hour stretch. Late at night, she chows down on chips. When she heard about BFIT, she wanted to apply.

At last week’s initial nutrition meeting, Syracuse used an overhead projector to speak on nutrition, wellness and food safety.

“I’m not going to put you on a diet,” she told the BFIT class. “I’m going to put you on a healthy eating plan.”

Syracuse distributed photos of herself when she was 50 pounds heavier.

To make a decision to lose weight, “You have to have that aha moment,” she said.

Hers occurred when she experienced chest pains after downing a Burger King Whopper prior to boarding a plane. Thinking she was having a heart attack, Syracuse drove herself to the emergency room. It turned out to be an attack of indigestion, but Syracuse changed her ways.

“It took me almost a year to lose those 50 pounds, and that’s been six years ago,” Syracuse said.

The program is open to center non-members only.

Terry said BFIT participants would have access to all fitness classes and fun at the center, including the swimming pool.

The program comes with a list of expectations. Participants are to keep logs of all the foods and liquids they consume on a daily basis and are required to exercise at least three days a week.

Some people have dropped out of previous BFIT programs, such as one woman who said it just wasn’t for her.

For those who stick with it, “it’s a socially good program, too, because everybody kind of makes friends with each other,” Terry said.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.