11/10/05 — Officers scoring big in weight loss challenge

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Officers scoring big in weight loss challenge

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 10, 2005 1:46 PM

It's just past the halfway point of the weight loss challenge between five officers from the Sheriff's Office and five detention officers, and coach Monika Barkley said she feels like a proud mom.

The total loss for the 10 challengers in eight weeks is 178.5 pounds, she said. As of Saturday, detectives have lost a total of 94.5 pounds, for an average of 18.9 pounds per team member. Despite some participants absent for the weigh-in, the detention team has lost a total of 84 pounds and an average of 16.8 pounds per challenger, she said.

"That is so close, and if the missing challengers had shown up, there's no telling if the results would have been different," she said.

The three-month challenge between the law enforcement officers began in September and wraps up Dec. 3. Mrs. Barkley, a participant in a similar challenge two years ago on the "Dr. Phil (McGraw) Show," sees it as a chance to pass on what she has learned.

The ripple effect has amazed her, she said. Not only has she witnessed an enthusiasm and energy in the 10 challengers she coaches, but their families and co-workers have also followed suit.

"Families are working out together and there was a detective show up at the weigh-in that wasn't even participating in the challenge, just to tell me he had joined the gym because of seeing his compadres' results," she said.

One of the detectives is in the gym every day, always has a smile on his face and is an inspiration to her, Mrs. Barkley said. The man's wife also joined a gym and has become an example there because of her rapid progress.

The biggest "losers" are those whose body fat percentages and inches lost have been so impressive, she said.

"(Sheriff) Carey Winders has lost 8 1/2 inches in his waist alone," she said. "He's lost 25.5 pounds, but even better, a total of 27 1/2 inches off of his frame."

Winders said he feels better and has a "bunch of clothes I'm able to get back into," but struggles with finding the time to exercise and the occupational hazards that come with being county sheriff.

"I have had four plates of barbecue between Thursday and Saturday and anticipate more this week," he said, made even more difficult because everyone wants him to sample their wares.

"Especially when your team won the Feast of the East," added Detective Buddy King, who has lost 20 pounds.

Officer Betty Scott of the detention team stepped off the scale, stretched her arms wide and shouted, "I'm under 200 pounds!"

Teammate Cindy Williford, who got married soon after the challenge began, is thankful to have a supportive husband.

"He's even doing it now and has lost 12 pounds," she said. "When he started it, he found out it wasn't as easy as he thought it would be."

Maj. Ray Smith of the detention team has lost 6.5 percent body fat and said he feels a lot better and has more energy these days. Competitor Daryl Overton, a detective on the sheriff's team, lost 4 1/2 pounds since the last weigh-in two weeks ago.

"They absolutely energize me with their taking this challenge by the horns and just going for it and changing their lives," Mrs. Barkley said. "The challenge truly is becoming what I had envisioned and that's just incorporating small changes into your life that result in huge successes."

The Dr. Phil Show is also keeping an eye on what the Goldsboro group is doing, Mrs. Barkley said, and calls regularly for updates. The show has sent cookbooks and food guides for the participants, as well as a Dr. Phil mug typically given only to guests on the TV show.

Progress of the teams can be followed on Mrs. Barkley's web site, www.monikabarkley.com. Along with pictures, there are before and after statistics, information about the progress, and weight loss tips.