Losing to Win: Motivate U Competitors Shed 439 Pounds


In this sixth and final installment of our series, we meet the male and female winners of the Motivate U competition and learn the tremendous strides they’ve taken toward a healthier lifestyle.

When Mount Rose Elementary School secretary Silvia Antelo Ibarra first joined the Motivate U Challenge, she thought she would never complete the program. 

“I thought: ‘I can’t make this. I can’t do it. I’ve tried a million times. This is not going to happen,'” Ibarra recalls.

But she did make it. And she was just named the overall female Motivate U winner for spring 2016.

“In the beginning I thought, ‘Oh man, this is so hard,'” Ibarra says of her workouts. “I forgot about all the things in the body that I haven’t used in so long. Now, I’m looking forward to it. It’s Friday and I have to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning. But I want to go.”

The eight-week Motivate U challenge, sponsored by Hometown Health, ended with an awards ceremony where the top male and female winners were announced. The champs were chosen based on the percentage of body fat lost and/or the percent of lean mass gained. They each won a $500 gift certificate for a membership at their gym.

RELATED:  Motivate U: 8 Weeks Could Change Your Life

During the competition, the 200 participants were paired with one of six local gyms: Evoke Fitness, PerformanceEDU, Sierra Strength & Speed, Eagle Fitness, Double Diamond Athletic Club and Freestyle Martial Arts Academy. The trainers at these gyms held boot camps and other classes, while coaching the participants individually on how to best fuel their bodies.

Collectively, the competitors shed an impressive 439 pounds and gained 83 pounds of lean muscle mass.

The male winner of the challenge is Scott Ferris, customer engineering manager for EE Technologies, Inc. He says his entire family has benefited from the challenge: His wife plans healthier meals and his son now joins him at the gym.

“Probably what surprised me the most is that I could see or feel the progression,” Ferris says. “The exercise four or five weeks ago was extremely difficult, but now I can do the movements better. You realize (you’re lifting) a little more weight or the reps are a little bit stronger.”

RELATED:  Motivate U: Change Takes Tenacity (and a Great Trainer)