Mt. Vernon Register-News


April 17, 2011

Biggest Losers: Four area men team up to win YMCA’s Lose to Win program twice

MT. VERNON — For the four men of Team Red Barn, losing nearly 25 percent of their combined body weight last spring was a challenge they couldn’t pass up. But doing it twice?

“We didn’t want to do it at first, but then we talked about it and realized we still weren’t in as good of shape as we really wanted to be,” said Aaron Webb of Mt. Vernon. “We figured it was a great way to start the year, and we’d see if we could win another one.”

Not that the first one was easy. When brothers-in-law Casey McCom-mons of Ina, Rex Roberts of Benton and Ryan Skibo of Ewing got together with old friend Webb in the winter of 2010, they had one goal in mind: Lose weight in the competitive environment of the Jefferson County YMCA’s Lose to Win program.

The team dedicated themselves to the cause for the next two months, doing cardio and lifting weights six days a week and cutting sweets from their diets.

Ultimately the group exceeded its goal: Not only did Team Red Barn win top team with 24.88 percent of its combined starting weight lost, the four also swept the top individual spots of the competition. Mc-Commons and Webb, both YMCA members, led the field.

Roberts compared the experience to slimming down for a wrestling meet, as he and McCommons did at Benton Consolidated High School. Webb drew another parallel from the group’s past.

“We started cycling together as a group a couple years ago, and we do it all the time during the summer,” he said. “In January Casey was already riding his bike outside, so we got out there and joined him.” 

Although returning in 2011 turned out to be an easy choice, Roberts said coming back to defend their first-place finish made the pressure on Team Red Barn different for round two.

“It was more difficult because the first year we won by a landslide, and it adds to the pressure,” he said. “But we’re guys, so competition is always what we’re looking for. We thought we could win again.”

They did just that: Team Red Barn took first place in 2011 with 22.36 percent lost, while its members took top four individual honors again. This time, however, Skibo bested

McCommons for first place individual, and Webb said the competition between team members proved as fierce as the battle between the teams.

“Being guys, we wanted to beat each other as well as beating other people and losing weight,” he said. “That really got us going.”

“We’re a team, but everybody wants to win that overall,” Roberts said.

McCommons, Skibo and Webb, who used cycling as a primary method of shedding pounds, donated part of their 2010 winnings to found the SRM Memorial Bike Ride.

The 30, 60 and 100-mile Franklin and Jefferson County trek aims to raise funds for a Benton High scholarship in honor of Steve “Big Mac” McCommons, Casey’s father, a much-beloved teacher at the school and an avid cyclist who died unexpectedly in 2008 at age 52.

The first ride, held last fall, was a success that Webb hopes to improve when the second runs Sept. 17.

“We know Steve would really like for us to do it, so we’re hoping that it grows,” he said. “Last time I believe around 60 riders showed up. We’d love to double that this year.”

When asked about a third year for Team Red Barn, Roberts and Webb were coy; while they don’t expect to experience the kind of backslide that led them to participate again this winter, the love of the game could keep them coming back.

“We all said that we’re going to stay in shape so we don’t need to get back into the competition, but I’m not ready to rule it out,” Webb said. “It’s a fantastic way to lose weight. You get in shape and have fun while doing it.”

Text Only
  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 11, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 8, 2014

  • A man with amnesia taught us how memories become personal

    Although not as celebrated as the late American amnesiac H.M., for my money K.C. taught us more important and poignant things about how memory works. He showed how we make memories personal and personally meaningful. He also had a heck of a life story.

    April 7, 2014

Twitter Updates