Nurses Plus Launches 10 Ton Challenge


A capacity crowd in the Board Room listens to Dr. Wilkins speak. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Over One Hundred Take The Pledge Saturday

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Park Forest is getting lighter. More than 100 people took the first step to better health Saturday by signing up for the 10 Ton Challenge. The kick-off event started at 1:00 p.m. and included motivational talks, group cheers, joint recitation of the pledge, and a weigh-in. Participants received an official 10 Ton Challenge t-shirt, a pedometer, a buddy and, most importantly, the resolve to lose at least 20 pounds by December 31, 2008. Beyond the personal commitment to better health, everyone also pledged to donate 20 pounds of food to the Rich Township Food Pantry every month.

"I’m so impressed with the Village of Park Forest," said Director of Health Chris Blue.  "We asked for a show of hands, and it was mostly Park Foresters who were here.  It was great."

Blue sees this year as only the beginning of a leaner, healthier Park Forest, "The 10 Ton Challenge is just the beginning."

Dr. Sheila Wilkins was the featured speaker Saturday,  "I was a cookie bandit," Wilkins admitted. She stressed the importance of changing patterns, body, mind and spirit, “I change the way that I used to eat.  I don’t eat the fried foods anymore.”


Robbie Roberson (left) poses with her mother Julia for a "before" shot at the 10 Ton Challenge Kick Off Saturday. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Wilkins addressed the fact that sometimes we eat because we don’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings.  She suggested leveling with friends who may not understand that we’re not eating the same foods anymore, "Just tell them, "Hey, my Body-Temple is all that I got.” 

“It’s not about a diet.  It’s about a lifestyle change for the rest of your life.”

While waiting in for her official weigh-in, resident Phyllis Bacon shared her thoughts on starting the Challenge, “Can we get control here?  Thus far I’ve never been able to, but I’m not a defeatist.  I think that it’s a wonderful, wonderful program, and it’s so fun to meet my neighbors and to participate in a community goal.  I think I can do it.  My goal is 20 pounds."

Another resident, Joan, preferred to not share her last name, but discussed her reasons for joining, “I turned 50 this year, and I was not at the weight I wanted to be.  My goal was to be at my perfect weight and 50.  After having my daughter 20 years ago and never losing the weight, I moved to Park Forest, I thought, ‘What a great opportunity.  Somebody’s going to help me along here.’  So here I am.  I hope to lose between 35 and 50 pounds."

"I hope to lose half of myself," said resident Dave Ranlett.  Ranlett weighed in at 426 lbs., and looks forward to gaining some friendships and meeting new people.

"I’m carrying around an evil twin and it’s time for him to go.  I like the idea of taking this into the community.  Hopefully we’ll achieve critical mass and accomplish things other than just personal goals."

The overall goals for the Challenge are as follows:

  • 20,000 pounds by December 31, 2008
  • Become the "Healthiest Community in Illinois"
  • Participate in the Walk for Hunger in June 2008
  • Participate in the Park Forest Labor Day 5K Run in September 2008
  • Identify a partner for accountability during the challenge
  • Donate 20 pounds of food to the Rich Township Food Pantry every month
  • Set realistic physical, spiritual and mental goals
  • Take a FREE life coaching class
  • Attend one seminar and screening monthly

And here is the 10 Ton Challenge Pledge:

I hereby pledge to make a sustained effort to reach my ideal weight, increase exercise and decrease unhealthy food intake. I will set personal physical, mental and spiritual goals that will help me to be a better me. Over the course of the year, I will not only nourish myself better, I will donate food to the Rich Township Food Pantry, to feed the hungry. I will find a buddy who will keep me accountable for my goals. I will dedicate my efforts to elevating and caring for myself to the best of my ability. I am worth this endeavor.

Those interested in taking the Pledge and improving their health can still sign up for the 10-Ton Challenge every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Health Department in Village Hall. On Mondays participants can also sign up from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Main page photo: Dr. Sheila Wilkins addresses an overflowing crowd in the Board Room on Saturday. (Photo: ENEWSPF)