But the Smithsburg couple soon re-evaluated their goals.
“We started out trying to win, but then it became a lifestyle change and we focused on living healthier and getting into an exercise program,” said Charlene Augustine, 48.
The 12-week weight loss challenge kicked off Jan. 2 and ended with Saturday’s weigh-out celebration at the YMCA.
The Augustines lost 32 pounds as a team.
“We haven’t really dieted. We still go out to eat when we can. I still have my cheeseburgers when I want. But I’ll get vegetables instead of fries,” said Niel Augustine, 49.
“I think we did very well,” Charlene Augustine said.
Both plan to continue their new, healthier lifestyle and have an added incentive — a 9-month-old grandson.
“I want to make sure I’m healthy enough to get down and play with him and enjoy our lives with him,” Charlene Augustine said.
The challenge kicked off with 104 participants, but only 30 completed the program on Saturday, said James Bailes, YMCA director of sports and fitness.
Bailes said he was a little disappointed that only about one-third of the participants completed the program that combined exercise, nutrition and healthy eating.
But he still considers the challenge a success and plans to offer the program again next year.
“The entire group lost 401.2 pounds in 12 weeks. That’s a great thing to accomplish,” Bailes said. “We have people who weren’t exercising before, and now they have fit it into their lifestyle.”
Jim and Mary Black retired from teaching in July and decided to take the challenge.
“We did it to lose weight and increase our stamina and strength,” said Mary Black, 62.
“Plus, we just recently retired from teaching. We didn’t want to sit around and be couch potatoes,” said Jim Black, 64.
Mary retired from Washington County Public Schools as a first-grade teacher after 34 years and Jim retired as a physical education and health teacher after 39 years.
Not only did the couple lose a combined 17 pounds, but also they gained strength and stamina.
“I feel good. I feel a lot stronger,” Mary Black said.
Teammates Carroll Sturm and David Boon, both of Waynesboro, earned third-place honors and three-month YMCA memberships for losing the highest percentage of weight during the challenge.
During the 12-week period, team New Tricks lost 45 pounds that Boon said is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
One of the “new tricks” that Boon said he learned was joining a group can help with the weight loss process.
“This is the first time I joined a group to lose weight, and the group support is very good,” Boon said. “They are not watching over my shoulder, but I am always thinking that March 31 is my target. And keeping that in mind, I think, don’t eat this or it will show up on the scale.”
With the goal of losing some unwanted pounds, Sturm used an exercise bicycle to peddle his way to physical fitness.
“It makes you feel better,” Sturm said. “It’s easier to walk around with less weight.”
He plans to continue eating healthier and exercising.