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Baldwin’s bravest belly busters
Firefighters' weight-loss program a huge success
Donovan Berthoud
Scott Schellas revealed a trimmer midsection.

In late Oct. of last year the Herald ran a story tracking the weight loss program of a group of Baldwin Firemen. (“Pulling their fat out of the fire,” Oct. 25 to Nov. 2.) The boys signed on with Kristie Lengel, owner of Baldwin’s LEARN Fitness, to lift heavy things, run great distances, and figure out what kinds of changes they could make in their eating and drinking habits. The program has been a success. “The boys lost a total of 109.4 pounds and 45.5 inches,” Lengel said. “They all have continued their memberships at LEARN and continue to lose weight and improve their health.”

The program Lengel designed didn’t involve the weights and treadmills typical of modern gyms. Instead, the Lynbrook resident, who was inspired to invite the F.D. due to her own father and brother’s involvement fighting fires, designed off beat, interesting workouts involving ropes, hoses, barrels, sledgehammers and other elements of the firefighter environment.

“It was funny,” Lengel said. “We went to the Outback Steakhouse to celebrate after the final weigh in. I sat back and watched all of them compare the calorie content in each of the meals and contemplate whether the calories were worth it. I called them on it and they said I turned them into monsters!”

Find out more at www.learnexercisenutrition.com.


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You took them to Outback Steakhouse to celebrate?

Does your program teach anything about REAL nutrition, or just calorie counting? Not knocking what was done and the tremendous courage it takes to want to lose the weight, but fitness and calorie counting aren't enough in this day and age. Ridding your body of processed foods is a MAJOR contributor to obesity in this country, and places like Outback, Friendly's, TGIF, and similar chains are chock full of high sodium, low grade meat, GMO laden processed foods and dressing, and I'm sure everyone had a Diet Coke with their meal, right?

To celebrate, I would have invited everyone over to my house to eat a non-processed meal. Complete with raw veggies, or minimally steamed veggies, and grass-fed steaks. Would have cost the same and tasted 1000 times better.

Anyways, keep up with the fitness aspect of this, but know that its only a portion of the battle. Count calories all you want, but your still putting poison in your body by eating processed foods which have low or absolutely NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE, which your body then just stores as fat because it doesn't know what to do with it, since it doesn't recognize it as real food.

Stop eating bread (including Whole Wheat). Stick with Sprouted Wheat Bread and Pasta if you can't give up the stuff. Processed Pasta & Bread contain as much sugar as soda, which your body can't process - again, storing it as fat.

Saturday, January 5, 2013 | Report this

I think taking them to Outback was a great way to celebrate - the men had to make real world decisions in a real environment. It is not always the case that one can avoid all breads and processed foods as much as we try. I have been going to LEARN for some time now and have successfully lost 40+ pounds with the help of LEARN owner, Kristie. She has taught me that it is not simply counting calories but also focusing on cutting out sugar and introducing healthy and nutrient filled items. LEARN teaches nutrition as well as fitness and does it all while recognizing that we are all human and trying to change our lives for the better. Congrats to Kristie and all of the Firemen!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 | Report this

To Galaxyre:

As one of the members of the firemen group who was part of this great experience as well as being at Outback that night, your diatribe is way off base...allow me to enlighten you.

Your attack on the merits of the education provided by Kristie and her team are completely unfounded. From your posting, it appears that you have done significant research on what foods you prefer. However, along with the principles of nutrition, the program involved rigorous levels of exercising which I can attest, the energy provided by your Whole Foods purchased meal plan would simply not suffice. The focus of this program was to transform our bodies and minds through information and hard work.

The program did not teach us how to count calories, but rather it educated us on how to make prudent decisions on how and when to eat. Yes, we did dine at Outback that night. But, it was a celebration of 90 days (now plus) of "LEARN"ing, and was our "cheat" meal for the week. That being said, the group still used the principles of our training to make better eating suggestions than would have been done previously.

In the end, I feel indebted to Kristie and her team at LEARN for all the info and training provided. In addition to the visible physical changes, I can attest that my blood work has never been cleaner. I encourage you to stop down at the studio sometime and see for yourself what LEARN is all about...

Good day!

PS - I drank water at Outback...I don't drink soda

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 | Report this
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