Journey continues for Good Weighs weight-loss winners

Our 2016 Good Weighs Challenge might have wrapped up in March, but the hard work continues.

The top three finishers — Carmen LeMaster, Dawn Van Enkenvort and Eric Basler — are still losing weight, building on what they started and continuing to make lifestyle changes.

They were among the 256 individuals and 66 teams that participated in the Goodwill 12-week weight-loss challenge, losing a total of 1,001 pounds.


Carmen LeMaster, FISC debt management specialist

carmenWhen Carmen and her husband adopted their daughter in December 2013, she realized she needed to make a change. Carmen took those first steps in January 2015 when she met with a bariatric team and a nutritionist, eating a very limited diet and drinking plenty of water.

Through that, Carmen was able to lose 40 pounds. In November, she had gastric sleeve surgery, which has decreased her intake significantly. She is now following a low-carb, high-protein diet; walking regularly and doing strength-training.

Carmen has lost 97 pounds and has 20 more to go to get to her goal.

“I feel terrific and actually like to get dressed in the morning, where before it was just a task I did to cover my body. Shopping is a lot of fun, too. Being able to wear a medium in some things? Me? I’m thankful that I am so much healthier and want to continue going forward.”

There has been support, including encouragement from the Goodwill health and wellness coach, and celebrations along the way, including the day when she could wear a milestone skirt that she “knew one day I was going to wear again.”

Weight loss during the challenge: 12.32%


Dawn Van Enkenvort, Work Services case manager Brown County

Dawn Van Enkenvort before her weight loss.

When Dawn and her husband became empty-nesters in the fall as their youngest child went off to college, they knew it was their time to reconnect and didn’t want their weight to keep them from having fun. They worked together in making a change.

So far, Dawn has lost 40 pounds by giving up all caffeine, drinking a gallon of alkaline water a day and following a strict diet that focuses on eating clean and staying away from processed foods.

dawn after

Dawn Van Enkenvort has lost 40 pounds.

“If you can’t pick it, grow it or kill it don’t eat it,” she said. “Being active is very important to success. I walk and go to strength classes a couple of times a week. I also don’t use my office chair anymore and sit on a ball when I am on my computer.”

Through Goodwill, Dawn participated in the June 11 Bellin 10K Run. “That was a first for me, and I loved it — felt very accomplished.”

Dawn, who said she feels amazing and has more energy, is working on finding a happy medium with exercise, healthy eating and the occasional day off.

“Keeping a good attitude and making it a lifestyle change rather than a strict diet will be key for my success. I will always be working at it.”

Weight loss during the challenge: 11.21%


Eric Basler, E-Commerce books lister

By giving up fast food, walking at least 30 minutes five days a week and putting an Excel spreadsheet to work, Eric has lost a total of 40 pounds to date and has lowered his blood pressure.

“I want to optimize my health so I can take care of myself and my family as far into the future as possible. I imagine I’m fending off future compromises to my health that would have begun to show up if I had stayed as heavy as I was.”

The Good Weighs Challenge provided extra motivation to achieve his goal, and his team was supportive and encouraging.

With the help of the spreadsheet, Eric tracked his weight daily, which gave him immediate feedback on his progress and kept him within the limits he established. He ate foods he liked that were low in calories and gave himself days off, too.

“I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and maintaining would be a good accomplishment, but I would still like to lose another 5 or 10 pounds.”

Weight loss during the challenge: 11.20%

Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2015 helped improve the lives of more than 63,700 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 26 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, as well as provides a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store. It offers eight Donation Express sites and 45 donation bins located throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Goodwill NCW uses the revenue from stores to fund a variety of innovative programs and services that serve north central Wisconsin communities.

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