Fit Challenge 2023: Challenger Update

Photos by Kristy Reimer

It’s just a coincidence our annual Team Fitness Challenge began right around New Year’s resolution time this year. But it’s a positive coincidence, as our 2023 teams are working towards a happy and healthier 2023.

We checked in with our competitors at the halfway point in February to see how things were going.

As always, our competitors are in good hands working with the professionals at Simply For Life and Orange Theory Fitness, who are providing competitors with the knowledge, individualized programs and support they need to achieve their goals.

Members of the winning team will receive a three-month nutrition program from Simply For Life, plus one month free membership and $200 worth of swag from Orange Theory Fitness.

Final results and winners will be announced in our summer issue in June.


Team 1: Spouses

Husband and wife team Tammy Murden and Mike Hughes have a great reason to want to get fit this year, their first grandchild was born last summer.


“Our first grandbaby was born this summer and we want to be able to do things with her and keep up. I am looking most forward to working with the nutritionist, learning how the food I eat affects my body and how to improve that. I just hope my body can handle the workouts.

“I am having a lot of fun. It’s getting easier and easier to get up and go to the gym in the morning.  I have noticed quite a change.”


“I became a grandfather for the first time this summer and want to be healthy to spend time with my grandchild and keep up and not be tired. I am most looking forward to getting healthy and hopefully being able to buy clothes at any store.

“It started hard, but over time the routine has been building into my lifestyle change. The team at OTF have been very supportive and Simply for Life has given me a meal plan that I can handle. I’m down 24.6 pounds!”


Team 2: In-laws

Mother and daughter-in-law Julie and Jessy Crawford aren’t just in-laws – they also live in the same home – along with both their spouses.


“I want to feel healthy and run with my grandchildren. I want to improve energy and have less pain. During the pandemic, I was home a lot because of osteoarthritis and getting a hip replacement.  Being able to get out with other people and focus on losing weight and working out is something that will help my mental health a lot.  I’m also looking forward to spending time with my daughter-in-law, Jessy, and working on this together.

“I started this Fit Challenge in pretty poor health and January was not easy for me. I started on new medication that has a side-effect of weight gain, so my weight has not changed at all yet, but I have been so encouraged by the changes I have seen by being consistent in participating in Orange Theory classes, and the coaches have been so motivating! The last six weeks at Orangetheory have been a great highlight of this Challenge and I look forward to what the next six weeks will bring.


“I’ve been wanting to improve my fitness and lose weight for a while since having babies, but I’ve lacked motivation. Recently I have started Keto, but it’s not giving me the results I’m hoping for.  I am looking forward to becoming healthier overall, losing weight, gaining energy, and maintaining this healthier lifestyle long term.

“So far, it’s been a little difficult with scheduling as I have two kiddos and navigating child care beyond an already busy schedule has been hard for me. The workouts can be challenging, but I always feel so great and accomplished after! This has been such an awesome opportunity so far, and all of the coaches are great, encouraging and the workouts are great! I look forward to continuing on and seeing what the next few months will bring!”


Team 3: BFFs

Best friends and self-professed goofballs Aubrey and Kelly say there is literally nothing that will stand in the way of their fitness goals – and that they’ll be the life of the party at the gym.



“I want to get healthy and create long-lasting healthy lifestyle habits for my son and I!  Nutrition has always been the hardest part of living a healthy lifestyle for me.  Growing up in a family that loves to celebrate with heavy foods, it will definitely be my biggest challenge.  I have a goal to run a 5K race before my next birthday.  I mean, I would also love to wear a bikini for the first time in my life, this challenge would help with my confidence in picking a hot pink one!

“I am really enjoying the challenge and the accountability from the coaches. Everyone has been so great! Things are going great so far.  There have been some roadblocks which, in the past, would have easily stopped me in my tracks, but I have been able to use the tools provided to me to step past the barriers and keep going!  Kelly and the rest of the participants are also working so hard which keeps me motivated!”


“I want to learn healthy habits, get fitter, get leaner and lose weight. For me, it’s about finding a new way off living and getting off the couch! My biggest challenge will be consistently carrying out food prep and not eating on the fly daily.

“It’s going well. I am enjoying Orange Theory more than I thought I would and the coaches are so supportive and uplifting. SFL is also supportive and very helpful with finding options that suit my lifestyle and taste. I am a huge foody, and this isn’t my first rodeo, so it’s really helpful to have someone to bounce my food ideas off of (good and bad). The food prep is still the biggest issue, but I’m getting it done and I am beginning to see the benefit in it. It’s great working with Aubrey and touching base with the other pairs keeps us all motivated.

Not the weigh loss I was hoping for, but I am on programme. I know I am receiving results in fitness level and body shape and hopefully my body is now well prepped for the second half of the challenge, and I will see better results on the scale.”