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Volume 15, Issue 19 ~ May 10 - May 16, 2007

Public Figures: Round Two

Bay Weekly follows our two weight-shedding public figures through successes and folly

by Bethany Rodgers

Impromptu cheerleaders lined the long walk to the scale at the Southern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce’s Weight Challenge April weigh-in. At the competition’s first elimination round, encouragement came in the form of a village: contestant and health food rep Ann Shelton offered brownie bars and powdered drink mixes, while Ken Armstrong of the Anne Arundel Dance Conservatory manned the calculator and recorded weights. Others offered advice.

At this third weigh-in — the first to eliminate contestants — the mood was light, the people lighter.

Of the 36 contestants, 16 showed up to weigh in a combined 187.4 pounds lighter than at the competition’s start in February.

Anne Arundel County Councilman Ed Reilly says he’s hit a plateau after losing 15 pounds the first month, though he held even at 265 this past month, which included a visit to his daughter in Ireland.

He enjoyed the occasional scone or pint, but walked miles to make up for his indulgences.

“The race is not to the swiftest, but to the most persistent,” he said. Besides meeting his own goals of slimming to 250 by June, Reilly also seeks to stay ahead of his weight challenge rival, Del. Bob Costa.

To keep his edge, Reilly continues weekly spinning classes and hoofs the treadmill. If that’s not enough, Reilly predicts that the County Council’s budget month will help: He’ll be sweating with consternation and carrying around volumes of paperwork, he says.

Costa says he’s lost seven pounds since last month; he didn’t, however, weigh in to prove it. He chalks his claimed loss up to healthier eating and coaching Little League.

Now out of session, Costa heads to the baseball diamond three to five times a week.

“If [the players] don’t hit the ball,” he says, “I chase them around the field.”

Costa has also banished chocolate, his greatest food temptation. Instead, he’s satisfying his urge to snack with cottage cheese and fruit. His sons help him stay on track, refusing him their chicken wings after Costa polishes off his own.

Costa was cut from the competition this round for not making it to the weigh-in. Still, he counts his progress as success and plans to stick with his lifestyle changes and keep up the friendly competition with Reilly.

Seventeen were eliminated from the challenge; 16 will survive the next elimination to go on to vie for first place.

Read on next month to see if Reilly makes it to the final round and if Costa stays on course.

Bethany Rodgers, finishing her junior year in journalism at the University of Maryland, is a Bay Weekly intern.

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