Christian college students take weight-loss challenge

Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College students and faculty are participating in a weight-loss challenge designed by students in a health promotion and exercise science class at the Moore school.
BY CARLA HINTON chinton@opubco.com Published: March 10, 2012

Students at a private Christian college in the metro area have partnered with a local business owner for a spring weight-loss challenge.

Senior Sam Crilly and junior Ricky Hammer at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College designed the eight-week weight-loss program as a project for their health promotion and exercise science class.

About 50 students and faculty members at the college, 3701 S Service Road, participated in the first weigh-in March 2.

“I'm getting to an unhealthy point, and I really need to make a change,” junior Courtney Lewis, 21, said.

Staff member Lee Bauder, 51, said he wanted to be part of the weight-loss effort to train for an upcoming half marathon and to support the students. He said maintaining one's health has biblical significance.

“I want to be a good example,” Bauder said.

“It's a form of discipleship to show that this is the way we treat our body, our temple,” he said.

Losing weight, gaining support

Crilly, 39 and Hammer, 20, said the fitness challenge was one of the ideas proposed by their health promotion and exercise fitness professor Jerrod Donahoo.

Donahoo, 37, said he wanted the students to take a hands-on approach to the subject matter and learn by doing.

He said he is a registered clinical exercise physiologist and he is offering Crilly and Hammer his technical expertise “but they have really impressed me with it.”

“They have worked on the details to get people to make lifestyles changes,” he said.

Crilly said the college lacks cardiovascular exercise equipment so part of the fitness challenge is getting students to raise money for each pound they lose.

He said the long-term goal is to raise enough funds to buy equipment like commercial grade treadmills and ellipticals.

In the short term, Crilly sought corporate sponsors for the weigh-loss effort. Janet Gillis, owner of Flex Fitness, 631 NW 7 in Moore, spoke with him and agreed to support the project through her fitness center.

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