By John Hanley
It’s been about a month since the ushering in of the New Year, and that means a lot of once-strong New Year’s resolutions are starting to wear thin.
Keeping up the motivation to follow through is a struggle for plenty of resolution makers, but of the common resolutions, getting and staying fit is one of the hardest for people to stick to.
For those that are struggling to keep their fitness goals in sight, Fleet Feet Sports’ ongoing event Ton of Fun is offering just the solution.
The program lasts 12 weeks, ending in late March. Other boot camps and programs may have similar timelines, but what sets the Ton of Fun event apart is its way of keeping participants moving toward their fitness goals: money.
Those who register pay a $50 fee, and if that alone doesn’t keep them going, those that lose 2% of their starting weight after 6 weeks receive a $25 gift card to Fleet Feet. If they lose 5% of their weight by 12 weeks, they receive another $25 gift card, essentially earning back their investment while losing weight.
The participants are also called in for weekly, private weigh-in sessions to check in on their progress and keep them motivated.
Although the participants can decide how they exercise and eat on their own, once they register, they receive tips from a professional nutritionist to help them on their journey.
Michelle Forte, owner of Baton Rouge’s Fleet Feet Sports and coordinator of the program, says her store has been putting on the program for two years.
“One of the Fleet Feet stores in New York does [the Ton of Fun event], and they do it with much success, so we thought we’d carry it forward here,” she said.
And much like the Ton of Fun program in New York, Forte says she has found success in her local event as well. Forte herself lost several pounds participating in last year’s Ton of Fun program, and she encourages other participants to do the same.
“We’re not asking them to lose 50 pounds,” she said. “We’re saying, ‘Let’s eat healthy and let’s get healthy.’”
To reach that fitness goal for the city, Forte and her business also host a variety of runs, triathlons, and other fitness events, including the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day 3.17-mile run.
Besides helping Baton Rougeans stick to their resolutions, Forte says this event is important to the community overall as well. Louisiana is one of the most obese state in the U.S., and with a 64.7% rate of overweight or obese adults here in Baton Rouge, Forte’s goal may be a much needed push for locals.
“We want our community healthy,” she said.