Four Lafayette women have lost a total of 303 lbs. this year with the help of a little program called Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge. The four women—Carrie Green, Jamie Kemp Green, Kara Beth Rose, and Megan Rose—participated in the program and went to St. Louis to compete under the team name The Green Roses. They were named ViSalus Team Champions in front of a crowd of thousands last month, and will be flown out to Hollywood for their “Transformation Vacation” in February.
The program is based on a meal-replacement kit produced by a company called ViSalus, and about 150,000 new participants join every month. ViSalus holds these inspirational gatherings for participants every four months, where they also name victors for that 90-day challenge cycle in six different categories: Male, Female, Couple, Family, and Team, and then a Random Drawing. They have just added additional categories in overall fitness, for those whose primary goals were not weight loss.
Winners are chosen based on 25% popularity vote, 25% story, and 50% transformation. This means that this group won in the team category out of literally over a million participants nationwide. Not only that, but another Lafayette resident, Eric Rose—who happens to be Kara Beth Rose’s husband—already won a Championship himself in the individual category.
“There are others around here,” said Eric. “Lafayette’s lost over 5,000 lbs. doing this. Over 600 lbs just between us five.”
The kits are made up of vitamins and one base flavor of shake mix, which can be used in over 200 recipes that the ViSalus community shares amongst themselves. The company calls it ‘The shake mix that tastes like cake mix,’ and the five agree that this is true. “Right now there’s something people are making called ‘The Shrek,’” said Eric. “Two handfuls of spinach and half a frozen banana blended with the mix.”
Megan initially began the Challenge just to support her brother, Eric, in his own Challenge. Since she began she has lost 26 lbs, and finally made her health a higher priority. She continues to use the shakes now, having met her goals, because, in her words, “I still got jiggle in places I don’t want it.” She, along with the other ladies, praise the strong support system that comes with the Challenge community. “The support system in this team and program is crazy. If you’re having a day when you just really want to cheat, you can just call them up, and say ‘talk me down, I’m about to eat this bowl of ice-cream! It’s like a push-up bra,” quipped Rose. “All the support you need.”
Kara, Eric’s wife, completed her first 90-day Challenge in Afghanistan, using Facebook to communicate with the rest of her team for support. She has lost 62 lbs, and just finished her first 1/2 marathon in 2:30:00. She is now training for a full marathon. “I went through a lot of emotional stuff in one year, and the program helped me get through it. My dad passing was actually the hardest for me,” said Kara. “I eat a lot healthier now; I’m a lot more active than I’ve ever been.”
Jamie began the Challenge to get her confidence back, and to be able to play with her child without being self-conscious. She has done just that— she’s lost 97 lbs, and is able to go swimming with her two-year-old son without being embarrassed. She recently competed in the Mrs. Macon County Pageant at the Macon Co. Fair, and won “People’s Choice,” placing in the top 5.
Jamie says her son loves the shakes as much as she does. “He gets up in the morning and says ‘shake, mama, shake!’ and he has to help me blend it. If he’s not in there, he has to run in and push the button.” She also marveled at the incredible support found in the program. “We call it the Vi Family—the people we met in St. Louis, we’d never met before, they just treated us like we were their cousin. Then afterward—we had grown men telling us after the show that they were crying.” The women added that when their names were announced as the Team Champions, they were also bawling, “like babies.”
Jamie and Carrie are married to brothers, and this is why they also share a last name. Carrie started her Challenge at 292 lbs. Plagued with PCOS and Hypothyroidism, she was told she would have a very hard time losing her weight, and that she would be unable to have any more children. She has now lost 118 lbs.— and on November 15 she found out that she had a baby on the way.
She is not the only member of her family who has benefited, she said: “They taste like the milkshake you could get from Sonic, or better. Megan’s stepdad actually switched to them instead of Sonic because he liked the taste better, and he lost 25 lbs. without even trying. My mom and dad have lost 130 lbs. between them, and they’ve come off a lot of medications.”
She also talked about some internet struggles that come with a ViSalus championship. “Some website on Facebook has stolen my before and after picture and put it up with an ad for a Dr. Oz green Tea weight loss pill. I’ve had to put them in Facebook jail three times. And they didn’t even get the number right!” she laughed. “I’ve lost 118 lbs., not 75.”
Participants in the Body by Vi Challenge get a website set up for them automatically, where they can drum up votes if they end up participating in the contest, and earn free shakes when their friends join the program. Their websites are as follows:
Carrie Green - http://cmgreen.myvi.net
Jamie Green - http://jkgreen.myvi.net
Kara Rose - http://karabrose.myvi.net
Megan Rose - http://megan22.myvi.net
These websites provide information on ordering. Also keep an eye out for Challenge Parties in Lafayette—they’re called 3-for-free parties, and provide a way for hosts to get the packages, which normally run about $8 a day, for free. There will be one Wednesday night, November 28 at 7 PM at the Welcome Center.
Eric Rose’s story was featured in the Times earlier this year, but he has since then continued his path to health and fitness, with a total of 282 lbs lost. Before beginning the Challenge, Rose faced a number of health risks and physical limitations due to his obesity. “I weighed over 600 pounds, so I couldn’t really move. I had diabetes, high blood pressure, nose bleeds…I always felt sick,” said Rose. “You know, Pizza Hut and Amazon.com deliver, so I never had to leave the house,” he admitted. “I spent a lot of money on food that was ultimately killing me.”
He began the program after seeing a Facebook post by Hulk Hogan, who talked about using the program. After 10 days of using the shakes, he felt good enough to leave the house. “My friends kept telling me to weigh to see if it was working, but I was like ‘I feel too good. If I weigh and nothing’s changed, it’ll make me want to stop, but I just feel too good; I want to keep going.’” In the first challenge, 50 lbs. was his goal; he has since been through several cycles of The Challenge and continues to lose. 282 lbs. and counting.