Six people from Marana and Oro Valley decided they wanted to apply for an opportunity that would change their lives through a contest sponsored by Anytime Fitness and The Explorer Newspaper, where six people were selected to get fit in 2012.

Six people, out of 78 applicants, were given a year-long pass to work with a trainer at the Anytime Fitness facility on Thornydale in Marana, and the newly-opened facility on Oracle Road in Oro Valley.

Now, six weeks into the program, all six winners are working hard everyday to change their mindset, get in shape and eat right. And, all of them are starting to see the pounds fly off, and are continually talking about how much better they feel.

At the Oro Valley Anytime Fitness facility on Oracle Road, Catherine Reynolds, John Miller and Erin Brittain have established their workouts and don’t appear to be looking back.

Trainer Steve Dooley works out with Reynolds, who has lost 25 pounds since starting her workouts.

“Catherine has a great attitude,” said Dooley. “She’s very goal-oriented, and she’s a hard worker. In the beginning I connected with her right away. I liked her attitude.”

Reynolds said at times she can’t believe she won the opportunity, and can’t believe how things have changed.

“I am doing things in the gym that I never thought I would do,” she said. “When I first started this challenge, I was excited, but apprehensive. I was not sure if I could stick to what was being asked of me.”

Miller, an instructor at Pima Community College, has had a good attitude from the beginning, and often brags about how he is not missing his workouts, even when traveling to Florida.

Miller weighed 208 pounds when the challenge started, and as of last week, weighed in at 199.

“When I first started, I had little energy and drive,” Miller said. “Now I feel good about my appearance, and feel ready to run a mile each day.”

Trainer Zach Andersen has been working with Brittain, and is impressed with how much progress she has made. At the beginning, Brittain set a goal to lose 40 pounds in four months.

Brittain is nearing that goal, being down almost 30 pounds after only three months. In fact, Andersen is confident she will meet the goal before the deadline.

“Erin is more acclimated, and not nearly as nervous about being in the gym,” Andersen said. “She is a lot more confident. She is losing weight, she has more energy and she feels better.”

After her goal of losing 10 pounds per month at first, Andersen said Brittain will focus on losing up to five pounds per month after.

At the Marana facility on Thornydale, Jesse Morales, Sara Summers and Pamela Maldonado are seeing results.

Summers has lost 14 pounds, and despite having to travel for work, continues to find time to workout.

“I felt very determined and focused when I first started with trainer time,” Summers said. “I was also nervous, but the excitement of changing my life helped me and continues to help me focus on my goal. I love meeting with my trainer. He has been supportive, and completely driven to help me achieve my goal.”

Trainer Tim Loebbaka said he is impressed with how well all three of the Marana challengers are doing.

“They have come a long way from where they started in January,” he said. “They are doing things their bodies weren’t used to, but we are seeing results.”

Loebbaka said it is obvious Summers doesn’t want to disappoint him, and mixed with a stressful work schedule, she started out doing too much.

“I had to tell her to scale back,” he said. “She was coming into the gym twice a day. I had to stress that she couldn’t beat up her body that much.”

With the pounds coming off, Loebbaka said Summers is even more dedicated to the goal at hand.

When it comes to Morales, Loebbaka said he is a “powerhouse.”

After the very first workout was cut short, Loebbaka said Morales has made  up the time, and continues to work hard week after week.

“The pounds are coming off, which says he is eating right,” said Loebbaka. “(Morales) used to be fit, but with a different job and changes, life caught  up to  him. He knows what it takes, and I just know we can reprogram him.”

Loebbaka said he is also impressed with Maldonado.

“She knows what it is to work out, it’s just about reprogramming,” he said. “We are showing them it doesn’t take two hours or more a day to work out. For a good workout, you only need an hour.

The challengers are writing about their workouts, and challenges they face as they work to get fit through the Anytime Fitness blogs, which are located on The Explorer website at

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