The North End Blog would like to thank Krista T. for sending us this wonderful nomination for the North End Spotlight. For someone who constantly struggles with weight, having an amazing support group is the key to success. Congratulations to the North End Losers for being the recipient of our April North End Spotlight.
North End Losers (NEL) is a FREE healthy living support group that meets for workouts and cooking classes. Where does the group get its name? A spin-off from the TV show The Biggest Loser, of course! 🙂 Weekly workouts take place at Ralph Brown Community Center and monthly cooking classes at North Centennial Leisure & Recreation Center. Many members have signed up (also free) on MyFitnessPal.com as a way to keep a food & activity journal, and as a way for members to help support one another when they are aren’t meeting for a workout or cooking class. North End Losers celebrated its one year anniversary in March!
The group was founded and is run by Christina Pick-Barrow (all volunteer hours). Originally from the East Cost, Christina and her family have been living in Winnipeg’s North End for the last few years. What prompted Christina to start this group? She has been known to say “NEL came to be because I wanted to lose weight but lacked the support system and motivation to do it on my own. I figured there had to be others out there like me.” And there were others! Over the past year more than 30 people have checked out the group. Some come and go as their schedules and priorities allow, and others have been regulars since the start. Christina has arranged for a scale and tape measure so if a member wants to weigh-in or have their measurements taken, they can do so. Most weights, DVDs, and other equipment have been loaned to the group by various participants.
Christina’s dedication to the group and the community is really amazing. All you have to do is ask some of the participants, and they would agree:
“Christina has been such an awesome leader for the North End Losers group. She will come and open up the doors for you even if she is sick, or if only one person shows up. After getting many requests she even added another day to work out during the week. Not only is Christina the leader of the group, she also becomes a friend and a huge supporter. If you are having a bad day she is quick to lend assistance where she can, even if it’s just an ear for you to talk to. To break up the monotony of working out indoors, in the summer months Christina made up a circuit training for us. It was challenging, fun, and best of all outdoors! I have lost over 30 lbs since starting with NEL and it’s definitely been made possible because Christina gives up her free time so I have access to the community center and the free workout program.” — Kristy
“I found out about NEL through word of mouth. The timing was great because I was determined to get fit. For the past number of months I have been going to NELs exercise and fitness workouts and I am experiencing real results. Christina, NEL’s founder, faithfully directs our activities. Without her dedication it is doubtful NEL would continue. Christina is one of those selfless volunteers that make our community so much better. I’m enjoying the friendship and accountability of the group and thank my NEL friends and Christina in particular.” — Eric
“NEL is a gem, special to the North End. It is fantastic that there is an opportunity to get together for free workouts and have the opportunity to be supported by so many who share similar healthy-living goals. I attended the very first NEL brainstorming session in March 2012 when Christina talked about starting this group and wanting to know how and if others in the community could benefit from such a program. One year later I can tell you I sure have! Participants are of all ages and different backgrounds. For some, this is their first time really looking to put their own health and physical activity first – making it a priority. For others, this is a way to supplement some great habits they have already formed. One of the things that I like most about the group is that Christina is dedicated to the concept of people getting out of the group what they need most. If it is just a kick-start you need, or a place where you can occasionally drop by… great! If you want to attend every session and be ultra committed to the group… great! There’s no cost, there’s no set commitment, there are no expectations. Just a group of people who genuinely want to see people in the community succeed at whatever healthy living goals they set for themselves. That’s exciting, and I’m so glad to be part of this group! I know how blessed & thankful I am to Christina for giving up so much of her time and energy to make sure this group is available to me – and to anyone else who is interested. I also love that this operates out of our very own North End!” — Krista
If you are interested in learning more about North End Losers: