Four Connecticut women with the same desire – to lose weight – have banded together to achieve an incredible goal.
The group, who met in a Zumba class at The Edge Fitness Club in Meriden, lost a total of 422 pounds combined.
“We just kept seeing each other and a lot of us were intimidated by each other at first,” Brook Steneck, who has lost 120 pounds so far, told InsideEdition.com. "Then we realized we were kind of focusing on the same goals.”
The group began working out together a few times a week.
"We would send motivational quotes, food, workouts, alarm clocks to wake people up in the morning, to motivate each other," said Amy-Jo Reid, who has lost 104 pounds. "If one person was feeling down or in a rut, we would motivate each other to get their butt to the gym."
Eventually, Arleen Crespo, who has lost 90 pounds, presented the idea of joining a “Tough Mudder” race, a 10 to 12 mile obstacle course.
“I told them I wanted to do the toughest one, which is the one in Vermont,” Crespo said.
Quasheena Young, who has lost 108 pounds, also participated in the race in 2014, even though she considered backing out.
"We wouldn’t have let her back out," Reid said. "We would not."
And on race day, the women encouraged each other every step of the way. When Crespo was intimidated by a swimming obstacle, Young was there to help.
“If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it,” Crespo said. “She ended up making sure she was there to help me get out of the water.”
She added: "The best part was just all of us doing it together."
The women occasionally celebrate their victories with pizza and margaritas, but then it’s back to business. If they go out, they make sure they are back in the gym pushing each other the next day.
“That’s helped me a lot,” said Steneck. “I would be good and on track for a long time and I might fall off on myself and wouldn’t have the motivation to get back on, but to have everyone as a team — we go out and celebrate together and come in and work hard too — I think that was a really good balance for me.”
Having each other to help with the ups and downs of weight loss has helped them see it through, Crespo added.
“You’re going to cry," she said. "But if you have three friends who are there to hold you and support you, you’re blessed."