Philadelphia Magazine’s Jumpstart Challenge 2010

See which one of our four contestants lost the most body fat throughout our eight-week challenge (and scored some super-cool prizes!)

VIDEO: Watch our four contestants on Philly FYI (and hear a little bit of good-natured trash talk).

Congrats to Jim Schindler, our first-ever Philly Mag Fitness Challenge winner! After eight weeks of daily sweat sessions, grueling one-on-one workouts with his Sweat Trainers, and lots of smart tweaks to his previous fast-food-filled diet, Jim has cut his body fat percentage by a whopping 13 percent. “I felt fantastic when I looked at the scale today and discovered that I lost 20 pounds in eight weeks,” says Jim.  “My goal of losing 26 pounds is in reach and I feel terrific. Now that I know how to exercise, I can go to the gym and burn fat and build muscle.”

Not only does Jim look better, but he feels better too. “My reward for the hard work is the increased energy that I have everyday.  I no longer need a nap after work.”

His hard work has also scored him some great prizes. In addition to a free year’s membership at Sweat Fitness, Jim will also receive a one-night-stay at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Maryland, complete with a spa package; a $250 gift card from 3000BC WellMed Spa; and a free, at-home cooking lesson with healthy chef Katie Cavuto-Boyle of Healthy Bites. (Oh, and major bragging rights.)


Of course, all of our contestants are winners. Congrats to Deidre McAllister, Jessica Aiken, and Devon Montgomery Bender for all of their hard work over the last eight weeks. Devon lost 8 percent body fat and is under 300 pounds for the first time in eight years; Deidre lost nearly 4 percent and has jumpstarted a healthier lifestyle for her and her teenage daughter; and Jessica skimmed off a little more than 2 percent and is looking tighter and more toned.

Stay tuned for our next Fitness Challenge and read our contestants final thoughts and diaries below.



Jim Schindler, Conshohocken
A 39-year-old store owner/self-proclaimed fast-food junkie. “The only thing I like better than bacon is cheese-covered bacon.” Now, he says: "My goal of losing 26 pounds is in reach and I feel terrific. Now that I know how to exercise I can go to the gym and burn fat and build muscle." READ JIM’S FINAL THOUGHS AND DAILY DIARY.


Devon Montgomery-Bender, Philadelphia
A 25-year-old just-married caterer who wants to begin the greatest adventure of her life feeling good and looking great. “I don’t feel beautiful because I know I’m not healthy. I want to start my married life as healthy, beautiful woman." Now, she says: " Whether or not I get the prizes, I know I won this competition. I feel fabulous and now know that I can still be me, just a happy, healthier me."   READ DEVON’S FINAL THOUGHTS AND DAILY DIARY.

Deidre McAllister, Philadelphia

A soon-to-be-40 working mom who wants to drop pounds so she can keep up with her teenage daughter. “I want to keep up when walking and for her to understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.” Now, she says: "In most situations there are beginnings and there are endings. With good health there is a beginning, but never will there be an ending. It is a lifetime achievement." READ DEIDRE’S FINAL THOUGHTS AND DAILY DIARY.

Jessica Aiken, King of Prussia
A 24-year-old newly single professional who has three months to fit into her bridesmaid dress. “I’m a bridesmaid in two weddings that are quickly approaching, and I’m hoping to be rocking the form-fitting dress.” Now, she says: " This competition has been amazing. I am so grateful that I’ve had this opportunity and have learned so much. Having Meg as my trainer was by far the most beneficial part. One of my main goals was to learn how to actually work out and Meg has taught me that." READ JESSICA’S FINAL THOUGHTS AND DAILY DIARY.