Son’s heart-wrenching plea was all the motivation Esther needed
A year after Esther Bascome’s husband died, her 22-year-old son told her: ‘mom, I don’t want to be an orphan’.
His words had a profound effect and acted as a wake up call for the 56-year-old HWP customer service agent who had been battling the deadly combination of weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar fluctuations for some time.
To help her take back control of her life, Mrs Bascome is now one of this year’s contestants on the annual 100-Day Challenge fitness programme.
The Royal Gazette will be following Mrs Bascome regularly through her participation.
Superman had kryptonite to hold him back and break his will power, Mrs Bascome has Klondike Bars. For those who don’t know what a Klondike bar is, all you really need to know is that they are delicious and chocolatey. However, they also have 19 grams of fat, 108 mg of sodium, 30 grams of sugar and 35.7 grams of carbohydrates, in a single serving that weighs about 94 grams.
Not a good recipe for weight loss.
All contestants must be certified medically fit to take part in the challenge, which kicked off with a Saturday weigh-in at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. In the few days between a mandatory physical and the weigh-in Mrs Bascome found that she had actually gained a few pounds and her blood pressure was through the roof.
She attributed this to a last hurrah with the Klondike bar. Knowing that she would never taste that sweet, melty goodness again, she downed four in a weekend.
“At the weigh-in my weight was 220lbs and my blood pressure was somewhere around 170/117 (normal would be 120/80),” she said. “For me, it is normally 140/90 as the standard. My doctor is not happy because it was once normal. I am on medication so it is controlled. For some reason that morning I went over the limit.”
For the first time this year contestants in the challenge will have access to a dietitian, Hannah Simpson, who works in the outpatient department of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
Ms Simpson is going to make up an individualised diet plan for every contestant, and they will have to keep a daily journal of what they are eating. Ms Simpson will be on the lookout for cheaters at weigh-in time.
With the new diet must also come exercise, and Mrs Bascome will be working out at Sandys Sport Aquatic and Enrichment Centre with a personal trainer, while other contestants will use Evolutions Health and Fitness Centre in St George and the Olympic Club in Hamilton.
Participants will also be taking part in special fitness challenges on Saturdays, and they’ve already had their first, a tennis challenge that took Mrs Bascome back to her youth.
“My girlfriend and I took a few lessons and used to play tennis casually, but I haven’t played in 30 years,” she said. “I started out doing this because I wanted to lose weight. It has gone from that to wanting to be fit and healthy. I would like to climb the stairs at the hospital without feeling like I am going to have a heart attack. I want to get healthy and get the blood pressure down.”
Some of the judges this year include
The Royal Gazette reporter Ceola Wilson, Dr Christopher Johnson, restaurant owner Marico Thomas and Magistrate Juan Wolffe. There will be 21 contestants broken into two teams and every quarter there will be a special face off challenge. One of the challenges will involve pulling a private jet out of its hangar at the airport.
n The 100-Day Challenge will be broadcast on ZBM TV 9 on February 21 and rebroadcast on February 23.