Beer and cheese lover takes on our Get Fit Challenge

Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2014 Get Fit Challenge, a spinoff of IB’s popular Fittest Executive Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 22. This week, IB checks in with Joe Shumow of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., which is competing in the team challenge. Shumow’s co-workers Justin Oeth, Lucas Rowe, and Nathan Wautier round out the team.

Before I agreed to be part of the Get Fit Challenge, I needed my teammates to understand two very important things about me:

  1. I have always been an active person.
  2. I really love cheese and beer.

My whole life, I’ve been fairly fit. There’s no secret to how to be in good shape: Eat “right” and exercise. The exercise piece is the part that comes naturally to me. I actually enjoy working out. I love feeling the burn after a good lift or feeling exhausted after a long bike ride.

Unfortunately, for much of my “Get Fit” time, I’ve been riddled with back pain. It has sidelined me from my typical active ways. Although I am doing yoga four or five times per week now, I can’t do much in the way of weightlifting or cardiovascular activity.

Had I not been part of the Get Fit Challenge, I might have decided to just wait out the back pain. I don’t have that option. My teammates are counting on me to stay in relatively good shape. To that end, the Get Fit Challenge has caused me to reexamine the other half of the equation for being in shape: I am forced to eat better.

Since I am a lifelong vegetarian, people might assume I have always devoured salads and drank protein shakes. Until recently, I really didn’t. I did devour mac and cheese and cheese curds quite often, though. (For the record, Great Dane has the best mac and cheese in town; Graze has the best cheese curds.)



In an effort to maintain and improve my health, I have been eating at least one salad every day. I try to drink green tea at least a few times each week. And — at least while I can’t do cardio activity — I have given up the empty calories of alcohol.

I hope to be back to my active ways by the end of this month. The trick will be to keep up my refined eating habits when I am physically able to re-engage at my normal level of exercise.

Meet all of the competitors here, and see who wins at the In Business Expo & Conference.

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