Mayors begin fitness challenge

Scott Higgins and Sean Guard lead efforts to lose weight

Washougal Mayor Sean Guard gets weighed in, as Fat 2 Fit NW Executive Director Michelle Clark and Camas Mayor Scott Higgins look on, during the May 2 kickoff of the “Camas and Washougal on a Diet” challenge. Since then, Guard has lost 7.5 pounds, while Higgins has lost 9 pounds. “It is going well,” Higgins said Monday. “I’m sore, but moving.”

Scott Higgins and Sean Guard lead efforts to lose weight

Mayor's Miniscule Marathon

Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

5K event, in downtown Washougal

There is no cost or pre-registration.

Contact: Healthcoach@camasandwashougalonadiet.com

Camas Mayor Scott Higgins and Washougal Mayor Sean Guard have embarked on a one-year challenge to tackle obesity.

Their efforts started May 2, during a press conference and weigh-in.

Higgins, a minister, husband and father, said he is looking forward to having more energy, and his competitive spirit was evident.

“I love beating Washougal,” he added.

Guard said he wants to weigh less and to be there for his family — particularly his wife Annie, who has mobility issues.

“In the end, we all win,” he added. “We’ll be happier and healthier.”

Higgins, who weighed in at 300, has since lost nine pounds, while Guard, who weighed 234.6 pounds, has lost 7.5 pounds.

The night before the initial weigh-in, Higgins and Guard ate dinner consisting of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted vegetables, homemade bread and cheesecake at the home of Woodland Mayor Grover Laseke.

“We went out with a bang,” Higgins said.

The dinner in Woodland was part of a monthly gathering hosted by mayors from around the area.

Stephanie Millman is the program director for “Camas and Washougal on a Diet.”

During the kickoff, she cited 2008 Clark County public health records, which reported that approximately 51 percent of people in Camas and 67.5 percent in Washougal were overweight or obese.

Michelle Clark, executive director of Fat 2 Fit NW, is the personal trainer for Guard, while Ashley Clinton, of Ashley Clinton Personal Training LLC, is advising Higgins.

“Her specialty is catering to very busy people,” Higgins said Friday. “She will come to their office, home or a public park and put you through a workout. She came to me at City Hall today and did my first workout with her. We also went over my diet plan and game plan for the challenge.”

The mayors’ efforts to lose weight and inspire the local communities to do the same has received Associated Press attention in The New York Times and The Washington Post. A crew from “CBS This Morning” is expected to arrive in the Camas-Washougal area this week to tape a segment.

“I think Scott and I — while burying our modesty in doing this so publicly — are just honored to hopefully be some inspiration for many more to get healthy,” Guard said.

Participants in the local challenge can create confidential profiles and enter information about activities and food intake at www.camasandwashougalonadiet.com. So far, 104 individuals have lost 83 pounds and logged 274 miles.

The website features a calendar full of activities, including bike riding and walking. Area residents are invited to take part in work day walks with dog walker volunteers from the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society Monday through Friday, at 11:45 a.m., at Capt. William Clark Park, 3400 S. Index St., Washougal.

“Walk with Walgreens” kits are available at no cost at Walgreens in Lacamas Center, 3328 N.E. Third Ave., Camas. Each kit includes a pedometer.

Weigh ins and measurements are available at All Pride Fitness, 3307 Evergreen Way, Ste. 701, Washougal; Advocare, 334 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas; and Fearn Natural Health Clinic, 19206 S.E. First St., Ste. 118, Vancouver.

Dr. Paul Fearn and his staff have organized free classes about creating healthy lifestyles and keeping the weight off Tuesdays, at 6 p.m. The 45-minute classes will include the sharing of recipes. There will be opportunities to walk from the Fearn clinic every Wednesday at noon. For more information, call Fearn at 433-9016 or email ToYourHealth123@gmail.com.