(Pictured Left:) (L-R): Wendy Wolbert & Kim Duggan .
By: Rachel N. Johnson
Stop by the magazine rack and pick up a copy of Hers Muscle & Fitness, flip to page 72 and find out all about Pleasure Island and Wilmington’s own Fit Foursome. Kim Duggan and Wendy Wolbert are Pleasure Island’s dynamic fitness duo. Both of these women provide inspiration and encouragement to one another as well as others.
It all began in 1996 when Kim Duggan first moved to the area. She joined Gold’s Gym as a way of meeting people. Little did she know that she would meet some of the closest friends of her life and also come to be in the best shape ever and even compete as a figure competitor.
Kim began meeting other women at the gym and almost instantly Meghan Belcher, Joan Taylor-Webb, Wendy Wolbert, and Kim Duggan became friends. They encouraged one another in and out of the gym, shared dietary advice, and discovered they had a lot in common. Over time they all began to share the desire to compete and together they trained and prepared their bodies for these events. About 2 years ago, Kim mentioned the idea that they would make a neat photo shoot and story as they represent women from their early twenties all the way to their fifties who share camaraderie and a common goal. At this time they took a few pictures and sent letters to several different magazines. They waited anxiously for a response only to be disappointed. No one called or wrote, until February of this year. Hers Muscle & Fitness sent a photographer to the area in April and the ladies had a photo shoot at the Gold’s Gym on Racine Drive in Wilmington.
They thought that they might have a small story about them in the magazine but were not expecting the 4-page spread that appeared in the July/August edition of the magazine. The magazine hit the stands in mid June and will be available until August 13th.
Kim Duggan works at the hospital as a nurse in the main Operating Room. She has been working at the hospital for the past 10 years. Prior to that she worked as a Hospice Nurse. She is the mother of 2, a wife, and a caregiver for her elderly parent. Wendy Wolbert owns a Fitness Club called Body Fit Health & Fitness in Smithfield, NC and she has been a General Contractor for the last 9 1/2 years. She owns and operates her own contracting business putting her in the 2% of women in the field. She got into the field from her desire to build her own gym. Wendy is the mother of one and a wife. These two hardworking mothers have made it a priority in their busy lives to stay fit and healthy. They provide each other constant encouragement and have found that visiting the gym is an excellent way to relieve stress and find exercise to be therapy.
“It is about taking control of your life, helping others, and putting a priority in yourself. Everyone has time as long as they make it a priority,” explains Wolbert. Both Duggan and Wolbert agree that the key to success is to be consistent with your exercise and your diet. “Be diligent and consistent to whatever you commit too.
Make it a part of your day just like an appointment. You can be fit at any age. When you feel good about yourself you are more confident in all areas of your life,” Duggan and Wolbert agreed. They both also agree that your diet is 75% of the battle. They suggest that you eat right, have 6 small meals a day, avoid white starches and sugar and sele ct whole wheat and multigrain. Stay creative with your menu so that you feel satisfied and don’t binge. Also they remind you when you start to lose motivation that “you don’t ever walk out of the gym saying I wish I hadn’t gone.”
Both Kim Duggan and Wendy Wolbert enter competitions. Kim competes in figure contests while Wendy competes in fitness contests. Wendy has been competing off and on for over 20 years while Kim only began competing when she turned 40 a few years ago.
In 2001, Wendy decided that there were not enough female judges judging these all women figure competitions and she became a judge. The women in the figure competitions are judged in two rounds on symmetry, conditioning, and athleticism. “It is not about being skinny. It is about shaping your body into an athletic form with a healthy leanness,” explained Wolbert. “Everyday I wake up and try to be extraordinary,” smiled Wendy. “I think of how I can make a difference for my family and friends so that I am not just taking up space.”
“We wish all women could feel empowered. Working out contributes to life. We are flattered and appreciate it when people ask us about exercise, fitness, and diets. We always tell them this is what works for me,” agreed Duggan and Wolbert with warm smiles.
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