Setting a good example for her family and children is also a high priority for Vickery, as she said that she would rather her children grab for an apple instead of going for a Twinkie.
"I want them to know healthy," she said. "I want them to go out there and choose riding a bicycle or to go bowling or playing tennis, instead of sitting there watching 'Two and a Half Men.'"
Another participant who went through a life-threatening experience was Tami McDonald, 47, of Voorheesville, who suffered a heart attack in December 2009, which resulted in her having to undergo bypass surgery.
Being a smoker and living with stress due to some personal issues, McDonald called herself a type A personality. But what really freaked her out was waking up in a hospital bed and being the youngest person in the room by 30 years.
Now with being a part of this challenge, McDonald vows to make this opportunity work for her.
"I think it's my second chance to get it right," she said.
Although she was carrying around the flier promoting the program, McDonald said she didn't turn her application in until the day before it was due. When she got the call that she was accepted, she almost didn't believe it, but said she was very excited.
"I really needed to make some life changes," she said. "I started some things on my own. I started exercising and I started dancing. But I need to obviously lose some weight. I'm made for this, this is me."
Tonisha Bynum, 32, of Colonie said she had known for a long time that she needed to lose weight, but past attempts to do so have failed. With a program that pushes one to exercise and with a group of nine other women who are there for support, Bynum said she feels she can succeed.