Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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January 19, 2013

'Biggest Loser' competition kicks off in Nappanee

NAPPANEE — Approximately 70 people have taken the first step to a healthier life style by signing up for this year’s Biggest Loser Competition. This is the second year for the competition sponsored by the Nappanee Area Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Nappanee Health and Fitness — the purpose to promote healthier lifestyles in Nappanee.

Contestants are being offered tons of support, as well as discounts on some products and services to help them on their journeys, prizes along the way and grand prizes at the end of the competition.

A kickoff meeting took place Jan. 10 at Nappanee Health and Fitness where contestants were introduced to a whole team of professionals who will be available to them during the contest. Including Certified Personal Trainer Shane Staley, who told them they were in a way like addicts.

“I am here to help you,” Staley said, “This is your rehab center and I’m your sponsor. I’m not a drill sergeant. I get to know you and what you can and cannot do and set up a program for you.”

He addressed two common objections people use for not joining a gym or using a trainer — cost and the fear of being judged by others.

“This is the friendliest gym I’ve been to,” he assured them. “Everybody here wants to get in and get out and feel better about themselves. They’re not here to be critical of you.”

As for the cost, he asked contestants to think about the money they spend daily on health insurance and medicine. Staley is offering his personal training services to contestants at a discounted price of $10 per 30-minute session during the competition.

Also offering his services to the contestants is Certified Sports Nutritionalist Doug Pomeroy, who worked 20 years as a personal trainer. He told the contestants, “Food is 75 percent of your success. The wrong foods can cause you to fail before you even start.”

He said everyone should eat five to six times a day with a combination of proteins, complex carbohydrates and mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.

“When people diet they tend to focus on just one of the three”, he said. “If you eat healthy you’ll have to force yourself to eat enough because you won’t be hungry.”

Pomeroy told them at almost 60 years old he’s had 21 surgeries and overcame cancer five times. If not for his healthy lifestyle, he said he wouldn’t be alive today “and still able to do 100 pushups.”

“The choices you make now will make a difference down the road,” he told them.

Lyndsay Yoder was a contestant last year. This year she’s part of the support team. She told the group, “One year ago I sat where you are — 40 pounds heavier.”

She said she’d convinced herself that was normal after giving birth to three children and being in her 30s; that she could eat whatever and just work out more. “I would have told you we were eating healthy,” she said.

But after going through the program and learning from Doug she said she now knows, “Never will anything you eat taste as good as fit and healthy feels.”

Yoder told them the program uses the philosophy of “The Biggest Loser” for the contest. Participants know, “We’re here to support you as much of us as you want,” that they have one another to be accountable to and a support team to call when things get tough.

“What you’ve decided to do is huge,” she said. “It takes your body three to four months to convince it to change.”

A couple of people there looking for change included Terra Fischer, sponsored by her employer, Topping Dental Group. Terra joined with Jenny Fischer, also through Topping Dental Group. Terra said her goal is to lose 25 pounds. “But I don’t want to stress out about it or I’ll give up,” she admitted.

Ronda Klotz was enticed to the program by seeing how it affected Lyndsay Yoder in such a positive way. “I saw the signs for it and thought, ‘OK, it’s time.’”

Klotz’s first goal is to lose 25 pounds by the time she goes to Florida in March.

The program officially started Monday and goes to March 26. The group will meet for support and training every other Tuesday evening and there are giveaways at each meeting. At the kickoff someone won their entry fee back and two others won gift cards from Martin’s Supermarkets. Contestants will also receive a T-shirt.

“We’re not giving it to you till near the end because I don’t want anyone to need the same size,” Yoder said.

The top male and top female with the most percentage of weight lost will each win $250. All who weigh in at the finish will be entered into a drawing for a two-day, family of five prize package for WFRN’s Friend Fest to be held at Amish Acres in June.

Yoder told them, “Ask yourself, ‘Am I seriously ready to change my life? I promise you if you give 100 percent  — not 90 percent —100 percent for the next 10 weeks, you’ll look better, feel better and weigh less. You can do anything for 10 weeks.”

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