April 9, 2009

Fitness Center Crowns Biggest Losers, Starts Search For Future Winners

Have you ever wondered who the biggest loser in Memphis is? Wonder no more! Thursday, April 2 presented three big losers at the Scotland County Fitness Center as the BLOG contest (Biggest Loserís Own Gain) came to a conclusion. The three-member team of Chris and Paula Montgomery and David Smith lost a combined weight of 140.4 pounds over a 12-week period, starting January 8, 2009.

In an effort to help kick off a very common New Yearís resolution to lose weight, the Scotland County Fitness Center offered the contest to the general public in conjunction with a Walk to Branson sponsored by the Scotland County Health Department. Much to everyoneís amazement, an exceptionally large group of people turned out on January 8 to mark the beginning of the contest.

The winning team of Montgomeryís and Smith, joined the contest and started the first week in 14th place. Week two they moved up to 6th place and then put a move on it! They moved to position three on week three, maintained second position on weeks four and five and then on February 19 moved to the top, never to look back again. They had serious contenders with Team Jackson (David, Jodi and Shelly Jackson), The Gonna Beís (Lezah Glover, Sharon Parsons and Courtney Jones) and The Buffet Busters (Kris and Kelly Lister and Bill McBee) before winning the contest by having a combined team total of 18.50% total percentage of weight loss. The entire group of 90 people lost recorded total pounds of 1083.3 over the 12-week period.

Each week, the contestants came to weigh in, walk the track if they desired and receive healthy recipes for the week. In addition, a weekly drawing was held among those that either maintained their weight or lost for the week and offered the winner a $30 gift certificate to purchase healthy foods at Jís Foods of Memphis. Many contestants shared healthy points or dieting tips, exercise habits, as well as encouraging each other as they stood in line. A camaraderie was formed among the group, even though they were all competing for the same grand prizeó$870 to be divided among the 3 team members who lost the largest percentage of weight.

At the final weigh in, many success stories were shared. Chris Montgomery stated that he had been to his family doctor and had been taken off his medications for high blood pressure due in part to his weight loss, as well as his blood sugar levels were considerably down. One contestant had made a bet with her son over three years ago, that should she get below a certain weight he would quit smoking. Guess what? Heís now kicking the habit! Another family shared the fact that the Mom had participated in the program, but because of her healthy meal preparation and eating habits, one of her family members had lost 15 pounds with her even though she wasnít in the contest.

Many members shared their success was due in part to the accountability that was required by coming each week and reporting to someone other than themselves. The competition between team members also offered another level of encouragement.

With the completion of the program and the request of many members to continue their new way of healthy living, the Scotland County Fitness Center will sponsor a new program. Members of the general public are encouraged to come join the free, weekly weigh in and get additional details on the new contest at the Fitness Center on Thursday, April 16 between 5 and 6 p.m.



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