'Largest Losers' are big winners

Participants shed 759 total pounds in weight-loss competition

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Winners

Individual men:

• First place: Jared Jenkins, 19.3 percent lost body fat

• Second place: Jerry Raehal, 10.4 percent lost body fat

Individual female:

• First place: Brenda Gustafson, 12.8 percent lost body fat

• Second place: Bev Miller, 11.5 percent lost body fat

Medium teams (10 to 25 people):

• First place: KRAI, 3.2 percent lost body fat

• Second place: City Market, 2.87 percent lost body fat

Small teams (10 people or less):

• First place: Sewar Rats, 5.6 percent lost body fat

• Second place: Elam Construction, 4 percent lost body fat

— There's a little, or more accurately, nearly half a ton, less mass in Moffat County these days.

After three months of dieting, exercise, health and fitness consultations and weigh ins, the figures are in for participants of Craig's Largest Loser, a weight-loss competition modeled after the NBC television show.

In the end, the final scale read this: 759 total pounds lost.

"Only 40 percent (of participants) weighed in for the final time," said Amy Knights, The Memorial Hospital's diabetes educator and wellness coordinator, "so it could have been a lot higher."

Largest Loser was a competition that entailed individuals and teams competing against one another on weight lost, based on percentage. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

The contest was a first-time venture for the hospital. Knights said it's possible the contest will be a recurring offering by TMH.

"I wish more people would have participated, but I'm happy people were excited," she said. "We've had some people ask (about future contests) and I think it's something we should consider."

The final weigh-in for Largest Loser was Aug. 31. Anyone who missed the weigh-in was allowed to schedule an individual weigh in at a later date.

Knights said she heard from some people who were disappointed that some contestants had additional time to lose weight. This proved to be a non-factor, Knights said, as only two people weighed-in three days later.

They were not among the contest winners, she said.

Brenda Gustafson, a checker at City Market, won twice over in Largest Loser. As a City Market team member, she was part of a squad that earned second place in the medium team category - 10 to 25 people - and as an individual, she won in the female category by losing 12.8 percent body fat.

"That's great news," Gustafson said Thursday afternoon after being told she'd won the competition. "I'm pretty happy about it."

She began the competition weighing 188 pounds. Now, she's down to 161 pounds, a 27-pound difference in just a few months.

Gustafson said she's not done trying to stay slim. Her goal is to lose a half-pound per week until she's "down into that normal range" of 145 or 146 pounds.

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