Deana Cheatham, far right, lost 51.5 pounds in The Memorial Hospital's Craig's Largest Loser competition. Cheatham is pictured with her team, the Dimple Dumpers, which includes, from left, Peggy Hough, Carla Seales and LaVan White. The team earned first place among all 19 team entries by losing 124 pounds total, or 10.69 percent body weight.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Deana Cheatham, far right, lost 51.5 pounds in The Memorial Hospital's Craig's Largest Loser competition. Cheatham is pictured with her team, the Dimple Dumpers, which includes, from left, Peggy Hough, Carla Seales and LaVan White. The team earned first place among all 19 team entries by losing 124 pounds total, or 10.69 percent body weight.

Largest Loser contestants shed 969 total pounds

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Largest Loser winners

Below are the finishes for The Memorial Hospital's Craig's Largest Loser contest. Winners are determined by percentage of lost weight.

Teams:

1. Dimple Dumpers - 124 pounds, or 10.69 percent

2. Loser Buddies - 101 pounds, or 10.35 percent

3. Flab-u-Less 5 - 73 pounds, or 8.33 percent

4. Big-O Spare Tire Exchange - 61 pounds, or 5.93 percent

5. Mixers - 56.5 pounds, or 5.27 percent

6. Determinators - 47.5 pounds, or 4.89 percent

7. Fab Five - 42 pounds, or 4.69 percent

8. Fat Fab 5 - 53 pounds, or 4.54 percent

9. Full House - 51 pounds, or 4.37 percent

10. Mike's Girls - 34 pounds, or 4.26 percent

11. KRAI - 36.5 pounds, or 3.83 percent

12. Dazzling Dieting Divas - 37.5 pounds, or 3.78 percent

13. PHAT Chicks - 30 pounds, or 3.38 percent

14. Ladies in Weighting - 41 pounds, or 3.19 percent

15. Holistic Health & Fitness - 22 pounds, or 2.48 percent

16. Wild Women - 23.5 pounds, or 2.32 percent

17. VNA Butt Busters - 16.5 pounds, or 1.61 percent

18. Jelly Bellies - 16 pounds, or 1.43 percent

19. Las Amigos - 10.5 pounds or 1.24 percent

Individuals:

Females:

1. Deana Cheatham - 51.5 pounds, or 23.84 percent

2. Dixie Hatfield - 53.5 pounds, or 23.56 percent

Males:

1. Ken Olinger - 35 pounds, or 13.7 percent

— The average weight of an American man and woman is somewhere around 190 and 163 pounds, respectively, according to data. If so, there's the equivalent of about five fewer people walking around Craig and Moffat County today.

Results of the latest Craig's Largest Loser contest - a weight loss competition sponsored by The Memorial Hospital - revealed that 95 participants lost a combined 969 pounds, the highest total in the program's brief history.

"Almost 1,000 pounds," said Arin Koonce-Daigneau, TMH director of food and nutritional services. "We were hoping to hit that 1,000 pound mark, but didn't quite make it."

Still :

The contestants "were fantastic. They worked their butts off. Everyone was really supportive of each other and had a good time."

The goal behind the contest, which started in January and ended May 5, is to "improve the overall health of our community," Daigneau said. And, although narrowly missing out on the 1,000-pound goal, she said the contest clearly achieved that primary accomplishment.

Three individual winners - two women and a man - exemplified living a healthier lifestyle, she added.

Deana Cheatham (51.5 pounds) and Dixie Hatfield (53.5 pounds) lost a combined 105 pounds, or 47.4 percent body weight. They shared the title of overall winner in the female category.

Ken Olinger lost 35 pounds, or 13.7 percent body weight, and was tops in the male category.

An awards luncheon took place Friday at Holistic Health & Fitness. Hatfield was awarded a year membership to Holistic, and Cheatham and Olinger a bicycle; both prizes have about a $300 value.

The two women have something else in common besides being the individual winners.

"I still want to lose another 15 pounds," Hatfield said. "That's still a goal."

"I think I want to lose 15 or 20 more," Cheatham said.

Hatfield, 52, said a workout regiment consisting of cardiovascular conditioning, weight training and boxing helped her lose the weight.

"I was committed to five days a week for sure and an hour on the weekend," she said. The result: Her weight decreased from 227 pounds at the start to 173.5 today.

"I feel so much better," Hatfield said. "It's just a forever goal, a lifetime goal - to be in better shape."

Cheatham, 37, described her weight at the outset of the contest as "a lot." A 1,200 calorie a day or less diet paired with a mixture of exercises caused her to lose the excess pounds.

"I wrote down everything I ate," said Cheatham, who cut back on sugars and increased eating fruits and vegetables. "Even gum."

At first, Cheatham said, the prospect of changing her lifestyle to lose weight for the contest was "intimidating." However, she felt better after some mild changes in the first week helped her lose six pounds at the get go.

"It was like, 'This really isn't so bad,'" she said. "You see results and you want to keep doing it."

Cheatham and Hatfield had more than just individual success in the contest. Their teams, the Dimple Dumpers and Loser Buddies, finished first and second in the contest, respectively.

The Dimple Dumpers were awarded a prize package valued at about $450 that included a six-month membership to Holistic, nine-holes at Yampa Valley Golf Course, a $100 City Market gift certificate, a $100 card for new tennis shoes and a one-hour massage.

Cheatham and Hatfield said the healthier lifestyle habits they picked up during the contest are here to stay.

"I really hope it is," Cheatham said. "I feel so much better. This has made such a huge difference."

"You have less stress when you feel good about yourself," Hatfield said, adding that her plan for Friday evening was to hit the gym. "I'll be there tonight at 6 p.m."

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1791, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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