Shredding the pounds to win |

Shredding the pounds to win

New weight loss competition to launch Monday

Bridget Manley

Steamboat Springs resident Sharon Timmerman lost 20 pounds in six weeks while participating in a Routt County chapter of Weight Loss Challenge, a nation-wide program. On Monday, she will launch the fitness competition in Craig.

Year after year, it was the same.

Sharon Timmerman would vow to lose 30 pounds before the new year was over.

But, the weight didn’t disappear. Instead, she said, she would gain about 10 pounds.

“And, you’re thinking to yourself, ‘What am I doing wrong?'”

Timmerman knew she needed help from someone who had fought and won the same battle she was fighting.

Timmerman, a Steamboat Springs resident, eventually found what she was looking for. She joined the Steamboat Springs-based chapter of Weight Loss Challenge, a national weight loss competition. The program is one of several fitness programs inspired by NBC’s television show, “The Biggest Loser.”

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The program worked, Timmerman said.

She has numbers to prove it. She lost 20 pounds in the first six weeks.

Timmerman has confidence that Weight Loss Challenge will work for other people – so much so that she’s offering it in Craig this month.

She made the decision after several Craig residents working in Steamboat Springs expressed interest in the program and wanted a branch of it closer to their homes.

Timmerman won’t be getting paid for working with the program, she said. Instead, she’s doing it to help Craig residents who need help losing extra pounds.

“I want to help other people with their battles,” she said.

Registration for the 12-week program begins at 6 p.m. Monday at the Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave. Timmerman aims to host one class a week ranging in size between 20 and 25 people. But, she’s also willing to make room if more people show interest.

Weight Loss Challenge won’t be the first fitness contest to come to Craig. In the past, The Memorial Hospital has sponsored Craig’s Largest Loser, another spin-off from the popular TV show.

Holistic Health & Fitness Center plans to take over the program from the hospital this year, although the arrangement isn’t official yet.

Weight Loss Challenge, Craig’s newest weight loss contest, relies on accountability, education and a dose of competition to spur people into shedding unwanted weight.

Participants pay a $39 entry fee when they register for the program. Of that sum, $4 pays for administrative costs and $10 is donated to, a charity devoted to quashing youth obesity.

The rest goes into a pot that will be divided among the top three competitors who have lost the largest percentage of their body weight during the 12-week period.

Half of the sum is awarded to the top-placing participant, while second- and third-place winners receive 30 and 20 percent of the remainder, respectively.

If 20 people sign up for the class Monday, $250 will await the person who loses highest percentage of their body weight.

But, participants also could stand to lose money if they stray from the straight and narrow. Group members are charged $1 for each pound gained during the 12 weeks and $5 if they miss two or more classes.

Incentives along the way are designed to help keep participants on track.

At each weekly meeting, the person who loses the most weight is awarded a door prize, which can range from water bottles to health snacks.

And, through the Weight Loss Challenge’s Web site, participants take weekly lessons that cover a spectrum of fitness topics. One week’s tutorial may focus on the importance of eating protein, while another could teach competitors how to maximize their metabolism.

“We’re retraining our brains as we’re retraining our bodies,” Timmerman said.

Program coordinators, including Timmerman, will be on hand to help participants as they work their way through the 12-week course.

“We offer assistance to people if they have questions, if they’re struggling, if they want to rev up their metabolism,” Timmerman said.

Finally, Timmerman plans to set up weekly individual meetings with competitors to discuss their progress with them one-on-one.

“A lot of people don’t want to talk about their weight loss in front of 25 other people,” she said.

But, at its core, the program also centers around accountability.

“I believe people have better success when they schedule a time to meet other people,” Timmerman said. “If you set an appointment to meet someone, you’ll go to that appointment.

“Knowing that this appointment entails a weigh in and you’re going to have to tell your friends did you lose weight this week – were you successful this week – there’s going to be that little extra motivation on Wednesday night when you’re weighing in on Thursday to not have that piece of pie or drink that beer.”

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or