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Tons of fun

What goes up, must come down in 'Largest Loser' contest

Joshua Roberts

Wellness tips

Below is a list of tips from wellness coordinators Amy Knights and Arin Koonce, of The Memorial Hospital, for contestants in the weight-loss competition, Craig's Largest Loser.

• Focus on positive self-talk. Congratulate yourself each time you take a step toward your goal. Do not reward yourself with food.

• Avoid punishing yourself if you "fall off the wagon." Having one high-calorie meal or missing a day of exercise does not mean you have blown it.

• Stick to your goal. Consider it a promise to yourself rather than a test of willpower.

• Avoid tempting situations.

• Place a sticky note where you can see it every day, reminding yourself of your goals. You could have one on your bathroom mirror, on your desk at work and one on your refridgerator.

• Be realistic. Make sure you can fit your plan into your lifestyle. Make changes easy and convenient so that you can stick with them. You want the changes to become a habit for years to come.

• Keep moving. Weight loss is nearly impossible without exercise.






John Henry

Wellness tips

Below is a list of tips from wellness coordinators Amy Knights and Arin Koonce, of The Memorial Hospital, for contestants in the weight-loss competition, Craig’s Largest Loser.

• Focus on positive self-talk. Congratulate yourself each time you take a step toward your goal. Do not reward yourself with food.

• Avoid punishing yourself if you “fall off the wagon.” Having one high-calorie meal or missing a day of exercise does not mean you have blown it.

• Stick to your goal. Consider it a promise to yourself rather than a test of willpower.

• Avoid tempting situations.

• Place a sticky note where you can see it every day, reminding yourself of your goals. You could have one on your bathroom mirror, on your desk at work and one on your refridgerator.

• Be realistic. Make sure you can fit your plan into your lifestyle. Make changes easy and convenient so that you can stick with them. You want the changes to become a habit for years to come.

• Keep moving. Weight loss is nearly impossible without exercise.

— Craig resident Brenda Gustafson stepped on the scale May 1 and didn’t like what the machine read back to her – 188.2 pounds.

She’s much happier with what it read Thursday – 173.8 pounds, or about 14 pounds less.

The cause behind her sudden drop in those unwanted pounds? Participation in Craig’s Largest Loser, a weight-loss contest sponsored by The Memorial Hospital and modeled after the NBC television show.

“I’m just going to keep going,” said Gustafson, a checker at City Market for four years and a member of the grocery store’s team. “I would like to get below 150 (pounds) eventually.”

The contest entails individuals and teams competing against one another on weight lost, based on percentage. Health-oriented prizes will be awarded to winners.

Contest organizers – Amy Knights and Arin Koonce, TMH wellness coordinators – said Gustafson’s weight loss neared the highest reduction of the 120 contestants who weighed in Thursday and was indicative of a trend among all participants.

“Almost everybody that weighed in today lost at least a pound or two,” Koonce said. “There were some that lost up to 15 pounds.”

More than 200 people are participating in the contest. In May, the contestants stepped onto a scale and notched a 42,021-pound total.

That’s about the same combined weight of three elephants.

But, those elephants are slimmer today.

Knights said 120 contestants weighed-in Thursday and their average weight loss per person was about 10 pounds – an estimated 1,200-pound difference.

“We’re on pace to lose a ton,” Koonce added.

Gustafson said “pure vanity” and health concerns were her reasons for entering the contest. She said she made some mild changes – “little steps” – to her dietary habits to shed weight.

She made four changes: cutting down on coffee and using low-cal sweetener instead of cream and sugar, eating a light breakfast, not eating past 7:30 p.m., and getting rid of sweets, literally.

“I got rid of all the sweet stuff in the house,” she said. “If it is in the house, I will find it.”

Life is easier when there is less of you, Gustafson said.

“It’s easier getting up the stairs,” she said. “It definitely makes a difference when you’re not packing that much weight around. I feel a whole lot better now.”

Any contestants who missed Thursday’s weigh in should call Knights or Koonce at 824-9411 to schedule a session for the beginning of next week. The next weigh-in for all contestants is from 8 to 10 a.m. Aug. 1 at MJK Sales and Feed, 290 Ranney St.


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