Losing to win

By Keith Strange

April 10, 2014

Mount Airy has gotten a little smaller.

Not in population, necessarily, rather in the amount of weight its residents are carrying around.

Between January and March, the 35 competitors in the Mount Airy Parks and Recreation-sponsored Biggest Loser/Losing for Life program lost a total of 357 pounds, according to program organizer and Reeves Community Center Health and Wellness Coordinator Bradley Key.

The 12-week program is a weight loss effort aimed at instilling a love of exercise and healthy loving, Key said.

“This is the fourth time we’ve offered the program, and it has been hugely successful each time,” he said.

“The program is open to anyone who may be overweight or obese,” said program organizer Bradley Key. “For this next session, we’re also inviting employees of our 85 corporate members to team up with their co-workers and compete against other local businesses to see who can lose the largest percentage of body weight.”

Key said the corporate challenge is open to teams of five to eight members, and registration is set to get under way on April 15. The team challenge runs from May 6 through July 29. Key said individuals are welcome to participate if they are unable to form a team.

Classes are set to run on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m., and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., with a low-intensity class offered on Thursday evening.

Key noted that while there is a competitive aspect to the program, it also offers participants the chance to learn about healthy weight loss while shedding pounds at the same time.

“We feel like the key to healthy weight loss is a combination of exercise and nutrition,” he said. “That’s why we offer this program, as a chance to combine these two things together to foster a healthier community.”

The Biggest Loser/Losing 4 Life program dates to 2006, and Key said the thousands of participants over the years can attest to its effectiveness.

“With each program, we can see a clear difference in the participants’ attitude and self-esteem,” he said. “This is in addition to the obvious, measurable benefits of weight loss and improved fitness levels.”

At the end of the competition, Christine Mihelcic was named the winner, losing 7.1 percent body fat and 14 percent of her body weight. Nicole Stanley took home second-place honors, losing 10 percent of her body weight.

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.