Reeves Community Center’s 20th session of the Biggest Loser/Losing for Life exercise and weight loss program celebrated participants’ achievements with an awards dinner on Thursday night. Multiple awards were given for team and individual weight loss and the entire group lost more than 600 pounds.
The Biggest Loser/Losing for Life began six years ago as a partnership between the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center and Reeves Community Center, which is run by Mount Airy Parks and Recreation. Overall, 17,695 pounds have been lost by participants in the 20 sessions.
The program has become so popular, according to the head of the program and trainer Bradley Key, that the center now holds three sessions each year, with many participants taking part in each session.
The program began in early January and around 60 people completed this session, said Key.
Each participant had a weekly weigh-in and Key said they tracked body fat loss and BMI, plus loss in inches.
This year, they added a team component, with pairs of males, pairs of females, and mixed couple teams.
Participants met twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for workouts and nutritional information from the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center’s dietitian, Lori Baumgardner.
Key said the workouts varied each week. “We keep it fun and tried to switch it up. We did everything from yoga to boot camp and everything in between. We even had workouts geared for those who had limitations and showed them how to do modified exercises, so everyone could participate.”
The participants were encouraged to work out on their own and the trainers helped them base workouts on their individual needs and goals, which could include walking on the Greenway Trail system or a walking trail at a park, working out using Reeves’ equipment, or by participating in one of the many classes offered.
Key said that one of the important components of the program was the nutritional support given by the health and nutrition center, which took place at the beginning of class on Thursdays.
“We have people participate over and over each year. Some of the people here have been in more than six sessions, and they keep coming back because they love it and they see results,” said Key.
Marie Haynes of Mount Airy said she originally enrolled because she was concerned about her health. She had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and was “a little overweight.” She went to an aerobics class at Reeves and heard about the Biggest Loser/Losing for Life program and decided to enroll because she heard they offered “a good, intense workout.” Overall, Haynes has lost more than 20 pounds and she achieved her goal by lowering her blood pressure.
“I keep coming back because I love the trainers and the motivation it gives me…I learned a lot about how to eat and have totally changed my diet,” said Haynes.
April Hiatt of Mount Airy said she has been a part of the program for more than six sessions. “I keep coming back every time because it is a lot of fun. It is stress relief for me.”
Hiatt said she originally came because she wanted to lose weight and the program offered “something different” than regular exercise and weight loss programs.
Another participant who has been back more than six times was Janice Norman, also of Mount Airy. Norman said she “needs the push and the discipline” the program offered her. “I love the workouts and I wanted to be healthier because it makes me feel good.”
Both Norman and Hiatt said they became members of Reeves Community Center because of the Biggest Loser/Losing for Life program.
After a meal of healthy foods, many participants received awards and door prizes, which included gift cards donated by Subway, Mount Airy Parks and Recreation bags and water bottles, Reeves’ T-shirts, and memberships for Reeves Community Center.
This sessions winners for the overall most weight lost were:
• 1st place for overall weight loss: George Zeigler with 42 pounds lost
• 2nd place individual weight loss: Joshua Moser with 23 pounds lost
• 1st place for individual female weight loss: Misty Leftwich
• 2nd place individual female weight loss: Malinda Riggs
• 1st place for male/female team weight loss: Sam and Wendy Moser with 21 pounds lost
• 2nd place for male/female team weight loss: Lincoln Duncan and Miranda Jones with 20.6 pounds lost
• 1st place for female team weight loss: Lisa Selba and Velvet Wilson with 42.4 pounds lost
• 2nd place for female team weight loss: Leslie Meador and Cathy Cloukey with 22 pounds lost
• 1st place for male team weight loss: Lane Edwards and W.G. Easter with 61 pounds lost
• 2nd place for male team weight loss: Warren Easter and Kelly Easter with 26 pounds lost
George Zeigler said he was proud of his weight loss, but he “still has a long way to go.” He said he “had no clue” he had won, but felt like a winner because he knew he was doing well.
This session was Zeigler’s third and he didn’t see significant weight loss until now, because he said he changed his diet significantly this time, mostly by counting calories and making sure they were at 1,200 for each day. “I was burning 1600 calories during my workouts, so that is what helped me lose the weight.”
Zeigler said he was able to achieve his goals thanks to support and help from his daughter, Olivia Henley, and his wife, Kathi.
“My wife is great…sometimes I don’t get home after my workouts until 7:30 or 8 and she supports me through it all,” said Zeigler.
Key said he was impressed with Zeigler’s hard work and determination, especially because he was injured but he “pushed through” and kept going with regular workout sessions, mostly using weights and cardio.
The program is free for members, and Key said those who would like to participate should inquire about a three-month membership to Reeves Community Center, then sign up for the program. A new session begins April 30 and the registration deadline is April 15.
Reach Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1933.