Sunday, April 27, 2008


Well, we’re off again. 65 people met last Friday night for the 2nd time, following their 1st week in Biggest Loser “4”. We met for the 1st time a week ago for the initial weigh-in and 1 mile walk/run, 1 minute max pushups, and 1 minute max situps.

This time we started the Friday night workouts. After the weigh-in, Joe Stidham (the winner from Biggest Loser 3) took them out for a little run while I figured up the results for the week. Astonishingly, our Week One results might even be better than last time, but more on that later.

The goal in the first week is always to just get everyone moving. Remember, we’re asking them to work out twice a day. Walk a minimum of a mile every morning (20 min max), and then hit the real workout in the afternoon or evening.

That workout consists of lifting weights three times a week on M, W, F, and a focused cardio workout three times a week on T, TH, and Sat. For the first month, the weights will be on the machines.

This week, they were supposed to just do the circuit once, picking a weight they could lift comfortably 12-15 times. For cardio, they were supposed to warm up for 5 minutes, and then pick up the pace, incline, speed, etc… for 20 minutes or so, and then cool down for 5-10 minutes.

The goal next week is to turn up the intensity. On the weight machines, instead of one circuit, they’re supposed to hit it twice, and try to keep moving the whole time—no rest breaks. On their cardio days, they’re supposed to boost the intensity, and possibly keep going a little longer.

In the boot camp, they did pushups for a minute, situps for a minute, and then 5 sets of 10 body squats mixed up with a bunch of core exercises like planks, plank extensions, knee-ins, and an entire ab routine. Then they ran the dots (always a group favorite)—remember the “suicides” you did in school?

It was a tough workout, and most of them were pretty sore over the weekend, but the key is to get up and start moving and stretching, and the soreness leaves pretty quickly. They don’t believe me, but it will probably never be that bad again. The body is wonderfully made, and its ability to get stronger quickly is amazing.

We also told them how to measure their body fat, and they were supposed to go to the website ( and plug in their numbers. This would tell them their minimum—the amount of calories they need to eat, just to exist.

Then, they set a reasonable calorie goal, somewhere about that minimum. You might recall that I always say that 9 out of 10 women aren’t eating enough (and I can prove it). The goal here is to get them thinking about how much they’re eating this week.

Next Friday, I’ll talk to them about the quality of their food. Once they start dialing that in, plus all the workouts, we’ll start seeing some great results, if the first weigh-in is any indication. I’m also going to raise the bar in the Friday night workout.

The winner this week was Rodney Rodrick, who lost an amazing 4.6% of his body weight, which works out to -11.4 lbs! He received a $25 Casey’s gift card from Dimond Brothers Insurance, who is once again sponsoring the contest.

The second place winner was another newcomer, Tracy Rush, who lost 3.7% of his body weight and 8.8 lbs. We were unable to get a picture of Rodney at the time, so Tracy stood in for him in the picture.

Third place went to—surprise—Bill Lewis. Remember our runner-up from last time? He’s off to a strong start, losing 3.4% of his body weight and -7.6 lbs. Other great showings include Mike Elledge (-9.1 lbs), Jim York (-8.2 lbs) Josh Rigdon (-7.8 lbs), and Darren German, (-7.4 lbs).

Another 14 people lost at least four lbs and many lost 5 or 6 lbs, quite a few of them women! I don’t know, but this seems to be an even better start than last time, and you know how well that turned out. It’s a great new beginning for each of them. How about you? Why not follow along and do what they do? You could have a new beginning too.

Monday, April 21, 2008


As I look around, I find that people seem to fall into two different categories: those that can move and those that can’t. The difference between them also seems to become more pronounced the older they get.

In their 30’s and 40’s, you start to see it. People are less and less active and have more and more aches and pains. Often, a condition has become chronic and they’re dealing with it. Many times, they’ve had to limit activities, and it really starts to slow them down.

It gets really obvious with people in their 50’s and 60’s, however. In many cases, all activity has ceased except for basic walking and standing, and often times, those are difficult.

I think the differences are most pronounced with people in their 70’s and 80’s. At this point, you’re either up and moving around, or you’re not.

Come to think about it, it’s pretty common to see skids and teenagers having a hard time moving these days. Youth obesity is rampant—just go to the mall and watch for awhile. What kind of future do they have, even as early as their 20’s?

And this isn’t the way it was supposed to be. If you look at the human body, we’re fearfully and wonderfully made. We’re made to move and specially designed. When healthy, we can walk and run, bend and lift, turn and throw things.

Just watch a one or two year old. They can squat down and stay that way. Pick their feet up and stick them in their mouth (try that in your 40’s). They not only can run, they want to run—everywhere. That’s how I want to be (except the feet thing).

I know a guy in his 60’s who’s a national champion in running. He can get there in a hurry. Is he just a fluke? Or has he worked at it.

My dad will be 85. Sure, he’s moving slower than he used to, but he can bend down and pick something up if you drop it—before you can. He never misses his workout. If he does, he makes it up—two in one day!

Somewhere along the line, many of us quit moving, and that’s where the downward spiral begins. The old saying is true. Use it or lose it.

If you don’t make a point to staying active, at some point, you’ll lose muscle tone. You’ll get weaker. Your bones will weaken. Ultimately, your metabolism will slow. You’ll put on fat.

At some point, you’ll do even less because it’s harder than it used to be. Finally, even going up and down stairs will get difficult. Reaching up into cupboards above your head will be harder. Forget picking up your grandkids, you won’t even be able to get into the car to go see them.

I know this sounds harsh, but it’s true. And it’s so unnecessary. Studies show that people in their 80’s can increase strength and muscle tone in as little as 6 weeks! We had a 67 year old come in 2nd place in the last Biggest Loser “3”. He lost 52.5 lbs and signed up for the next one!

I see people in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s working out every day—they do it not because they want to (although many enjoy it)—they do it because they know they have to.

Look, I know there are things you can’t control, like genetics, and accidents, and even many illnesses. They just come on and you have to deal with it. But it’s funny how some people can still keep moving, even through adversity, if they want to.

There’s a lot of evidence that what we eat might keep many illnesses at bay. Fruits and greens are believed to give us a measure of immunity against illness and disease.

Other foods with protein help us improve strength and muscle tone. Still other foods like quality whole grains and other good starches (in moderation) Give us the energy we need to get through your day.

But most of us don’t even come close to eating the way we should. We eat too many things we shouldn’t, and not enough things that we should eat.

It’s clear that regular exercise can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, onset or worsening of osteoporosis. But still, many of us don’t do that either. We’re too busy and don’t have time for it. It’s inconvenient and messy. It’s too hard.

What’s hard is not being able to do the things you want to do. Being in a constant state of decline, where little by little, you feel things slipping away.

How do you want to live the next 10 years, or 20 or more? How do you want to live this year? We have a record 65 signed up to take on the 12 week challenge in our “Biggest Loser 4” starting next week.

These are people that want to change the way they feel. They want to change the way they feel about themselves, too. Of course, they also want to change the way they look.

I really admire them. It takes courage to face things. To admit you need to change. It takes even more courage to take action and do something about it. It takes courage, knowing things are going to change, and it won’t be easy.

But think about how things could be—how they will be—once you get started on that new journey. You can have your life back. You can be what you were really designed to be, and do what you were designed to do.

You are unique and special with a unique and special job to do. Nothing feels better than knowing you’re right where you need to be, doing right what you’re supposed to be doing. That’s pretty hard to do when your joints ache and your back hurts cause you’re carrying too much weight around.

God has given us a unique chance to be the story in our own book. The pages haven’t all been written yet, and guess what—you hold the pen in your hands. That’s right—you. What are you going to do about it?

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I got to see something special this past weekend. Originally, I was just going to see my Cutie-Pie in her first role as one of the smaller “Who’s” in the Paris High School production of Seussical the Musical. I ended up seeing so much more (as great as she was).

Within two minutes they had totally pulled me in. From the awesome performances of the “Cat in the Hat,” and “Horton,” to one of my former student’s delightful role as a bird who dupes Horton into sitting on her egg, this was an amazing thing to see.

Outside of the great songs, rhymes and gags, I was struck by the sheer volume of work involved. While my granddaughter was making her acting debut, my daughter was making up faces, and my son-in-law was working with the props backstage.

That was just one family. There were many involved. According to the director, Dan Lynch, there were well over a hundred kids involved in the performance. One fourth of all the high school students were involved in some way with the musical.

Imagine all the potential energy they had to harness—all the different talents and personalities, that came together to make this thing work—and work it did. Dan and the assistants did a remarkable job, and so did all the kids.

Well over a year ago, Dan had a vision of what could be done. The team spent a year imagining it (thinking a thought as the writers and Dr. Seuss would say). Then they started recruiting help in each area. My granddaughter knew she was going to be a “Who” for many months before they began practicing.

They got help from the art department, the music department, and many other volunteers in the community. The kids got together and practiced—and practiced. And you know what? It all came together. Boy did it come together. I’m guessing it was just like Dan “thinked it.”
So what’s this got to do with losing weight, or with our next group of “Biggest Losers” starting this Friday, or with you? It’s simple.

While we might not all be able to get up on a stage and make everyone smile, we all have our own potential. We can all think a thought about something we’d like to do, like Dan did, like the writers did, and like Dr. Seuss tried to teach us so many years ago.

We have but to think a thought, dream a dream. And then, just like these great kids and volunteers did, get to work on it. Getting help where we need it, and practicing our part in it. Sure it might be difficult. It might be inconvenient. But nothing great comes without great effort.
You can even tell your own story. What thought do you dare to think? And what do you think might come of it when you try? I can’t wait to see it.

Nice job Dan, Cutie-Pie, Hannah, Amanda, T.J., and everyone else. And by the way, I don’t mind green eggs and ham, and I’ll take some whole wheat toast with it. Butter side up.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


It’s been a great 12 weeks and the final results are in. I have to say, that while I’ve been proud of all our Biggest Loser groups over the past year, this group has really raised the bar. There were several new records along the way. Our Biggest Loser, and the winner of the $500 was Joe Stidham who lost an amazing 21.324% of his body weight (49.6 lbs).

We started with 57 people and ended up with 21 people at the final weigh-in. Probably nine others (that I know of) were still active although they didn’t make the weigh-in. Three were still participating, but missed the weigh-in.

Perhaps six more had conflicts on Fridays, but were continuing with their workouts and improved eating habits. A couple others had had serious injuries that kept them from participating.

Cheryl Redmon lost more weight than any other woman (36.4 lbs) in 12 weeks. Four guys lost more than 40 lbs: Cody Redmon (40.2 lbs), Joe Stidham (49.6 lbs), Bill Lewis (52.2 lbs), and Chris Redmon took top honors and set a new record for weight loss (56.2 lbs).

Another nine people lost more than 15 lbs during the 12 weeks: Penny Spinner (15.5 lbs), Tiffany Gann (16.4 lbs), Jane Graham (16.6 lbs), Jasmine Camp (17.8 lbs), Donnie Bartos and Carla Sinclair (19.4 lbs), Janet Tyler (21.4), Stacey Reed (22.2 lbs), and Tony Haupt (27.8 lbs).
Finally, another six lost 10 lbs or close to it: Angel Lumpp (9.2 lbs), Rita Haupt (9.6 lbs), Shirley Fiscus (9.8 lbs), Dawn Stewart (10.0 lbs), Sherree Hutchings (10.2 lbs), and Pam Kelly (10.9 lbs).

I have to also mention the Redmon family again. As a family, Chris, Cheryl and Cody lost a combined total of 132.8 lbs. That’s more than amazing. Talk about changing their family tree! What a great example to set for the community. Nice job guys.

You should have seen them Friday afternoon out at the high school track for the final 1 mile walk/run. They’ve been improving their times each week, and the goal this time was to really let their hair down and show everyone what they could do.

It’s very typical to see a 3-4 minute improvement in the 1 mile walk/run time over 12 weeks. I have to say that this time, I was astonished. Stacey Reed went from 21:00 to 12:13, about a 9 minute improvement! She’s been doing everything. If we offer the class, she’s in it.

Denise Cravens went from 19:00 to 11:04, an 8 minute improvement. While she hasn’t yet seen all the weight loss she’s looking for, she is much stronger. You should see her during our power lunch workouts—I know she’s going to get what she wants.

Pam Kelly went from 21:12 to 14:12, exactly a 7 minute improvement. And our oldest competitor, Bill Lewis (age 67) went from 16:58 to 11:04; Sherree Hutchings, 18:37 to 12:47; and Donnie Bartos, 13:41 to a smokin’ 7:26, each about a 6 minute improvement.

The final competitors saw great improvements in their ability to do pushups and situps, too. Bill couldn’t do a single situp 12 weeks ago and posted 20 this time. Pam couldn’t get one at the first test and finished with 41. Many competitors doubled and some even tripled their ability to do pushups in a minute.

The great thing is all the competitors are so much stronger now—both physically and mentally and that’s going to serve them well in the future. So here are the final results from Biggest Loser “3”:

Name % Wt Loss Lbs Lost
1. Joe Stidham -21.324 -49.6
2. Bill Lewis -18.940 -52.2
3. Chris Redmon -17.218 -56.2
4. Cheryl Redmon -17.218 -36.4
5. Cody Redmon -12.036 -40.2
6. Carla Sinclair -10.948 -19.4
7. Janet Tyler -10.797 -21.4
8. Tony Haupt -10.611 -27.8
9. Jane Graham -10.197 -16.6
10. Stacey Reed -10.091 -22.2
11. Donnie Bartos -9.566 -19.4
12. Penny Spinner -8.944 -15.5
13. Jasmine Camp -7.646 -17.8
14. Tiffany Gann -7.509 -16.4
15. Angel Lumpp -5.875 -9.2
16. Rita Haupt -5.811 -9.6
17. Sherree Hutchings -5.484 -10.2
18. Shirley Fiscus -4.799 -9.8
19. Dawn Stewart -4.739 -10.0
20. Pam Kelly -3.921 -10.9
21. Denise Cravens -1.284 -2.0

When these guys and gals started a weight loss program, they were really fighting themselves—their own bodies, and their old habits. Now they’re stronger, weigh less, and their bodies have started working for them.

In the future, they’ll be able to do more work, burn more calories, and this will make it even easier to help control their weight. They truly are in the driver’s seat.

Some of the competitors are close to their ideal weight and will have to learn how to maintain. Some of them still have a way to go. At this point, they just need to set another 12 week goal and …do it again.

They’ve done it once, they know what to do. Now, they need to do it again. For some, they’ll want to do it again for another 12 weeks after that. Perhaps a few might need to do it again one more time. Then, everyone will be at their ideal weight, and they all can do it.

I want to thank Dimond Brothers Insurance for their fine support during this Biggest Loser “3”. They put up some great prizes each week (often more than one) so everyone had something to shoot for. At the end, they also put up another $100 for 2nd place, and $50 for 3rd place, which was really unexpected—and a really classy thing to do!

We have 40 registered for Biggest Loser “4” which starts Friday, April 11th. I was going to cut it off, but we’re going to go ahead and open it up to however many want to do it. You’ve got 2 weeks to get registered. $25 to participate, $500 prize for the winner, and you can have a gym membership anywhere you want. This will be the last one for awhile, so you better do it now!