Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This week marked the end of Biggest Loser “8.” Our smallest group since BL “1, we started with just 24 participants. To put that in perspective, last fall we had 67 people signed up for BL “4”. Of the 24 that started this time around, 9 made the final weigh-in with another 8 people still involved that had to miss for one reason or another.

Last summer, we didn’t even do a Biggest Loser because of all the different things going on, but I wanted to give people a chance to participate even if they couldn’t make all the weigh-ins. That way they could still get some information and start making progress.

Even though it was a pretty small group this time around, especially at the end, there were some really nice accomplishments. Heather had a serious problem with asthma and I was pretty concerned during her 1st 1 mile walk/run (18:43). In just 12 weeks, she took 2 minutes off her time (16:47).

Even though she only lost 7.6 pounds overall, she learned not only how to exercise, but also that she can do it—which is powerful. Now she can push harder and do more, which bodes well for her next 12 weeks.

The average improvement in the 1 mile walk/run was around 1 ½ minutes, over the 12 weeks. Shawn Bowers, on his 5th Biggest Loser, posted a starting 1 mile run at 9:12, but finished with an amazing 7:15 mile during the post-test!

Everyone improved dramatically in the pushups, often doing 50% more in a minute than they did 12 weeks earlier. Sit-ups improved as well, with most people doing around 30% more than they did on the pre-test.

Quite a few said that they also started understanding how to eat right, and several had given up drinking pop. While everyone had trouble once in awhile, they found they could stick with a sensible diet: more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, low fat dairy, leaner cuts of meats, more chicken and fish, all in the right amounts for them. They also avoided most of the junk foods, most of the time.

Our winner for Week Twelve was John Crow who lost 3.4% of his body weight and 3.6 pounds. He won a $20 gift card for all his hard work from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance. John lost the most body fat during the twelve weeks, posting a drop from 29.8% to 21.5%, which represents around 30 pounds lost. Since his weight went down just 8.6 lbs, this means he’s put on an amazing amount of muscle!

For the final results, Vicki Riggen took third place overall. A grammar school principal from Chrisman, Vicki told me the weekly meetings and workouts really helped her learn what to do during the week. This contributed to her losing 7.3% of her body weight and 11.0 lbs over the 12 weeks, despite having a vacation cruise, dental surgery, and knee surgery!

Shawn Bowers, who finished in second place overall, has found out how important it was to “do the work.” In the end it comes down to calories burned, and he found lots of ways to burn them. When work made it hard for him to hit the gym sometimes, he was able to keep up with his running and use hard yard work to help him lost 12.9% of his body weight and a total of 37.9 lbs. He’s now only 15 pounds away from his long term goal of losing 100 lbs.

Tammi Hewitt was our overall winner for Biggest Loser “8” and the first ever female to win the whole thing! She walked several miles every day to lose 16.5% of her body weight and a total of 28.2 lbs. Her goal is to lose another 12 pounds to get to her ideal weight, and she’s already signed up for Biggest Loser “9” which starts this Saturday.

As I mentioned earlier, last fall we had 67 people signed up for BL “4.” I don’t know how many we’ll have this time around, but I’m expecting a pretty nice sized group for Biggest Loser “9.” The first meeting will start at 9:30 am, Saturday 26th, right after the Honeybee 5K.

Everyone will do the initial weigh-in, and then the 1 mile walk/run, minute of pushups, and minute of sit-ups to get an idea of their starting fitness. Then I’ll hand out their BL information, tell them what to do in their first week, and cut them loose at around 10:30 am so they can watch or walk in the parade which starts at 11:00. The following Saturday, we’ll meet at our normal time (10:00) for their first weekly weigh-in and workout.

If you’d like to be part of this community-wide group and participate in Biggest Loser “9” you need to get registered by Friday, September 25th. The cost is $50 and you don’t have to be a member at Tom’s Fitness, although you should probably be a member somewhere.

Half of the participants will be members here, but half are always members elsewhere, like at the YMCA, Curves, the gym in Marshall, or at work. A few even do their workouts at home. That’s O.K. too—you just need to have a place and stuff, so you can get your workouts in.

Why not make this fall your time to watch the weight fall off, and change your life at the same time. By Christmas, you might have to give yourself a nice, new wardrobe! I’ll see you in Biggest Loser “9!”

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