By Deb Mowbray
The first weather event of the season could not deter Kent Island’s Biggest Losers from turning out for their weekly weigh in and boot camp at 6:30 a.m. this past icy, Saturday morning. The majority of the 60 plus contestants filed in to the Stevensville ISA (Indoor Sports Arena) for the mandatory event. Those who weren’t able to do the land camp opted for the aqua boot camp session in the heated pool at The Temple Fitness and Wellness Center, sponsor of the contest.
“Since January 1st the “leading loser” has lost 6.57% of his body weight”, according to Stephanie Booze, manager of Temple Fitness Center and a certified weight management coach. Three weeks into the program, the majority of the committed participants were in training full force. They are vying for the coveted “biggest loser” title, which is to be awarded at the conclusion of the contest the end of March. “The handful that weren’t able to make today’s session are required to attend circuit training on Tuesday to maintain eligibility”, assured Booze. Next week, the participants will also be measured for inches lost.
The success of the program at Temple, which is loosely based on the nationally syndicated TV show, seems rooted in its emphasis on support and availability of services. In addition to the expertise of the professionals from Temple Fitness, contestants rely on the encouragement and support of one another. Husband and wives, mothers and daughters, and friends and individuals are all participating. And while the winners receive substantial prizes (the first place male and female winners get a one year full membership at Temple fitness and the second place pair will receive a makeover from the prestigious Lehman Larue Salon), the true reward may well lie in what 2011 contest winner Linda Berry called, “the life altering experience of participating “.
Four alumni from the 2011 competition, including Berry, are volunteers with this years’ competition. “We want to give back and help”, stressed Berry. She and fellow alumni competitors, Tracey Glenn, David Goad and Karen Larmen, forged a connection during last year’s competition. They have since started a bike club, participated in a triathlon together, and continue to meet for weekly workouts. In fact, they are planning to take a course together to become certified personal trainers.
“Before my experience with the biggest loser contest, I had back problems so severe I had to have twice weekly chiropractic treatments”, said Goad. “I lost 27 lbs during the 2011 competition and can now keep up with the kids”, he exclaimed. As the 2011 female winner, Berry lost nearly 50lbs, which she has been able to maintain through continued training. “I look at a plate of food in a whole different way now”, she says. “It definitely changes lives”. The former contestants claim the program helped them feel better about themselves overall. “ We have more energy and less stress”, they agreed.
“We’ve gone from being couch potatoes to gym rats”, laughed Glenn. Another point they agree on is that the program’s success is largely due to the folks at The Temple Fitness and Wellness Center. “This gym is the best kept secret on the Island!” said Glenn. Given the success of the biggest loser contest, it looks like the secret is out.
Temple Fitness, Wellness and Aquatics Center is located at 155 Salitt Drive in Stevensville. Hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday- 5:30am to 9pm, Friday- 5:30am to 8pm, Saturday- 7am to 4pm, Sunday- 9am to 4pm. 410-643-3130; www.templefitnessandwellness.com. Look to future issues of the Shore Update as we continue to follow The Kent Island 2nd Annual Biggest Loser Contest.