Biggest loser is really winner

They lost a ton of weight.

As a matter of fact, they lost closer to two tons.

The participants in Biggest Loser Corporate Edition, an local effort involving 500 people from five Warren County employers, lost 3,450.2 pounds from January 10 through April 4.

That’s very close to seven pounds per person in three months.

Betts Industries took the corporate title and Nick Lucia of Betts was crowned the individual winner and collected $500, according to organizer Dave Engstrom. Lucia lost a total of 63 pounds.

Kevin Hoover of Whirley DrinkWorks finished in second place and received $400.

In third through fifth were Josh Reddinger, Northwest Savings Bank ($300); Rick Nelson, Betts Industries ($200); and Sheryl Morgan, Whirley ($100).

The person who lost the most at each of the participating employers, excluding the top five overall, were each awarded prizes of $100. They were: John Swanson, Betts; Kathy Weber, Warren General Hospital; Robert Bullock, Whirley; Annette Myers, Northwest Savings Bank; and Danielle English, Blair.

Blair lost the most total weight with 1,158.2 pounds, but also had the most people involved.

Participants at Betts lost a total of 845 pounds.

Whirley was next at 553, Warren General employees lost 541, and Northwest totaled 353 pounds.

The contest focused on weight loss, but that wasn’t the only goal of the event. Maintaining the new weight and not gaining all the lost weight back were critical.

The participants learned about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles on their way to losing weight. Organizers hope that information will stick with them.

At weigh-ins held every two weeks, during the event and since, those weighing in receive “positive feedback, healthy recipes, motivation,” Engstrom said. “What happens now is, we’re going to the maintain stage of the game.”

He said the event was not intended to be competitive and it turned out there was a good amount of cooperation. “People were working out together, building friendships,” he said.

Participants being in the company of others who understood provided a boost to the weight loss numbers. “They learned that other people were dealing with weight problems just like they were,” Engstrom said.

After the success of the first corporate challenge, Engstrom plans to keep the event running, and hopefully involve more companies. “I think it worked out really well,” he said.