A version of the Biggest Loser, called Losing Big Petersburg will be sponsored by the Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department beginning in February and the public is encouraged to put their voting power to work for the event.
“I have done one of these programs in another city,” Petersburg Parks and Recreation Director Donnie Hayes said. “It was successful there and I think our little community will embrace this event.”
Hayes is hoping this event will become a recurring program that will take place at the beginning of every year.
The focus for Losing Big is not just weight loss, it is a health and wellness program to get the community to thinking more about health than just being smaller.
Hayes spoke with a group of representatives from various businesses in the community to explain the program and that it will take more than just the Parks and Recreation Department to make sure this event is a success.
“There is no way we can make this work without the support and input from the community and the businesses,” Hayes stated. “It will take us all to get the community involved.”
To explain the main purpose of the program, Hayes listed the top ten reasons businesses like their employees to be fit.
Fit employees are less likely to get sick, they have more energy, they have more confidence, they inspire more confidence, those who are confident typically surround themselves with those who are confident, fit employees tend to take on more leadership roles, they set and achieve goals, they tend to have better attitudes and less stress, a fit employee base presents a better team building opportunity and they demonstrate a concern for encouraging fitness in their business and community.
“These 10 characteristics don't have to deal with just employees,” Hayes stated. “This can become a motto for an entire community, and the citizens of Petersburg can be seen in these 10 different ways.”
There are three main goals for the Losing Big program and they are to help educate the community on the many health and wellness benefits that are offered, to create a core group of individuals that can inspire others and to guide ten individuals yearly along the road to a healthier lifestyle while making it a fun and inspiring atmosphere.
Losing Big is a fitness competition between two groups of five people and it is an elimination competition with the winner being the last one standing.
“We will be selecting 10 individuals who actually turn in an application to be a part of the event,” Hayes said. “The participants will have to be pre-screened by a doctor to make sure they are in a position to be a part of the competition as well.”
Each contestant will be expected to attend an hour long weekly seminar with these seminars being available to the public as well.
Each team will be assigned a physical trainer that will instruct and guide them through their six week fitness course and will have access to fitness classes that are taught by the Parks and Recreation certified instructors.
Each of the participants will be given a two month pass to the community center and they will be required to weigh in weekly and turn in a score count.
“This is more than just a weight loss competition,” Hayes said. “The possibility of points for water consumption, sleeping, attending classes, weight loss, communication, keeping a health and fitness journal and working out will be counted.”
Contestants will be expected to talk about their progress and what they have learned over the week with the public via a radio program on KFSK.
Each participant will have a head shot taken and it will be displayed in the window of Rexall Drug and each week as contestants leave the competition their pictures will go from color to black and white in the window.
“All participants will be expected to finish the entire six week program even after they have left the competition,” Hayes said. “In the first five weeks, one person will be eliminated from the competition each week and the winner will be selected from the final top five competitors and the public will be voting for the contestants to save.”
The weekly team with the best score will be safe from elimination and then the community can vote on one other person to save from elimination and one of the remaining members of the losing team will be eliminated from the competition.
The rules for each contestant are:
Will drink three liters of water a day.
Will follow the daily meal plan given to them from www.choosemyplate.gov.
Will keep a daily food journal.
Will keep a success journal.
Will do one of the following; stress journaling, diaphragmatic breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, time outdoors/walking or reading.
Will follow a pre-approved fitness plan from a personal trainer.
Will invite others to attend workouts.
Will attend weekly classes taught by local professionals on topics such as health, wellness, nutrition, etc.
Will invite others to attend classes.
Will communicate with their team daily about their successes, slip-ups, give encouragement, etc.
Will weigh in weekly at the appointed time and place.
Will be honest in their dealings with all those who are participating or managing this competition.
The scoring matrix is divided into six categories including nutrition, mental health, physical activity, instruction, communication and bonus points.
The nutrition portion of the program in made up of water intake, meals and a food journal that is worth a possible 25 points each day.
The mental health category includes a success journal and stress relief activity that is worth 25 points per day.
The physical activity category holds the possibility of 40 points for exercise and bringing someone along to work out with.
Instruction includes attending seminars and inviting someone to join for a possible 80 points per day. Communication counts for five points per day and bonus points will be given for body weight of 50 points and being top in voting for another 50 points. These categories add up to a possible 845 points per week.
“The more active you are in the program, the more points you can accumulate and save your team from elimination,” Hayes stated.
Possible prizes for the winner include a $300 fitness equipment package and a one year pass to the community center.
“Other prizes are being sought and will be announced when they are secured,” Hayes stated. “But all contestants will receive a water bottle, a work out towel and a fitness bag from Parks and Recreation.”
Businesses in the community are encouraged to join in the competition among themselves and will be furnished a scoring matrix like all of the contestants.
Weekly the top scoring business or organization will be announced with the top scoring team and the contestant that will be eliminated.
“I really think this event will be beneficial to the community,” Hayes stated. “I am looking forward to getting it started.”
Applications for the Losing Big competition will be available beginning Thursday, Jan. 17 and can be picked up at Parks and Recreation, Petersburg Medical Center Business Office, Lee's Clothing and Rexall Drug. Applications must be returned to Parks and Recreation and the deadline will be Friday, Jan. 25.