Petersburg Pilot -


Parks and Rec's Losing Big competition begins


Mandy Kivisto / Submitted Photo

This year's contestants are split into two teams. Team White includes: Christin Fankhauser, Debi Tice, Derrick O'Soup, Elen Aase, Janet Holten, Caleb Fankhauser. Team Blue is Shelly Pope, Suzanne Ashe, Guylynn Etcher, Patti Steele, Bill Steele and Karen Quitslund.

This year's Losing Big competition kicked off this week as contestants divided up into two teams led by captains who participated in last year's competition.

The competition aims to provide contestants a means to live healthier and more productive lives as they set goals for themselves as the competition progresses.

The teams were divided after names were drawn from a hat.

Shelly Pope is captain of Team Blue and Christin Fankhauser is captain of Team White.

Donnie Hayes, Parks and Rec Director, said each contestant has been set up with fitness and meal plans.

"I suspect that the first week will be a trial period for everybody, for people to figure out how they're going to plan their fitness times," Hayes said.

Pope agrees and said, based on her experience as a contestant last year, the initial challenge will be to make the healthy choices.

"Today (Wednesday) was a weigh in for the first time," Pope said. "They've really got to pay attention this point on from the activities they do to, to the food they eat to their stress levels. The things they have to take care of starts now."

Pope said she will encourage her team to make those choices so they turn into a habit.

"It's one day at time, one thing at time, one pound at a time and one healthy choice at a time," Pope said. "It changes your life forever."

The teams will go through weekly seminars to learn about everything from nutrition and fitness to mental health and healthy cooking.

Each team also has a Facebook page where team members as well as community members can track contestant's progress and provide encouragement.

"As soon as the community knows they're doing this, everybody's watching them," Pope said. "That keeps us accountable."


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