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YMCA offers version of ‘Biggest Loser’ for the new year

With New Year’s approaching, people are ready to make their resolutions for 2011. Three of the most popular resolutions are losing weight, stopping smoking and exercising more.

The Callaway County YMCA wants to help people with two of those three resolutions — losing weight and exercising more.

“The ‘New Year, New You’ program is very similar to the television show ‘The Biggest Loser,’” said Justin Holliday, director of wellness and community development at YMCA. “The show has changed many people’s lives. This is a community-wide fitness challenge. So member or non-member, if you are a Callaway resident, you are welcome to participate.”

Holliday said the Callaway County YMCA wants to help people fight obesity.

“The recent documentation based on the number of people who are contracting diabetes due to being overweight was part of our motivation,” he said. “Our main concern is reaching out to the public and lining up some sort of competition.”

Callaway County residents can sign up at the main branch on Wood Street in Fulton. The fee varies between current members and non-members.

“We measure the percentage of weight loss at the weigh-ins,” Holliday said. “Somebody who is heavier set will have an easier time to lose a bigger number of pounds, whereas if you do a percentage measure of weight loss, it’s more equal in comparisons.”

Each participant receives a T-shirt for competing, and there will be three weigh-ins. The first is Wednesday, Jan. 5.

“With that weigh-in being so close, the best thing you could possibly do is start some sort of work-out routine,” he said. “Participants should get something finalized on paper as more of a personal contract to work out at a certain time during each day and plan for when you’re available and what you’re going to do.”

Holliday stressed that working out is only part of the equation.

“Being healthy revolves around healthy eating habits and exercise routines,” he said. “Participants should cut down on their intake of carbonated beverages and drink more water. Getting a good night’s rest is important. Try to get an average of eight hours of sleep per night.”

Holliday said eating a good breakfast each morning can also boost metabolisms.

The program is for people of all sizes, even those who may not feel like losing weight is a possibility, according to Holliday.

“There’s always hope. It might come from a push from someone else, though,” he said. “What I mean by that is that somebody internal or a friend that exercises daily or three times a week can help. Find that friend that has the good habits and see if you can work out with them. They will help push you and seeing them meet their goals and reach for their goals will help push you over the edge.”

Holliday said if someone does not have that person to help, the YMCA has personal trainers who have different goals who can also help.

“Each of our personal trainers have specialties in different areas,” Holliday said. “One is the type of guy that is going to help add bulk. He wants to put muscle on people. Another had a set goal to lose 95 pounds when she started working out and she did that. She focuses more on flexibility and weight loss. I’m very fortunate to have both those people on our staff.”

Holliday said he hopes there is a lot of good that comes out of the program.

People can sign up individually, in teams of three or in teams of five.

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