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3rd HCC a charm for people embracing health living

Like the American idiom says: third time’s the charm. Hopefully, the third MUSC Healthy Charleston Challenge (HCC) will be that for 100 participants who are striving to find success through weight loss and exercise while embracing healthy lifestyle habits.


At the program’s kick-off meeting on Jan. 15 at the Harper Student Wellness Center Auditorium, HCC participants were oriented to the program basics and introduced to the HCC staff and met their team trainers and mentors. Participants will be weighed each week to determine their progress. Teams and individuals will be assessed on their weekly  weight and percentage body weight loss. Participants also maintain daily food-and-activity logs, committing themselves to participating in some type of physical activity for 30 minutes every day.


“We have 11 great teams this session,” said Janis Newton, HCC director and Harper Student Wellness Center program director. “They are all ready to once and for all overcome all barriers that have gotten in the way of past successes. It’s a tough but rewarding process to finally achieve permanent health and fitness goals. Once again, it’s an honor for the MUSC Wellness Center staff to be part of this amazing experience.”


This group of determined Tri-county men and women have made an important first step in what’s considered a life-changing commitment toward better health and weight loss through lifestyle changes. Participants will be divided into 11 sponsored teams to compete in the 12-week competitive weight loss program, which runs to March 26. Modeled after the popular TV reality show, The Biggest Loser, the challenge helps participants achieve success through nutrition education, exercise, professional guidance, teamwork, mentoring and accountability.


Each team has a trainer and mentors to assist them. Mentors are two or more people who are HCC previous participants and have been recruited to assist and provide guidance to the team.


“Mentors are probably the key to building a strong and healthy team. Having been through the challenge, they understand the need for accountability and support in being part of a strong, successful team,” said Greg Shore, a former participant in the first HCC and now staff head mentor.


HCC supports the Healthy South Carolina Challenge, a statewide health initiative supported by Gov. Mark Sanford, that promoting activity and lifestyle changes that decreases the risk for chronic disease. Sanford’s wife, Jenny serves as honorary chair for the Charleston’s challenge.


Team sponsors for the third MUSC Healthy Charleston Challenge are: Anderson Insurance, Charleston County Parks and Recreation, MUSC Weight Management Center, MUSC Boot Camp, the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College, Joe D. Bands, Team MUSC Toe Seekers, Total Approach Wellness/Performance Training, Cario Middle School, Ovie Mughelli Foundation and Louie’s Kids.


Participants also will attend weekly educational meetings led by program professionals, which include Judith Herron, a registered dietitian and nutritionist; Josh Brown, Ph.D., psychologist; David Albenberg, M.D., and Jennifer Pullano, M.D., program physicians and Alicia O’Connor, head trainer.


Like the previous HCC competitions, teams and participants will have a chance to compete for prize packages provided by some of the Challenge sponsors. Winners will be selected based on percentage body weight loss by an entire team and individually. 


To follow the HCC team’s weekly progress, visit



Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

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