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Fifth Challenge loses in big way

After 12  tough  weeks, Healthy Charleston Challenge came to a close March 18.
Losers became winners in the fifth installment of MUSC’s Biggest Loser competition  as  87 Lowcountry participants found success by losing 1,916  pounds, the most ever in the program’s three-year history.
For this spring session, participants were grouped in 11 sponsored teams of seven to nine people. Teams also included support mentors (graduates of previous challenge programs) and a team trainer. Each week, teams and individuals reported their weight loss progress against each other. Participants also managed their eating through food diaries and activity logs, attended weekly educational meetings on nutrition and motivational strategies, and scheduled work outs and exercise classes.
The team and individuals with the most percentage body weight loss were declared winners. The Spring 2010 challenge winning team was Team Boot Camp/Carolina Acoustical & Drywall Inc. with a 13.61 percent body weight loss. Second place was MUSC Weight Management with a 12.87 percent body weight loss. Both teams won prize packages that included cash and a year’s Gold Pass membership at Charleston County Parks and Recreation.
The top female winner was Regina Powers with a 18 percent body weight loss. The top male winner was  Bobby Harrelson, who had a 25  percent body weight loss (a 63 pound weight loss).
Everyone’s individual and team effort was a good start in the right direction, said Janis Newton, Wellness Center program director.
“This session was different because most participants felt ready to make the necessary changes to truly live a healthier life that also has redefined their future health.”
Challenge participants included a wide range of people from  a 14-year-old boy to a nearly 70-year-old woman. Participant Charles R. Towne Sr., who has diabetes, struggled with his medication prior to the start of the challenge on Jan. 7. Since joining the program, Towne followed a regular fitness program, changed his nutrition and made other life improvements. He was astounded by his results. By making small changes, Towne's blood sugar dropped significantly and he has since adjusted his daily diabetes medicine and insulin intake.
“I take things a day at a time,” said Towne. “The Challenge  has taught me to be patient. Consistent mind over body, plus patience will help me reach my goals.”
Since the program began in 2008, 350 Tri-county participants have lost a cumulative 8,945 pounds. Applications for the fall session beginning Sept. 9 are being accepted. Apply at MUSC Wellness Center or visit

Friday, April 9, 2010

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