Biggest Loser competition returns to Florence

Biggest Loser competition returns to Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The new year is right around the corner and for Florence County that means the Biggest Loser competition is back again. The weight loss competition is put on by the United Way of Florence County. Eighty contestants will train at the McLeod Health and Fitness Club to be Florence's Biggest Loser.

A total of 80 contestants will be separated in groups of six who will work one on one with a certified personal trainer. The ten week weight loss competition will consist of workout plans catered to their specific needs using weight lifting, cardio, and fitness classes, giving them full access to all the facilities in the gym. There will be two winners, one who loses the most weight and one who loses the most inches.

The competition is put on by the United Way of Florence County. Rachel Baggett, Director of Marketing and Initiatives says this is their way of providing a service to the community. Most importantly, giving people positive health benefits.

Baggett says, "What I really like to tell people is it's not just about losing weight. We incorporate nutrition classes, we incorporate kayaking, basketball training, mental health exercises. We really just want people to not only lose weight, but to make overall healthy lifestyle changes."

Tony Sitton, the winner of last years Biggest Loser competition, was approaching three hundred pounds and on the verge of type two diabetes. With ten weeks of working out and changing his diet he lost seventy pounds, making him the biggest loser out of all the contestants.

"I never wanted to be there. I just didn't like myself, I didn't like the way I looked, didn't like the way I felt. I had no energy. I knew it was time to do something about it." says Sitton. He says without the competition, he wouldn't have been able to do it on his own."The benefits far outweigh the repercussions for not doing it. I mean the repercussions for not losing the weight are the health issues that are going to creep up."

Sitton  had a back issue for years and used to use that as an excuse, but he says the personal trainers will work with you one on one. Trainer, Mili Shaw is back for another year to help contestants shed the pounds. She says, "You know whether it be in the pool or outside, outdoors running, cardio or weight training, whatever meets their needs."

Shaw explains that this competition doesn't just benefit the contestants, but everyone who hears about it. "I think everyone else also gets involved just watching these contestants go through the journey they are going through and understanding this isn't just a competition, but something they can also take away from and do in the community themselves," Shaw said.

"The number one thing is yes, get out there, be active. Lose the weight and become involved in life instead of sitting there and watching it go by."

If you are interested in being a contestant in the Biggest Loser competition, contact the United Way of Florence County at 843-662-2407 for more information or visit their office on West Palmetto Street in Florence. Registration closes January 5th and there are still 15 spots open.

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