BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
The Spring Hill Resource Center in DeLand will be giving those who chose losing weight as a New Year’s resolution a chance to show what they are made of. Over the next seven weeks, Director Shilretha Dixon says the center will be home to a “Biggest Loser’’ loser competition for area residents starting Monday, Jan. 12 and running through April 5.
Headquartered in DeLand, Dixon says the competition is open to other Volusia County cities as well.
“We won’t turn anyone away. We want everyone to be healthy,” she explained.
The competition will focus on the individual unlike preceding years where the focus was on a team. Each competitor will pay a $25 entry fee. All the entry fees will be combined as the jackpot and then given to the person who loses the most weight at the end of the competition.
“After some observations from people who might want to join, we found no one wants to share the jackpot,” she laughed.
Healthy eating classes
The competition will vie each contestant against one another based on pounds lost. This is unlike the popular television show, “The Biggest Loser,’’ where contestants are judged on the percent of body fat they have lost.
“It takes a lot of classes to learn about body fat, lean muscle, and BMI (body mass index),” Dixon explained. “So we are going strictly by weight, by pounds.”
“We realize that in order to provide the services that we do, we need a healthy community. This will be just one of our initiatives to creating a healthier community,” Dixon continued.
“We will join in with another program called ‘A Blueprint for Good Health,’ which is a hypertension and diabetes prevention program, a 21-step program that I wrote. It includes the ABCs of cholesterol and glucose screening. They (participants) will learn about meal planning, collaboration and teamwork. The last four classes are healthy cooking classes. They will be combined with the ‘Biggest Loser’ group. The classes focus on what your plate should look like.”
Throughout the seven-week competition, participants will track their performance with a step on the scale.
The weekly weigh-ins will take place in a private room by a certified nurse. For confidentiality concerns of participants, the nurse is not affiliated with the center. At the weigh-in, the nurse will not provide medical advice to the participants but will have consultations with each member on how they are feeling.
To make the competition even more fun, Dixon says each participant has to think of a creative name to use. Dixon will be competing in the competition as well although she says that she won’t be in the running for the jackpot.
“I can tell you right now, my name is going to be ‘Drop it like it’s hot.’ That is exactly what I plan to do,” she said.
The center also is looking for organizations or business that are interested in donating healthy meals or goods to the competition for the big finale.
People interested in participating in the Spring Hill Biggest Loser competition are asked to go to the Spring Hill Resource Center on Jan. 12 between 9 a.m. and 5 p .m. Anyone can join the competition anytime from Jan. 12-15. A pounds party giveaway will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 12 with information on healthy eating and exercise.
The Project 10 Kids organization has pledged to donate 30 nutritious meals to children in the area for each 10 pounds lost per person.
Dixon urges anyone interested in taking part of the competition to check with their doctor or health care provider before starting any weight-loss diet or exercise program.
The center is located at 910 South Adelle Road, DeLand.
For more information, call 386-740-0808.