Locals Prepare to Lose Big: Leland’s First “Biggest Loser”-Style Competition

by Jan 27, 2016Brunswick County Life, North Brunswick

Calling all wannabe losers! The hit television show The Biggest Loser is coming to Leland. Well, minus the terrifying trainers, mid-workout heaving and hollering, contestant drama, celebrity chefs and over-the-top challenges.

Girls, leave your matching sports bras at home. And, guys, save the tight black shorts for a Brazilian beach. Think simple. Think effective. Think fun. Brunswick County is about to get buff.

Dr. Pamela Betz of North Brunswick Chiropractic & Acupuncture and Theresa Morgan of Shape Up – Zumba, Pilates and More are joining forces to battle what they see first-hand all too often: obesity. Betz tends to patients who struggle with the complications of this unhealthy lifestyle on a daily basis, and Morgan works with clients who are making an effort to lose weight.

Obesity can cause diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, some types of cancer and can lead to a shortened life expectancy, to name a few of its devastating side effects. Dr. Betz sees how obesity makes its mark on the muscular and skeletal system. Complications with the lower back, spine, knees, ankles and other weight-bearing joints are common in those who are overweight. Added weight increases stress on these joints, and therefore, increases pain.

Health professionals say that for every pound a person is overweight, three to five pounds of additional weight are added to each joint when walking. Losing just ten pounds can relieve joints from 30 to 50 pounds of unnecessary stress.

“We see a lot of patients suffering from chronic pain,” says Betz. “One of the things we always recommend to remedy the discomfort is weight loss.

Rather than asking ‘How do I stop this pain?’ we want people to ask ‘How can I change my lifestyle to prevent pain?’ One of the best ways to keep the spine and joints healthy is to be active.”

Betz and Morgan are determined to get locals on the right path to healthy living.

“Theresa and I are excited to offer a new and exciting way to lose weight,” says Betz. “I feel like this is a way that people can get healthy together; it’s always helpful to have a support group. It’s going to be a great experience for local people to learn healthy habits.”

Weight-loss programs, classes and groups are all the rage in today’s overweight world. So what makes Betz and Morgan’s initiative different? The dynamic obesity-fighting duo is taking cues from a successful reality television program that is well known for its ability to kick butts, trim waistlines and save lives.

“Ask anyone if they are happy with their weight and for the most part the answer is ‘No,’” says Betz. “The only truly healthy way to lose weight is to modify your diet and increase your activity level. This program will encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity for the long term. Just like on TV’s ‘The Biggest Loser’, the challenge is just the beginning. The program is designed to educate people about healthy habits that they can ultimately add as a more permanent part of their lifestyle.”

Leland’s Biggest Loser Challenge promises to introduce something different to the area. But a life-changing program that promises long-term success won’t come easy.

“It’s time to dust off your sneakers, Leland,” chuckles Morgan, the competition’s not-so-scary version of reality show trainer Jillian Michaels. “We’re going to sweat, but we’re going to save lives.”

The competition, which kicks off January 15, will last six weeks and is open to anyone who wants to lead a healthier life.

“It’s not just for people battling obesity,” explains Morgan. “Anyone who wants to eat healthy and add exercise to their daily routine is encouraged to participate.”

For an enrollment fee of $300, contestants will receive a six-week detoxification program complete with supplements and coaching, daily e-mails, weekly support meetings and 20 classes at Shape Up, including Zumba, yoga, Pilates, tai chi and circuit training. Before and after photos will be taken and regular weigh-ins will be held, just as in the television show. Leland’s version might be a little less intimidating, though, without the massive audience, dramatic soundtrack and cliffhanger commercial breaks.

Another perk to the local competition is the long-term help that will be available to contestants. After the six-week contest is complete, Shape Up will launch a Fit and Fabulous program. Led by Shape Up instructor Lisa Johnson, Fit and Fabulous will be open to Biggest Loser participants as well as the public. The comprehensive weight management program will offer support and accountability, a structured weight loss curriculum and an individual reward program based on a unique healthy habits point system.

The true prize in both the reality show and the local competition is the weight lost and the healthier life. But cash and bragging rights never hurt either.

A cash prize of $300 will be awarded to the one male and one female participant who lose the highest percentage of body weight. A little bit of neighborly competition will be encouraged during the contest as well, with a special prize for the community with the highest percentage of body weight lost. The couple/team with the highest percentage of body weight lost and additional categories will also be announced.

“Although by no means required, you are encouraged to participate with a partner,” says Morgan. “Whether a couple, you and your mom or dad, grandma or grandson, a golf buddy, a neighbor or a friend; the encouragement and competition of having someone by your side will provide you with an edge and seal your success. We’re offering a ten percent Bring a Buddy Discount when you register with someone else to entice you even further.”

The goal of Leland’s Biggest Loser Challenge is to help locals start 2011 with a renewed commitment to health.

“We could all use a little help with that one,” laughs Morgan. “Instead of purchasing a variety of exercise equipment and workout DVDs this holiday season, consider the real deal. So eat wisely through the holidays. Then grab someone you’d love to challenge and go register, because soon there will be a little less of both of you to grab!”

In the words of Jillian Michaels, trainer for NBC’s The Biggest Loser, “This is where it matters the most. This is where lives are made, in these moments when you can choose whether or not to say ‘I can’t’ or ‘I can.’ It is a choice that will either make or break you for life.”

Participants must sign up to sweat by January 8. For more information or to secure your space, contact Dr. Pam Betz at (910) 371-1200 or Theresa Morgan at (910) 232-1001, or visit www.lelandchiro.com or www.zumbapilatesandmore.com.

Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever.

{ Bob Harper }

At the end of the day, your health is your responsibility.

{ Jillian Michaels }

The past does not define you, the present does.

{ Jillian Michaels }

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