A New Year, A New You- Enter MO Big Losers Contest
By Cheryl Conway
With holiday cheer comes extra pounds, but with a new year…the time is here…to shed them away…by entering the Fifth Annual Mt. Olive Exercise Biggest Losers contest…today!
The 13-week contest will start on Jan. 25 and end on April 26. Participants must join the Mt. Olive Exercise program through the town’s recreation department to sign up.
January is an ideal time to hold the weight losing contest, says the organizer, because many people tend to gain weight during winter celebrations. Holiday dinners from soup to dessert and all the trimmings in between, as well as cookie exchanges, eggnog, wine and even potato latkes can add calories to anyone’s typical daily diet.
“Historically people gain three to ten pounds over the holidays,” says head instructor Laura Hars, organizer of the MO Exercise Biggest Losers contest, “well actually starting around Halloween. So January is the perfect time to start trying to lose some of that weight and give yourself enough time to get ready to put on that bathing suit in June.”
This year, Hars decided to kick off the contest a few weeks into January so ladies can be ready.
“I am giving people a few weeks to plan how they want to accomplish their weight loss and to select a particular diet,” says Hars who has been running the contest through Mt. Olive Recreation since 2010. “During the month of January we will have some “pre-contest” meetings where we will have those interested come and ask their questions and plan their diet and exercise routine. We will have our baseline weigh in on Jan. 25 and the first official weigh in will actually be Feb. 1.”
The same scale, although not certified sealed, will be used for consistency throughout the program.
The contest which will run over a 13 week period this year has been successful allowing ladies to challenge themselves with goals resulting in significant loss in both weight and inches. More importantly it has allowed ladies to get on track with better fitness, healthier eating and exercise.
Participants will attend hourly exercise classes taught by five different instructors featuring various workouts that include step aerobics, Zumba, cardio blast, butts and guts, pilates, boot camp, kickbox, stability ball, toning with weights and more. Contestants will weigh and measure in weekly and results will be held confidentially by Hars.
Looking back at previous years, Hars says the most weight lost by one person during the contest was 20 pounds. An average person could expect to lose 15 pounds over the 13 week period, she says.
“A pound a week is about average,” says Hars. “For those who strictly follow a diet and faithfully attend a cardio workout class 4X a week, they could lose up to 15 pounds.
Hars plans to hold weekly meetings at the senior center to help support ladies and discuss issues.
“In previous years we have had weekly support meetings but we were not consistent because we really needed to use some “on-line” calorie counting program and we had to meet in the MO Public Library,” explains Hars. “This year is different because the Senior Center where we hold the classes has Wi-Fi so we can have a meeting there and use our laptops. There are many on-line support tools for weight loss so we will be able to tap into that now that we can bring our computers or mobile devices to the meetings.”
Last year’s winner Agnes Mazurczyk of Flanders was rewarded at a member’s “house party” and received a gift certificate purchased by the members. This year’s prize has not yet been determined, but weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is the greatest gift of all.
Participating in the MO Exercise Biggest Losers can help ladies set a goal “To lose weight, tone their bodies, increase their cardiovascular performance, lower their blood pressure, start weight training and decrease their risk of osteoporosis,” says Hars. “Join to change your body image, become more healthy and increase your self confidence.”
According to Hars, “Weight gain tends to creep up on us slowly especially after childbirth or turning that magical age of 40 or 50. All of a sudden you find you have three different sizes of clothes in your closet or your pants are really getting tight or you are just really unhappy about how you look.”
By entering the contest, ladies will become members of the Mt. Olive Exercise Program.
“It’s a new year for a whole new you,” says Hars. “It’s special because it is a small intimate group of women who are committed to getting healthier and happier because they have the common goal of wanting to be thinner and in better physical shape. People talk about what diet they are following, how much weight they have lost – the dieting commitment adds a whole different dimension to the program.”
To participate in the MO Exercise Biggest Losers, join the Mt. Olive Exercise Program. Cost is $120 for a three month membership (Feb.-April), which is the length of the contest. Register on line at: https://www.mountolivetownship.com. For questions, call Laura Hars at 973-903-0453 or 973-347-6886.