To win, you must lose
by Steve Schulz, Editor Wadena Evangelical Church is looking for the biggest loser. And they're going to make them into a very big winner. The church will borrow a scale from Tri-County Hospital, weigh willing participants once a week for 12 week...
by Steve Schulz,
Wadena Evangelical Church is looking for the biggest loser. And they're going to make them into a very big winner.
The church will borrow a scale from Tri-County Hospital, weigh willing participants once a week for 12 weeks, and hand a $5,000 check to the person who can shed the largest percentage of their body weight.
The idea comes from "The Biggest Loser," a reality show on NBC that follows the progress of overweight people working with trainers, struggling through diets, and eventually, dropping eye-popping amounts of weight.
Wadena Evangelical pastor Jeff Heisler said assistant Susan Mohs suggested a small group of friends emulate the TV show as part of a private contest for weight loss.
Mohs said she expected the TV show might be "cheesy" when first hearing of it, but was drawn in by the raw feelings the show produced.
"The emotions that go on with weight are unbelievable," Mohs said. "All of us have that. Because if we didn't, we wouldn't be fat."
So a little light bulb went off in her head.
"Susan just asked me one day -- she said, 'me, [Susan's husband] Randy [Mohs], you and [Jeff's wife] Kim need to do 'The Biggest Loser' between our families," Heisler explained. "We started tossing things around and said, 'Let's do an all-church "Biggest Loser."' Then we said, 'let's do it community-wide.'"
In fact, the contest is open to anyone -- Wadena residency isn't necessary.
"Anyone who wants to throw their entry fee in, they're welcome to join," Heisler said.
The registration fee is $100, and includes a 12-week membership to the Wadena Community Center. There are restrictions, of course. Contestants must be 18 years old, at least 20 pounds overweight, and cannot use drugs or surgical methods like gastric bypass to lose the weight.
Contestants will be provided T-shirts to wear to each weigh-in, which will be weekly at the church during the contest. Their progress will be tracked on the church's Web site. Photos of contestants may be used in promotional materials, but there won't be any half-naked "before" shots taken.
"No one's going to be photographed with their shirt off or anything like that," Heisler said.
The purpose of the weekly weigh-ins is to track progress, he said, but also to participate in fun events.
"While it's a competition, ultimately the goal is to lose weight," Heisler said. "It's time to get healthy."
And you need not be an evangelical Christian to take part. He said church membership is not necessary -- the contest is designed to be open to anyone.
"We're always looking for ways for the church to be part of the community, and this is it," Heisler said.
The overall winner will be chosen based on the largest percentage of body weight lost, not necessarily the most pounds. Heisler said additional prizes may be awarded for the half-way point winner, and door prizes drawn through a raffle of contestants who make it to every weigh-in will also add to the fun.
Full contest rules will be posted on the church's Web site at www.wadenaevangelicalchurch.com .