published Monday, October 26th, 2009

Pumping pumpkins

HOW THEY'RE DOING

In three weeks, the 12 contestants for Chattanooga's "Biggest Loser" have collectively lost more than xxx pounds. Angela Fields claimed the title as this week's Biggest Loser, while Shelly Langley was the second finalist to be eliminated. To follow their individual progress, see photos, bios and videos of the contestants and check every Monday for updates on their weight loss and find out who's still competing, visit our Biggest Loser Web site at www.timesfreepress.com/news/biggestloser.

LIVE ONLINE CHAT

Do you have questions or comments about losing weight, diet or nutrition?

Ask Kristen and Kevin Harvey, the trainers for Chattanooga's "Biggest Loser" contest, during a live online chat at timesfreepress.com. The Harveys will take questions online at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

SHARE YOUR STORIES

Have you lost a lot of weight? Tell us how you did it. Share your success stories, frustrations, diet and exercise tips, before-and-after photos, recipes and questions and story ideas. E-mail us at news@timesfreepress.com and please out "shape" in the subject line.

MORE ONLINE

At timesfreepress.com/news/shape, find a BMI calculator, a nutritionist's column, a dieters' blog, dieters' success stories, FAQs on obesity, links to Web pages with information on healthy living.

Pumpkins were hoisted in all directions Sunday afternoon at Chattanooga's "Biggest Loser" community workout in Hixson.

Community members did lunges, squats and torture curls, replacing medicine balls with bright orange pumpkins.

Kevin and Dr. Kristen Harvey, organizers of the competition based on the reality TV show "The Biggest Loser," said the 10- to 18-pound pumpkins were a great way to get into the season while working out.

"We just wanted to show people that whatever season, we can have a lot of fun," Dr. Harvey said. "And it doesn't really matter what you work out with, you can still have a really great workout."

The contest, now in its third week, pits 12 finalists against each other in an intensive 10-week contest to compete for the title of Chattanooga's "Biggest Loser." Finalists workout six times a week together as well as attend nutritional lessons and demonstrations. Each week one finalist will be eliminated but is still encouraged to participate.

Finalist Kim Carson said the pumpkin workout was just one of the ways the organizers keep workouts fun and interesting.

"Who would have thought we could have worked out with pumpkins?" she said. "And it was hard."

Ms. Carson has lost more than 14 pounds in three weeks and says she is actually eating more than she did before the competition started. She said participating with the other finalists and keeping in touch with the organizers daily have kept her accountable.

"I love it," she said. "I have not felt this good since I was probably in my early 20s. It's amazing."

Finalist Noreen Risko, who has lost 20 pounds in three weeks, said her competitive nature convinced her to join the contest.

"I'm a very competitive person. That's what got me started," she said. "But the teamwork's wonderful. You meet people with the same issues that you have."

She said the 5 a.m workouts get her "revved up" for her day and that she now has more energy than ever before.

  • photo
    Staff Photo by Matt Fields-Johnson Kelly Collins and Kim Carson hold pumpkin “medicine balls” over their heads while walking Sunday at the Ignite Gym community workout. The workout is part of the “Biggest Loser” contest that the gym is hosting.

"I do things today that I couldn't do three weeks ago," she said.

Mr. Harvey said many women in the competition have been losing three to four pounds each week. Normal weight loss on a regular diet is one to two pounds each week, he said.

"A lot of times people don't think women can lose weight as fast as men, so I'm really happy," he said.

Although the contest is already under way, the Harveys said members of the public are still invited to join the community workouts each Sunday at 3 p.m. after filling out an application at chattanoogabiggestloser.com.

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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