Thirty-nine-year-old Frank Crockard of Monongahela says he’s on the verge of turning 40 and in the worst shape since graduating high school. “It’s time for me to put the excuses aside and get in shape not only for myself but for my family,” the restaurant owner says. “I want to be around to see my four children grow up and have families of their own, and I’m afraid if I don’t get motivated to change my lifestyle, I won’t be able to enjoy my later years in life. I try playing basketball with my 12-year-old son and I’m winded after five minutes.”
Pounds lost: 11
Percentage of body weight lost: 3.87%
Christy Rowing, 48, of Mount Lebanon, is a community development director and mother of three. Rowing is a runner by nature and says, “The Biggest Winner process would serve three main purposes for me: help me to stay off the cold and icy roads this winter; help me to combat the holiday creep that has already set in (I love my sweets) and, lastly, I would love to share my enthusiasm for working out with others.” She’s joining the contest to change up her fitness routine in a team atmosphere, saying she’s “looking forward to meeting new people and pushing myself through the winter.”
Pounds lost: 0.40
Percentage of body weight lost: 0.21%
As event marketing manager with the Observer-Reporter, Carole DeAngelo actually was involved in the O-R’s decision to get involved with the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center’s already established Biggest Winner contest as a way to promote better health.
DeAngelo, of Canonsburg, said, “I’m a proponent of teamwork and a proponent of positive living.”
She further explained that she already exercises and uses that time to reflect and plan, “but there’s sweat involved.”
“I truly believe healthy living promotes a positive way of life,” she said. “I hope the community as a whole looks at this to help improve their lifestyles.”
Carla Lander, 53, of McDonald, used to be a competitive athlete playing semi-pro softball and worked as an EMT. Now, she says her desk job as a medical coder has left her sedentary and out of shape. She’s looking forward to learning healthier eating habits.
“This competition is just what I need to get motivated and to motivate others to realize it’s never too late,” she adds. “I’d love to just be able to get somewhat back in shape. I am renewing my vows with my husband of 30 years next May on the beach and would like to not be mistaken for a beach ball during the festivities!” motivated and to motivate others to realize ITS NEVER TOO LATE! Pick me and this old broad might just show some youngsters that women like fine wine just get better with age!
Pounds lost: 2
Percentage of body weight lost: 1.02%
Amanda Valancius, 28, of Canonsburg, says she’s been plus size her whole life. “It never really bothered me much until my husband and I decided to start a family,” she says. “That is when I learned I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which mainly affects my weight and fertility.” Valancius says she didn’t gain much weight during pregnancy but started to after her son was born. “I realized I wasn’t finding the time to eat healthy while taking care of a newborn who never wanted to sleep. I began to gain weight.” She wants to have more energy to be able to keep up with her son, saying, “I want to give him every experience I can in this life, and all that starts with giving him a healthy mom. I want to teach my son by example to be a healthy person and that no matter where you are in life, it is never too late to do a 180 and switch things up.”
Pounds lost: 2.20
Percentage of body weight lost: 0.86%
Nikki Phillips, 31, of Washington, is coordinator of administration at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and wants to start out 2017 in the best shape possible.
“I’ve tried different at-home workouts but never a program like this,” says Phillips. “Not only do I want to be in great shape for our Disney vacation in March, but I want to be as healthy as possible, as my husband and I want to start trying to have a family. For me, it is not just about losing weight for creating a temporary fix. I want a stronger, more toned body and to carry that momentum all year.”
Pounds lost: 0.20
Percentage of body weight lost: 0.12%
The O-R team will be led by Shane Bombara, exercise physiologist and personal trainer at the wellness center. Bombara says many people wish to lose body weight but tend to dwell only on physical activity when they also need behavior, lifestyle and nutrition modifications.
“This is where the Biggest Winner competition is bridging the gap by offering all three major components to the competitors so that they are set up for success during the competition and long-term,” he says. “Personally, I’m very passionate about working with my team because they all offer a unique reason behind their aspirations for being a part of the competition. For some, it’s about returning to the physical shape that they were in when they were younger, and for others it’s about making sure they can watch their kids grow up. It’s very inspiring to hear what drives an individual to make such a change, and it’s even more powerful and rewarding when you can be a part of it.”