2,000 Attend Carson Weight-Loss Challenge Kickoff

By  | 

If all goes according to plan, 2,000 people who signed up for the Great American Weight Loss Challenge in Carson City this weekend will have lost a collective 20,000 pounds before Thanksgiving.

Organized in teams of 10, the challengers have vowed to lose 1 pound per week for the next 10 weeks.

"Being on a team will help me keep it off because I don't want to go off course," Tami Nash said. She's a member of the "DETER light waits," a team composed of co-workers at the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

"We've tried all the diets - Atkins, Grapefruit, pills like Metabolife, Slimfast. Some work but you have to be into it," Nash told the Nevada Appeal.

"It is a change in lifestyle. You have to be more motivated for things to work," she said.

The challenge is sponsored by HeathSmart, a program organized through Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

"Obesity is such a problem in America and we want to encourage a healthy lifestyle," said Tara Cashel, projector coordinator. "We wanted to have a program before the holidays but after the summer so that people could gear up for the holidays."

A $50 entry fee and a $50 corporate sponsorship gives team members a 10-week membership to one of eight Nevada Fitness locations.

Teams are encouraged to work out together in order to keep will power high. They are competing for prizes given at the end of 10 weeks.

Individuals will be weighed every Wednesday at the gym. If a team member misses three weigh-ins, they will be kicked off the team. Their exiting weight will be added to the team's average.

At Mills Park on Saturday, hundreds of people waited 10 to 20 minutes be weighed.

Heather Dobson, a Nevada fitness employee who weighed nearly 100 people Saturday, said attitudes at the scales remained positive. Dobson said she was shocked at the amount of women attending the event.

"There is a lot more women than I thought there would be but I guess it makes sense, the way that society looks at women," she said. "Most women are trying to be the image of what everyone else wants them to be."

Max Bradford was one of the handful of men who decided to show up for the challenge that was dominated by slightly overweight middle-aged women. Bradford signed up individually and was assigned to a team. He said he understood why most men didn't want to participate.

"Men aren't into doing a group thing," he said. "Women are more into those groups."

Carol Brooking, 60, joined with a group of women from her neighborhood. She said she has tried every diet but each time all the weight she lost, and more, came back. But now she thinks she has the answer.

"I am motivated this time," she said. "This time, I want to lose weight for my health."