Another year has come and gone, and that means we’ve wrapped up another of our annual Biggest Loser weight loss challenges here at Infinite Energy.
For the 2019 challenge, we started out with 52 contestants, all competing from March until December for a spot in the top three. Throughout the challenge, contestants were coached with diet and exercise. And at the end, the three biggest losers got cash prizes of $3,000, $1,000 and $500.
Lemanuel M. came in first this year, losing a total of 45 pounds and walking away with the $3,000 cash prize.
“It feels great to lose the weight, mentally and physically. I’m happy to fit into my clothes again,” Lemanuel said. “I feel more confident when working out and doing sports because I feel I’m giving my body a better chance to not get injured, and I feel I can push myself harder.”
Lemanuel said a low-carb (ketogenic) diet helped him take most of the weight off, especially early on. And then he started exercising as his weight loss from dieting began to plateau.
“The most important thing is not to have an ‘I can’t’ mentality, such as ‘I can’t live without sugar in my coffee’ or ‘I can’t have a burger without bread or fries or a soda.’ You definitely can if you make a conscious decision to do so.”
Lemanuel said his biggest challenges were learning to “rewire his brain” toward a healthier diet and getting up at the crack of dawn to work out.
Jared W. came in second this year, dropping 31 pounds by the end of the challenge and claiming the $1,000 cash prize.
“This has been the first year in a very long time that I tried to really focus on setting meaningful goals and going after them. And it made a world of difference,” Jared said.
Like Lemanuel, Jared lost the weight through diet and exercise. He adjusted his food choices and meal times—eating at only certain times of the day—and he hammered out most of his workouts here at Infinite Energy.
“I feel grateful for Infinite Energy having a gym on campus and running the programs they do,” he said. “And I also owe a lot of gratitude to all the friends I’ve made working out here. They really helped push me during workouts where I probably would have slacked if I was just doing my own thing, as well as helped me want to just come out and workout.”
Nicole M. came in third, shedding 25 pounds as part of the competition, though she also lost about 50 pounds prior to the start of this year’s challenge. She took home the $500 cash prize.
Nicole said her biggest challenge was learning to not be too hard on herself. “I didn’t gain the weight overnight,” she said. “And I had to accept it wouldn’t just disappear overnight. Changing my perspective and looking at it as a journey made a world of difference.”
She started that journey little by little, she said, making small changes at first that later became routine. She got more exercise, cut back on food portions, cut back on sugar and alcoholic beverages and started drinking more water. And little by little, she started seeing results, which encouraged her to forge on ahead.
And friends and family were there to offer encouragement, too.
“They’re proud of me,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for a better support system, and I’ve even inspired them. A couple of friends and family members have started their own journeys after seeing the change in me—the change in all aspects, not just physically.”
Way to go, losers. We know it takes a lot of hard work, focus and dedication to make big changes in life. And we’re all proud of your accomplishments over the last year.