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The Biggest Loser challenge has begun

Fri, Feb 8th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Health & Wellness

Coffee Street Fitness & Dance of Lanesboro, Minn. has begun its Biggest Loser Challenge as of Monday, January 7, 2013, and will continue until June 2013. The program was initiated by Melinda Coscarelli Lutes, owner of Coffee Street Fitness & Dance of Lanesboro, Minn. Beginning shortly after the New Year, the program may help contestants stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Although shedding pounds is among the top reasons for participants to join the challenge it is not the only reason that they decided to join the group or the reason Melinda started the challenge.

The Biggest Loser Challenge is a six-month challenge for members and non-members of Coffee Street Fitness & Dance but may teach the participants a lifestyle that will last a lifetime. The program not only focuses on exercise but also on nutrition and coaching.

According to the Facebook page for Coffee Street Fitness & Dance (www.facebook.com/pages/Coffee-Street-Fitness-Dance) the goals of the challenge are to “lose weight, lose body fat and inches, change your body composition, and get healthy and fit” which are goals everyone should strive for.

How the Biggest Loser Challenge works is every week the participants get a new exercise routine, a list of foods to eat along with percentages of calories of protein, fat and carbohydrates to have in their weekly diet. Melinda Coscarelli Lutes has asked all participants to check in with her at least once a week to discuss the person’s progress and any questions or concerns they may have. The contestants are asked to exercise a minimum of five days a week for at least 30 minutes each time. Melinda is always available to offer her expertise in coaching and to offer any help the contestants may need.

The participants of the Biggest Loser Challenge are all using two internet applications. One is called “Groupme” and the other is “MyFitnessPal,” and these apps let the participants keep in touch with each other as well as being useful in helping each member track their exercise and food intake.

The Biggest Loser Challenge also has a point system where the participants earn points for different activities. The ways in which participants earn points is by exercising, tracking diet on a daily basis, checking in with Melinda, going to weekly meetings, and the percent of weight loss each week. Prizes are available to the group member who earns the most points each week. One recent prize for the top point earner was two tickets to the JEM Theatre in Harmony, Minn.

Becky Holmen is one of the participants in Coffee Street Fitness & Dance’s Biggest Loser Challenge. Becky says that the reason she wanted to join the Biggest Loser Challenge is because she has struggled with weight loss her entire life. Becky states, “I turned 40 last year and my two sons are very active with school activities and summer rec.” Becky would like to be in better shape. She says, “I have finally decided to do something for myself and get fit and healthy.”

Becky is not doing the challenge for herself alone, she is also doing it for her family’s sake, as she explains. “I want to live a long healthy life with my family.” Getting healthy will help her reach that goal.

Becky has lost quite a few pounds already and keeps working towards her short-term goals and also has a long-term goal of losing 140-150 pounds total. She knows that her total weight loss goal will not be reached during the six month Biggest Loser Challenge but she feels she will be well on her way to the long term goal by the end of the challenge. Becky states, “It is a slow process, but it is so worth it.” She says she can already feel the difference in the way her clothes fit, so the challenge has definitely helped Becky get to this point.

Tina Mayer is also competing in the Biggest Loser Challenge and has a lot of motivation to win. Tina says that she did a “Biggest Loser” competition a few years ago with some other people. They did the program with teams and her team won. Tina got pregnant with their third child and she gained the 50 pounds back she had lost. Tina states, “Since I am a competitive person by nature, and when my partner from the previous challenge asked me to join with her, it was a win/win situation either way.”

Competition is a major factor for Tina as she says, “I hate to lose at anything,” so she is aiming to be the “Biggest Loser.” Tina figures she wins either way by losing the weight and/or winning the competition. Another big motivator for Tina is the new wardrobe she will have to buy after losing the weight!

Tina says that she would like to lose at least 50 pounds and to become healthier through the Biggest Loser Challenge and Melinda’s guidance. She says, “I hate the feeling of being sluggish, and love the feeling that I have with exercise and eating right.” It is difficult for Tina who works nights and always has food around. She states, “My biggest challenge is willpower at 3:00 a.m.!” But to curb her cravings, Tina has been packing snacks and trying to drink plenty of water.

Tina has the support of friends and family along with trainer Melinda Coscarelli Lutes. She says, “My good friend and I are doing the program together and we tend to exercise together as well when our schedules allow,” and adds, “It is nice to have an exercise partner.” Tina explains that her husband and children are supportive and watch her closely to make sure there is no cheating going on and her children are always asking if she has worked out and how things are going. Tina says, “I have even noticed a change in the family too. It seems that when Mom eats better, the family does too!”

According to Tina, Melinda has been very supportive and knowledgeable through the Biggest Loser Program and is available by texting, email and a community text the group has to communicate with each other. Tina stated, “I have had any and all questions answered,” adding that is very helpful when going through a program such as the Biggest Loser Challenge.

We will check in with Becky and Tina and perhaps more contestants of the Biggest Loser Challenge along their journey and report how the challenge worked for them at the end of the six-month program.

Coffee Street Fitness & Dance is located at 102 Coffee Street in Lanesboro, Minn. For more information on Coffee Street Fitness & Dance phone Melinda at (507) 951-9980 or check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coffee-Street-Fitness-Dance/540160026013222?ref=ts&fref=ts.

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