eresa Belesky is changing her life — one pound at a time.
In February, she plans to heighten her already successful weight loss regimen by exchanging her pounds for prizes.
Belesky, 51, of Anderson has lost 100 pounds, but she is signing up for a six-week program to lose even more weight.
“I’m excited about it — I want to win,” Belesky said.
The “biggest loser” of the program wins an iPad, personal training packages, gift certificates and gift cards.
The program, the Next Biggest Loser, is hosted by the White River Club, 1545 S. Scatterfield Road, and kicks off next month. Participants will learn how to reduce body fat, tone muscles, improve core strength, receive heath education and improve overall fitness.
Dan Young, director of fitness for the White River Club, said the program is not a “boring walk on a treadmill and a circuit of machines” — it will be fun.
“And it will help with those new year resolutions,” he said.
Teams will be formed and contestants will compete against each other to lose weight and body fat. The program consists of personal training, special workshops and more than 40 group exercise classes per week.
“Being accountable is huge,” Belesky said.
This is the first time Belesky has competed in the Next Biggest Loser, but said Micah Merritt, the personal trainer at White River Club who helped her lose weight, knows how to get her motivated.
“He gave me my life back,” she said as she struggled with her tears. “I would try just about any fad diet that would come along and all the weight loss pills. I even tried the program at the doctor’s office — they just weren’t intense enough when it came to exercise.”
This is the second year for the six-week program and Young said several people achieved an average body loss of 13 to 14 percent last year, between 50 and 60 pounds. He said with the right mindset, energy and motivation, results can be achieved regardless of individual genetics.
Young said the goal is for people to lose weight, but they are also teaching people how to maintain results.
“Losing weight is relatively easy, keeping it off is not,” he said.
Keri Phillips, 21, is one of the certified personal trainers in the six-week program.
Her favorite exercise? Squats.
“Whatever their goal is I want to be there to help them,” she said.
Although she has always been fit, Phillips said she knows how hard it is to achieve a desired result based on a personal expectation.
“I think we always have goals,” she said. “We want a better time, a better weight and I have always tried to be a better athlete.”
Phillips is looking forward to the challenges the program will create and so is Belesky.
At first, Belesky said she was not overly excited about the program, but as the competition nears she has found it hard to contain her anticipation.
“Competition is a good hot button for me,” she said. “We will see, I think it is going to be fun.”
The program costs $99 for club members, $149 for non-members and child care is available.
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Top 10Mistakes According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are 10 common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight. Restricting calories to less than 50 percent of what the body needs to survive. Starvation diets cannot be maintained and weight lost is usually regained. Trying to lose weight without increasing levels of physical activity. Forgetting to maintain muscle mass. When muscle weight is lost and weight is regained it is regained as fat instead of muscle. Pay attention to food labels. "No fat" or "no sugar" does not mean it is a calorie-free food. Rapid weight loss. Research shows that slow weight loss is more successful than quick loss. Trying to target weight loss for a specific area of the body. Mistaking water weight loss for fat weight loss. Believing a supplement, pills, powders or potions will make you lose weight. Using fad diets that cannot be maintained for life. Restrictive diets that promote rapid weight loss can be unhealthy. Consider a surgical solution for "weight" problems. These surgeries are usually reserved for severely obese individuals. Source: American Collegeof Sports Medicine