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One small person lost in weight loss challenge

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Participants in Pine River’s six-week weight loss challenge are still going strong nine weeks later.

The first challenge, which started Jan. 13 and ended Feb. 17, helped 14 people lose 96.5 pounds collectively during the challenge. Challenger Nancy Wood said that’s almost the weight of one person, or a young person.

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Participants Meg Henley and Cindy Liane said the program’s accountability system was part of what made it easy to follow.

“I think that coming every week to a meeting is incentive not to go off the rails,” Henley said. “I wouldn’t have done it without a meeting.”

Liane said the commitment to the weight loss challenge group felt more binding than a private commitment would have.

The challengers met every Monday during the challenge at Thrifty Living thrift store in Pine River. Challenge coaches Nancy and Gene Wood own the business. They say the key to weight loss is just learning to eat healthy.

“We don’t call it a diet,” said Gene.

“It’s not low carb. It’s eating healthy. What do our bodies need to maintain a healthy weight? It’s a healthy lifestyle change,” Nancy said. “It’s just education. We know healthy eating, and we know to shop the circumference of the grocery store. We know to eat fruits and vegetables, but it’s how much of those things to eat and how often do we need to eat, and kind of a support system to keep things going through.”

During the first challenge, Nancy and Gene had assistance from Kyle Wood and Luke Popham to lead the group. On March 3, a second challenge started. This time, Nancy and Gene are taking the reins, while Kyle and Popham are watching from the audience.

Of the 15 participants in the second challenge, some are repeats, including Henley and Liane, who said they would like to learn more and reach their target weight loss.

“I learned so much. There was so much knowledge to learn from this class. It was so positive. I saw other people lose a lot more than I did, but it was getting people healthy. I love seeing other people succeed, too,” Liane said.

Liane’s original goal was to lose 12 pounds. She lost five pounds during the challenge, but she is keeping it off, and she is back for round two.

“When I’ve gotten to the weight I want to be, I am going to learn to stay that way and not put it all back on that way. There’s a long way to go. I’m not looking to be leaving any time soon,” Henley said.

Henley lost 12 pounds of her overall goal of 40. She did not intend to lose it all in the first six weeks.

“It feels good. My clothes fit nicer,” Henley said.

A third challenge will begin April 28, after the current challenge is complete.

Travis Grimler can be reached at travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him at facebook.com/PEJTravis and on Twitter @PEJ_Travis.

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