This year’s Biggest Loser of Madison County competition will be different from those in the past because there will be more emphasis on making permanent lifestyle changes.

“Season 4 isn’t about money, but there is a cash reward for every person who meets their individual goal,” said contest coordinator Laura Nichols. “It isn’t about quick weight loss and fad dieting, but it is about lasting change that requires realistic, personal goals that are attainable through participation, hard work and community.”

This season’s competition will begin Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 and will be a year-long event ending on Dec. 31.

An official kickoff event will begin at 2 p.m. Jan. 2 at the Richmond Athletic Club, and each contestant will set a personal weight goal.

“We are prepared to give you all the tools, resources and support you will need for 364 days in 2010,” Nichols said. “We are only taking New Year’s Day off (from the competition). It will be tough, but it will be worth every ounce of effort.”

Fitness group participation is required this season to provide structured fitness activities in a community environment, “... which promotes involvement and accountability,” Nichols said. “The number one draw for people is the accountability and knowing that they have to get on that scale at least once a week.”

Participants must participate in at least one group-fitness league/team/club and attend at least 50 percent of those events, she said.

These leagues/teams/clubs will be organized by The Biggest Loser of Madison County competition officials.

Participants are allowed to miss 12 weigh-ins throughout the year to be eligible for any monetary prize, and are required to lose at least 50 percent of their official personal goal to be eligible for cash prizes.

For the first time, adults will be able to compete either as individuals or on teams of two for cash prizes.

Also, teens will be able to participate and compete accompanied by a parent as a team partner for cash and prizes as well.

Two participants of same gender form a team. Same gender not required in the Teen And Parent (TAP) Division.

The Super Prize Fund Adult Division will reward the top male team (two members) and top female team (two members) based on total weight-loss percentage.

The adult prize division guarantees each of the four winners will receive at least $500 each.

The Super Prize Fund Teen and Parent (TAP) Division will reward the top male TAP team and female TAP team, and is determined based on the total weight-loss percentage that either meets or exceeds the teams’ goal.

There also will be a male and female teen division.

Adults will receive $250 cash each, and the teen winners will receive their choice of fitness equipment or fitness instruction valued at $250 each.

Awards also will be given to each contestant who meets their individual weight-loss goal through the personal prize fund.

Contestants are not being charged a registration fee this year, but will be allowed to donate money to their personal prize fund each week when they weigh in via a locked drop box.

For example, if a contestant meets 100 percent of his or her personal goal, they will receive all of their money back, Nichols said. If a contestant reaches 80 percent of their personal goal, they will receive 80 percent of what they donated to their personal fund.

Anyone who would like more information about the contest can send an e-mail to admin@biggestloserofmadisoncounty.com, or visit the official contest Web site at www.biggestloserofmadisoncounty.com. Registration can be completed online.



Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.

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