PLATTSBURGH - Although 43 applications were turned in to the city Recreation Department, only 10 people will be taking part in the North Country Biggest Loser.
Each participant will be working alongside trainer Mary Duprey and registered dietician Ann Watts to stay on track.
"Basically I'm just going to start out very easy," explained Duprey. "Actually walking two or three miles, or even a mile, is difficult for them."
The members of the program began March 1, meeting at the city gym, where they will receive free memberships for the duration of the North Country Biggest Loser.
During the kickoff, each participant took the time to tell their story.
"It was pretty emotional," Duprey said. "There weren't too many dry eyes left at the end. It was really neat. It was really inspirational for me to hear all that."
Now that Duprey has met with each of the members, she, along with Watts, plan to work with each member to individualize their workouts and diets - as each member is individualized in the reason they applied for the program.
Steve Pierce, Dannemora - "After a lifelong struggle with being overweight, I now, more than ever, need to get my lifestyle changed so I can see my three children, Kaitlyn, 8, Jacob, 7, and Lucas, 3, grow up and have their own families - So I can be a grandfather to their children.
Larry Mills, Keeseville - "This isn't just a weight issue, it's a life issue. My goal is to lose the weight in order to lower my hypertension, in order to be healthy in retirement."
Rosemary Bell, Plattsburgh - "My main reason for to wanting join the program are health reasons and I want to be around for my daughter."
Aleshia Bond, Plattsburgh - "I've always been overweight and until about a month ago, have pretty much accepted it. I've tried to lose weight many times, but either became discouraged when I didn't see results I wanted, or tried less and less until I wasn't trying at all ... The best part is that not only do I get to come closer to my goals everyday, I've met nine other people in my same situation, all working towards meeting their goals too."
Jennifer Goddeau, Plattsburgh - "I just had a baby nine months ago and I've been on countless diets. I did a lot of things to go ahead and lose the weight but when my primary doctor went ahead and gave me a referral to bariatric surgery ... then I knew it was actually time."
Randy Hilliker, Plattsburgh - "I joined the competition because I wanted to lose a lot of weight and I wanted to become more active and try to get off of some medicine. To try and lead a better and healthier lifestyle."
Jennifer LeCuyer, Plattsburgh - "This program appealed to me because I have been waiting for something like this to come along for a long time. I want to be present on this earth for a little bit longer and I have a niece who is 8-years-old with whom I am extremely close. I want to be here for her and be a good role model for her. I was looking for a way to change my life for the better, and I am finding it through this program."
Tamber Shepard, Plattsburgh - "I realized that life is too short, and there is so much more I want to experience and accomplish. I made the decision that it was time to incorporate diet and exercise into my life as well as manage my diabetes so that I could live a healthy lifestyle."
Jim Snook, Plattsburgh - "For me the motivation was my family. Angela, my wife, has encouraged me for years to lose weight. I look at my children, Emma, 6 and Gabriel, 3, and realize that I won't be around for them if I don't change my lifestyle now."
The North Country Biggest Loser is now on Facebook, which Duprey hopes more people, not just the participants, will utilize.
"I think if they're following us and kind of watching what we're doing, ... they can mimic that themselves," she said. "We'd like to have [people] go on there and try to encourage the 10, plus get any information out of it they can."