Plattsburgh's Biggest Losers
If the sparkle you see in MARY DUPREY’S eyes is any indication of the energy and passion she puts into PLATTSBURGH’S BIGGEST LOSERS, her participants better watch out; their lives are about to change!
We visited the City Recreation Gym last week and were blown away by the camaraderie, determination and results of this program. Based on the NBC reality show, Plattsburgh’s Biggest Loser, directed by Mary Duprey, combines exercise, nutrition and accountability into a very successful weight loss and life changing program.
Biggest Loser begins each fall with an application process. Forty to 50 applications are received by program coaches and collectively they choose the top 25. High blood pressure, diabetes, family history of obesity, heart disease, joint replacements, depression, inability to lead an active family life and infertility are just a few of the physical and emotional reasons that people give as to why they want to participate. Candidates are carefully chosen; weight loss is one factor for consideration; but primarily by candidates having the commitment to creating a healthy life.
The six month program kicks off with the Heart Walk. Following the Heart Walk, the bonding begins – group members weigh in and each participant shares the story of how they came to be part of The Biggest Loser’s Club. Biggest Losers continues with two workouts a week sprinkled with guest speakers on nutrition, fitness, and inspiration. Workouts have great variety and a fun flair such as the number of crunches equals the combined age of the group! Some members of the group join to regain mobility after an injury or illness; some members have permanent physical limitations. The point is to move as you are able.
PSUC faculty and staff provide nutritional consultation. Members have created a private Facebook group and this connection keeps them engaged with optional activities in building the habits of an active lifestyle. Certified personal trainers and past participants are the coordinators and leaders, providing creative expertise and active weight loss role models. Jenn LeCuyer serves as the program coordinator for “Walking the Walk.” She has lost 70 pounds and her husband, Jamie, is an “honorary” member, having lost 170 pounds! So far, the biggest loser in their program has lost 110 lbs!
Although the loss of one to two pounds per week is the goal, the group also focuses on “non-scale” victories; someone can wear their wedding ring again, another has gained mobility that they’d lost 10 years ago, another is off high blood pressure meds and is no longer diabetic. Climbing a flight of stairs is another victory to boast about! Movement and a positive sense of self are the goals—applause and laughter are the background music to this program.
We met Mary, a Certified Personal Trainer, at one of our favorite haunts in Plattsburgh, HOT YOGA! Being a big believer in cross training, Mary is the fit dynamo behind this program. She recently accomplished a dream by receiving her Master’s degree in exercise science. She and her husband set up runs and Mary also hosts a workplace wellness program at Pfizer! No question that she’s a go-to-gal for inspiration and assistance in getting your own wellness program going. She can be reached at 297-2192.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS: (Mary’s too!!) Don’t be extreme; weight loss and wellness are a life-long process and your personal regimen needs to be manageable and doable on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Get moving; 10 to 15 minutes a day is something that everyone can commit to! Begin to eliminate processed foods, one food at a time…and shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s where you’ll find the healthiest choices. Walk the stairs, park further out, move in any way that you can….you get the idea! Now, get going!