Print Competitors race to lose the most
Written by Trista Steers MacVittie   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 00:00

When Sarah Moore’s 5-year-old daughter asked Moore why she didn’t go to the gym, Moore didn’t have a good answer.

Moore’s daughter made the gymnastic team and was spending two and a half hours a day, three days a week at the gym. She didn’t understand why she worked out but her mother did not.

Since then, Moore joined a team entered in the Lookin’ Good Cottonwood weight loss competition, which is now under way.

“We have to lead by example,” Moore said.

Sarah Moore weighs in at the Cottonwood Recreation Center on Feb. 1 as part of the Lookin’ Good Cottonwood fitness  competition. Moore, a mother of two small children, participated in the competition last year and lost 24 pounds.The city of Cottonwood Recreation Center organized Lookin’ Good Cottonwood for the second time this year. The competition began in January and includes a team category for the first time. The person in the individual division and team in the team division to lose the highest percentage of body weight by Wednesday, April 25, wins.

There are 144 individuals participating and 10 teams. Participants weigh in each Wednesday to track progress.

A second-year participant, Moore said this year is different for her. Her goal is to not need to compete next year.

Moore lost 24 pounds during the first competition, but gained 15 pounds back over the last year.

She said the team aspect this year might be just what she needs to make a lifestyle change.

“I did it more for accountability because I’m a yo-yo dieter,” Moore said.

Moore joined a team with fellow Cottonwood mothers, who make up several teams in the competition. Members of all of these teams meet at the gym to work out and share healthy recipes to feed their families.

“You’re there to help other people,” Moore said.

The team competition brings a different dynamic to the program.

“It’s kind of like an all or nothing,” rec center fitness supervisor Heather Klomparens said. If the majority of a team’s members are doing good, it encourages the others. However, if people start to give up, others follow the lead.

Ashley Morin said being part of a team motivates her each week because she isn’t only letting herself down if she gains weight, she’s letting her team down. If she doesn’t lose weight, it’s discouraging.

“It makes me work harder all week to know I have to get on the scale on Wednesday,” Morin said.

She joined a team to improve her overall health so she will be there for her children in the future. She said her family’s longevity isn’t good, and she wants to stay healthy for her children.

The workouts also taught Morin to take time a little time for herself. Before Morin signed up for the program she always put her family’s needs first, and now she said she puts her needs first sometimes.

“An hour to an hour and a half a couple times a week doesn’t seem like much, but it is to a mom,” Morin said.

She believes the length of the contest will help her establish a routine she can carry through after it ends, so she too can make working out and eating right a lifestyle.

Contestants this year seem to be more dedicated to losing weight and not collecting the prize money, Klomparens said. The winning team earns $500 while the top male and female contestant in the individual competition receive $2,000 each, and runners-up get $500.

The goal of the program isn’t to encourage fad diets or quickly lose weight, Klomparens said, but rather to encourage good health.

Moore originally joined hoping to win the cash prize, but now she’s more focused on leading a healthy lifestyle instead of crash dieting or excessively working out.

“I’m going to win when I look hot in my swimsuit this summer,” Moore said.