Oconomowoc's Biggest Loser
OCONOMOWOC - The Biggest Loser television show has inspired thousands of people to lose weight. The show even inspired a gym owner in Oconomowoc. Kevin Ellis owns Parker's Place Total Fitness. He saw the show and decided to hold his own competition.
"The greatest part about this is that everybody wins. Regardless if you win the grand prize or not, you're still winning the grand prize, and that is that I am getting these people a better quality of life," Ellis said.
Eighteen people from the Oconomowoc area are competing. There are two teams, each with nine people. But the main difference between the show and this competition is that no one is kicked off in Oconomowoc.
They are competing for a $25,000 prize, but everyone competes for the entire six months.
Each of the contestants has his or her own reason for joining.
"I want to be more of a fit mom, so that I can do things with my children. And I just want to feel good about myself," Gayla Weber said. Weber has already lost 16 pounds since the competition started in January. "I know I have a long way to go yet in achieving my goal, but I feel lighter, I feel more energetic, I feel like I look better."
"I needed to make a better life for myself," James Meyer said. Meyer is currently winning the competition. He's already lost 60 pounds and more than 14 percent of his body mass. "You don't feel so sluggish, and you feel like you actually have energy and are able to do something."
The contestants work out at Parker's Place as often as they can. Ellis holds weekly nutrition classes and weekly competitions. Every Saturday, the contestants weigh in and see who lost the most that week. The weekly winner gets a $100 prize.
"Now that I see these individuals and how it's working for them, it's just really amazing. I feel so blessed," Ellis said.
The competition ends June 30.