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By Natalie Otis, Journal Correspondent

Auburn to compete to shed pounds

Fitness instructor to lead local version of "Biggest Loser"
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Wake up Auburn. A local version of a “Biggest Loser”challenge is coming your way. Inspired by the hit NBC television show “The Biggest Loser,”the Auburn Journal is going to follow a group a people working with a local trainer as they go through a weight-loss contest that aims to transform lives in the foothills. The grand prize? A yearlong membership to the Courthouse Athletic Club valued at $648, which includes racquetball courts, a pool and a host of workout equipment and classes to keep the winning contestant on the right path. Individuals - who have 50 pounds or more to lose, are outgoing, and willing to let our readers follow their stories for 12-weeks - are invited to vie for a chance to participate in the contest. The program will be led by Angela Martin, who is a fitness instructor and personal trainer living in Auburn. For Martin, the motivation to offer her services for the contest comes from her own battle with weight. At just 24 years old, Martin was 200 pounds and heading down a path that she wasn’t comfortable with. “I was looking at pictures from my brother’s wedding and I couldn’t believe I was the biggest one,”she said. “I was overweight and unhappy.” It was 2001 when she decided to take the initiative and make some lifestyle changes. “I began exercising and eating healthier. I eventually lost 50 pounds,”she said. “During that time I learned a lot about fitness, nutrition and my body.” Martin, who is certified to consult the contestants on their nutritional practices and exercise programs, will work with each contestant to individually to develop a specific plan for that person. “I am really looking forward to helping people look better, feel healthier, increase energy and keep the weight off,”she said. “What I really would love to see are people who have tried diet programs and products in the past and found that nothing ever worked. I want to meet with them personally and develop a plan that will work.” Martin leads several group exercise classes around Auburn and will allow the contestants to attend her classes at no charge for the 12-weeks of the contest. Each contestant will also be required to keep a log of their daily habits and to keep a journal for the 12-weeks. To help with the nutritional aspects of the program, Martin is working with an Auburn couple who launched their own weight loss contest two weeks ago that is primarily focused on teaching sound nutritional practices. Chris and Kryston Bain are personal wellness coaches with Herbalife International and will meet with the contestants once a week for the weigh-in portion of the contest. The Bains will also give a one hour class each week that will cover calorie intake, the importance of drinking water, understanding fats, stress, making sense of carbohydrates, the importance of protein intake, dining out and heart heath. The Courthouse Athletic club has offered to give all of the chosen contestants a free month-long membership to the gym to help with the challenge with the winner receiving the grand prize of a year-long membership. The winner of the contest will be the person with the largest percentage of weight lost. For example, if a person weighs 200 pounds and they shed 100, they would be at 50 percent. “We are really hoping for a great response,”Martin said. “This could be life-changing for some people.” Those interested in being considered to join Auburn’s Biggest Loser contest are invited to send a photo and tell us your story in 500 words or less. E-mail or send both to fitness@adventurehere.com or 670 Auburn Folsom Road Unit 106 No. 313 Auburn, CA 95603. All entry submissions must be received by Friday, March 21. Contest organizers are also looking for an area restaurant to host a healthy diner night for the contestants. Area businesses are also invited to donate weekly prizes to the contestants to be given at the weigh-in. Businesses wanting to donate can e-mail natalieotis@gmail.com. Natalie Otis is a freelance writer and gymnastics instructor, e-mail with questions or story ideas at natalieotis@gmail.com.