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2017 Daily Herald Fittest Loser Challenge

Contestants, from left, J.D. DeBouver, Tony Wiszowaty, Penny Brown, Dave Gathman and Russ Page stand together prior to the finale of the Fittest Loser competition.

Once again this year, Detecto® was a proud sponsor of the Daily Herald Fittest Loser Challenge, with our iConnectTM Bluetooth scale serving as the official scale. Tuesday, May 9 was the exciting 2017 finale event of the 12-week weight loss challenge, revealing the individual and At-Work team winners. For the past nine years, the Daily Herald has put on the event and this year was special in several ways, two of which were that the individual contestants were all United States military veterans, and 80 at-work teams with 450 participants competed – the most ever.

See the Daily Herald’s article about the finale:

Tony Wiszowaty, a former Marine sergeant, was this year’s individual winner. He lost 55 pounds and 22.3 percent of his body weight during the 12-week competition. Amazing!

This was also the closest competition ever, with the second place winner Russell Page, an Air Force veteran, losing 54 pounds (21.6% of his body weight)! Army veteran J.D. DeBouver lost 42 pounds (15.9% of his body weight), and Navy veteran Penny Brown lost 33 pounds (14.5% of her body weight). All of them overcame obstacles and persisted despite minor set-backs. They were encouraged by personal trainers from Push Fitness, who not only helped them with their exercise routines but also guided them to create better eating habits.

There were several emotional moments as contestants described how they fought in the armed services with close friends and pledged to stick around to honor those who did not make it back home. Being military vets, they all were once in great physical condition, but slowly fell out of a the fitness routine (just like many of us!). They joined the competition to get back into shape and return to healthier eating habits to ensure that they’d be around longer for their families.

Dave Gathman was this year’s Daily Herald report who participated in the event, along with the veterans. He lost an impressive 17 pounds and learned to make better food choices. He really enjoyed following other participants through the process while writing about all of their experiences and made some wonderful new friends with whom he hopes to keep in touch. As he said, following a new weight loss regime with a close group is a lot like being in the military… not dangerous, but almost as difficult as combat!

Winning At-Work teams, who received free iConnect by Detecto® scales as prizes

The At-Work Challenge was also a great bonding experience that brought co-workers together. The combined weight loss of the 450 participants was a whopping 2,176 pounds! That is literally over a ton of fat shed by 450 people. Congratulations to all of them, whether their team was at the top of the weight loss challenge or not. Coming in at first place was RDI Group, pictured at the left. Second place was Giacomo’s Italian Ristorante and third place was Mike Turco’s Team 1. The female who lost the most weight out of the teams was Anna Maria Zito of Giacomo’s, who lost 31 pounds and 16% of her body weight. The male winner was Walter Bremer from the Salvation Army team named ‘The Heavy Hitters,’ who lost 45 pounds and 22% of his body weight.

The hard-working people at the Daily Herald did an excellent job organizing the Challenge again this year. They gave a special thanks to Amita Health Care and its wonderful staff of doctors and nurses who monitored the health of the contestants, and to all of the sponsors who provided raffle baskets, prizes and services that all helped make the event a success.