Contest focuses on losing weight

Not many people strive to be losers.

But for a new citywide weight-loss contest, winding up a loser is the ultimate goal.

Called Seymour’s Greatest Loser, the competition gives employees of local businesses an opportunity to lose weight together in teams of 10 while receiving a discount from area gyms and advice from wellness coaches.

The contest also will help raise money for the Trails Development Fund. For every 1 percent of total body weight lost by a team, the business will donate $1,000. The fundraising goal is $30,000.

City parks and recreation director Brent Jameson, who created the contest, said, “Instead of simply asking for donations, I wanted to offer something that would get the community involved and provide value to local businesses and organizations. This idea seemed to fit the mold. I took the idea to the Seymour Trails Committee, and we really dove into developing it.”

The Greatest Loser competition runs from May 4 to July 31. An awards banquet is set for Aug. 1.

The first meeting for interested businesses and organizations will be at noon Feb. 17 at Seymour City Hall. Contracts will be due April 1.

Jameson said several businesses and organizations have shown an interest, and he encourages others to find out more about the contest and sign up.

To participate, 10 employees need to be enlisted as contestants. Each team will be assigned a fitness coach and a wellness coach, who will offer motivation, set and monitor personalized goals, and help with nutrition and healthy weight loss. He said companies can have more than one team.

“I think it would be great if businesses used this as an opportunity to do an internal weight loss contest, as well — that way more employees could be involved,” Jameson said.

Participants will receive a free membership to a local gym and will have two group workouts available each week. These workouts will be run by a certified fitness instructor. One day a month will feature fun workouts, such as relay races and obstacle courses. Official weigh-ins also will be conducted.

Jameson said Snap Fitness, Anytime Fitness, CrossFit Seymour and The Body Shop all have expressed interest in providing fitness coaches, and Schneck Medical Center, SIHO Insurance Services and Purdue Extension are interested in providing wellness coaches.

Money raised from the competition will help extend trails in the city. Currently, a bicycle and pedestrian plan for the city is in place, and once that’s completed, there will be a road map for completing trail projects within the community, Jameson said.

“The ultimate goal is to have a well-connected trails system — not only physically connected, but a system that will allow people to connect to local destinations and with each other,” he said. “As I’ve said in the past, developing a trails system is a marathon, not a sprint. The money raised from this fundraiser will be important for our local match to be eligible for trails grants.”

In addition to fundraising and health benefits, one gym owner said offering his services through the program will help bring in new faces to his business.

“We are a small, locally owned business that relies heavily on word-of-mouth advertising,” said Jason Enrique, owner of The Body Shop in Seymour. “The success that the participants have on this challenge will no doubt increase our membership base.”

Enrique’s gym will offer a variety of group exercise classes to participants, including Zumba, PiYo and Turbo Kick.

He said he hopes participants will choose to continue their healthy lifestyle following the end of the competition.

“The bottom line is we want to show people that variety is the key to success in wellness,” Enrique said. “We want them to keep exercising even after this challenge is finished.”

At a glance

For information on Seymour’s Greatest Loser contest, contact Brent Jameson at seyparkrec@seymourin.org or 812-522-6420.

At a glance

An information meeting on the contest is set for noon Feb. 17 at Seymour City Hall in conference room B.

The contest runs from May 4 to July 31. Other key dates are:

  • April 1 — Business contracts due
  • May 1 — Orientation and weight-in
  • May 16 — Seymour half-marathon
  • Aug. 1 — Awards ceremony