DanvilleSanRamon.com

Living - April 27, 2007

Weight loss works

Dynamic Alamo group fetes biggest 'losers'

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

The second annual Weight Loss Challenge concluded last month with Greg Brown, who lost 13 pounds, being recognized as the winner/loser at the Biggest Loser Luncheon held at Round Hill Country Club.

"It took over a month to see any significant loss, very slow going," said Brown, who lost 6.86 percent of his body weight. "However, during the last two weeks - real progress."

He said the exercise was crucial: He worked the treadmill at sponsor Bally's for a half hour about three times a week, then did floor exercises and machines for another hour, plus he walked on the other days.

"I stayed away from all white foods - potatoes, bread, rice, pasta - and no fast foods, fried foods, pizza, pastries, sugar-filled soft drink, etc., yet I did not feel deprived," Brown added. "I ate meat, vegetables, salads, fruit, low carb yogurt and, of course, drank red wine. Also drank plenty of water."

He said he went to restaurants often but would only eat half a meal.

The Weight Loss Challenge is the brainchild of Alamo executive Debbie Carmel who last year determined to get into better shape and decided to apply the "it takes a village" philosophy and include as many others as she could recruit. She also found sponsors, people and business who contributed to make her events successful.

Last year Carmel had one volunteer and 39 challengers; this year 109 challengers signed up to compete and others helped her with the administrative details. The Challenge included fun social activities as well as exercising and nutrition advice.

Saz Ahern took second place by losing 12.5 pounds, which was 6.54 percent of her body weight. She credits the Weight Loss Challenge, which prompted her to watch her diet and do more exercise.

"I feel so good and it is so fun to be able to wear clothes that I have not worn in a long time," Ahern said.

The third-place loser was Jayne Parise, who lost 12.5 pounds, 6.35 percent of her body weight.

"I decided not to diet but instead make a life style change," said Parise. "I started with making sure I always eat breakfast and removed all desserts and snacks from the house. I still have desserts, snacks and of course wine, just not every day. My next goal is to include exercise into my daily program. I am correcting one bad habit at a time."

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