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 Registration opens for Florence's Biggest Loser 2016

Story by Shamira McCray, Morning News

The United Way of Florence County wants to lead 80 individuals towards a healthier lifestyle through Florence’s Biggest Loser.

The 10-week weight-loss, healthy-lifestyle competition will return for the third year in January and contestants will have the chance to win over $1,000 in cash and prizes.

 With a registration fee of $150, contestants will receive free membership to the McLeod Health and Fitness Center for the duration of their participation in the contest, fitness training sessions with certified trainers, nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian and nutritionist, prizes and the creation of a happier and healthier self. Funds raised will help the United Way with its annual campaign.

“It’s healthy living,” said Rachel Baggett, director of marketing and initiatives for United Way of Florence County. “We don’t want them just to come in there and think, ‘Oh, we’re going to lose weight.’ We want them to walk away knowing how to live a healthy lifestyle, knowing how to eat right, exercise right, get in the right mindset for it, too.”

Contestants will participate in several activities throughout the 10 weeks including an opportunity to workout with a Francis Marion University basketball team, attend a healthy potluck meal to encourage family members to start a healthy lifestyle and participate in a mentor night with previous Biggest Loser contestants, among other activities.

Baggett said many activities from previous years will be held again this year including the Kayak Attack competition.  There will be incentives throughout the competition to keep contestants motivated.

Much like the TV show “The Biggest Loser,” Baggett said Florence’s Biggest Loser is a competition to push people to a healthier lifestyle and to get them to the beginning steps of where they want to be.

“We really hope it helps people even when they’re done with the competition, they still continue to work out, continue to eat healthy, continue to lead healthier lifestyles,” Baggett said.

For people who want to benefit from the competition but not participate, Baggett said helpful information will be posted at and published in the Morning News.

Sponsors for this annual competition are the United Way of Florence County, Morning News, McLeod Health and Health Facilities Federal Credit Union.

Registration will begin today and run until Jan. 5 for Florence’s Biggest Loser. People can register at the United Way of Florence County office on Palmetto Street in Florence from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or online at . Baggett said participants must be at least 18 years old by Jan. 17 when the competition begins. Certain health conditions may prohibit people from participating. Applications will be reviewed by certified trainers with McLeod Health and Fitness.

Contact the United Way at 843-662-2407 for more information.

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