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Losing Together: Contestants find strength in unity

By Rachel Baggett

FLORENCE, S.C. – In some ways, losing weight and living healthier can be viewed as a solo journey.

Only you can go to the gym and work out, or only you can ensure that you are eating healthy for your meals. Just because you are responsible for your decisions does not mean you have to go through a healthy journey by yourself.

In fact, studies have shown that having someone to work out with (especially someone who is emotionally supportive) not only can increase the amount you work out, but it also can increase your ability to finish a program and even your ability to keep the weight off.

This year’s Florence’s Biggest Loser competition has quite a few contestants who started the competition with someone close to them, such as a mother, daughter, father or spouse. This week, those contestants talked about how they have benefited from having someone close participate in the competition with them.

>> Kevin Dwyer: “I am really enjoying working out with my daughter, Liza. I push her sometimes, and she motivates me when I need it. She’ll say sometimes, ‘Come on, old man,’ and I’ll say back, ‘Don’t let the old man show you up.’ This program has helped bring us closer together. I am blessed beyond measure to be able to spend this time with her!”

>> Amanda and Dena Strickland: “It is much easier to participate as a mother-daughter pair because there is accountability daily with our exercise and diet. It has also been extremely helpful that one of us participated last year, because we knew what to expect. Amanda has been working out for a year, so she has a great knowledge about what exercises we need to do. It is just more fun together!”

>> Katie and Stephen Cullen: “Being in the competition together creates a build-in support system. We are always encouraging each other, and we really enjoy being able to work out together again. It also has created a healthy competition in our house. We compete against each other in workouts and push each other to work harder.”

>> Cherrie Dean: “We have been on the same team in past competitions but both agreed to go against each other this year. It’s already a competition with other contestants, but we really wanted a competitive vibe between the two of us. I love seeing results that she gets, but I also love when I do better than her. When I do better than her though, I hope it makes her push that much harder to be successful.”

>> Ravyn Miles-Dean: “I love being in the competition with my mom. In the past, we have always been on the same team. This year we decided to go against each other in hopes that it would push us that much harder. Her success during weigh-ins makes me happy but also encourages me to do my best to try to beat her!”

>> Windy and Tony Sitton: “It works out great participating in the Florence’s Biggest Loser together. He makes sure we get up early and go to the gym. I am in charge of making our meals for us. It is nice because we talk about what we did at the gym, how we are progressing, etc. I know we are doing better together than by ourselves, and we are having fun!”

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