1/2-ton weight loss sought

PATTERSON, La. -- A Patterson group is in the midst of a 90-day challenge to lose 1,000 pounds with a healthy diet and lifestyle. The challenge concludes with a 5K walk/run for participants at 8 a.m. Sept. 28 in Patterson.

The challenge stems from Patterson resident Latrina Benjamin’s goal to lose 100 pounds last fall.

“I made a lifestyle change last year,” Benjamin said. “I needed to lose 40 more pounds to reach my goal and I thought about getting others involved and maybe making this a community effort.”

Benjamin said she spoke with her best friend, Tina Johnson, and her personal trainer, Kreig Triggs, about this idea, then family members got involved. The trio, all from Patterson, formed Losing 2 Win Again in June with the goal of engaging the Tri-City area.

“We want to make the community a healthier place to live,” Benjamin said.

The challenge to participants to lose half a ton began on July 1.

Losing 2 Win Again can be called a local community-wide version of The Biggest Loser, the reality show where individuals compete to see who can lose the most weight, said Triggs. While there are plans to acknowledge the male and female who loses the most weight, every participant is a winner when weight is lost and a healthy lifestyle is found, he said.

Benjamin said 30 people have signed on to the challenge and the group is hoping more will join.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said obesity and being overweight are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, thyroid, ovary, cervix and prostate.

Triggs said Losing 2 Win Again will attempt to raise awareness of childhood and adult obesity and the risks associated with obesity. The 90-day challenge is not its last step, Triggs said.

“We plan quarterly workshops on weight loss and how to keep weight off with a healthy lifestyle,” Triggs said. The first will be in Patterson followed by events in Franklin and Morgan City, he said.

Those wanting to participate in the challenge and the 5K walk/run can pick up applications at Studio 2000, a hair salon, located at 608 U.S. 90W in Patterson.

The Patterson City Council unanimously approved allowing the run through the city at its August monthly meeting. Councilman Joe Russo praised Trigg’s commitment to the community as well as the concept motivating the challenge.

The group gathers every other Sunday for a public weigh-in to chronicle each participant’s progress as well as that of the group. Triggs said more than 250 pounds has been lost by the group.

The 5K walk/run is not designed to be a competitive event, although individuals may choose to set timed goals for completion. The 5K event is meant to be a motivation in a group setting during the event and for choosing a healthy lifestyle and diet during life.

“The big picture is we want to encourage a lifestyle change that incorporates weight loss in slow increments which allow nutritional habits to become second nature and keeps entire families in good shape,” Triggs said.

In addition to changing eating behavior and lifestyles for adults, Losing 2 Win Again will work to address the issue of childhood obesity. “If you are able to prevent childhood obesity, then there is a far better chance of not having to fight obesity in adulthood,” Triggs said.

The CDC said obesity affects nearly one-in-five children aged 6 to 19 with more than one-third of children and adolescents overweight or obese in 2010. Children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults, the CDC said. Children and adolescents who are obese are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis, the CDC said.

Triggs is promising various booths will provide professional advice and information by volunteer dieticians, pediatricians and personal trainers at the 5K event, along with handouts. Information on future workshops should be available at that time, he said.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
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Morgan City Daily Review
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Phone: 985-384-8370
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