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Losing it big: 37 locals find ways to drop pounds through contest

Leigh Ann Laube • Apr 18, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Samantha Doss doesn’t know yet whether she’ll be the biggest "Greater Kingsport Lose Big" loser. Even if she isn’t, she’s well on her way to a smaller body and a healthier lifestyle.

Doss, 30, has lost 77 pounds since January as a participant in the first "Greater Kingsport Lose Big" contest, sponsored by H.O.P.E. (Help Our Potential Evolve) and Performance Medicine. The competition will end on May 4 with a final weigh-in, a health fair and screenings at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. Six winners will be recognized and prizes will go to the top man and top woman in three categories — total weight lost, total percentage of body fat lost, and total inches lost.

"Lose Big" is designed to help contestants make positive lifestyle changes by giving them the tools to not only lose weight and keep it off, but improve their overall lifestyle.

Contestants have been free to lose weight any way they want, and Dr. Tom Rogers, founder of Performance Medicine, has been available for guidance.

Both Doss and her mother, Stella Robinette, chose to lose weight through the hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) diet. Robinette has dropped 37 pounds since January. Both say this attempt at weight loss has been successful because of Rogers’ help and because the group of 37 contestants is motivating each other.

"I did a lot of research [about hCG] before I actually did it," Doss said. "I decided to give it a try and once I started, I was glad I did. The results have kept me motivated. ... As long as I eat what I’m supposed to eat, it gives me the energy to do what I need to do."

Doss set small goals for herself, but wants to celebrate her 31st birthday on May 24 with a much thinner body.

"It’s still hard to believe," she said. "I feel better. I have more energy. ... I don’t want to go back to where I was. I know it’s going to be a lifestyle change."

For Robinette, one of the hardest things about a strict diet plan is passing up food provided at her many lunch meetings. She announced on Facebook her diet plan as a way to let folks know why she’d be turning down their offers.

As for the other 35 contestants, they’re using a combination of tactics to lose weight, Rogers said. Some are using hCG, some are following advice Rogers has published in a nutritional guide, some are participating in the Couch to 5K running program.

"They’re all losing weight," Rogers said. "There’s a lot of different ways to lose weight. Keeping it off is what you learn about food and stress and exercise. This city is starting to get fit. I’ve noticed it in the last year or two. People are out walking, running. They’re really starting to realize they’d better get lean."

Word has spread about the "Lose Big" competition and the 37 official contestants are inspiring others to start their own weight loss journey.

On May 4, contestants will gather for their final weigh-in. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second floor of the Renaissance Center, and the community is invited to meet the contestants and learn more about living healthier. A number of prizes will be given to contestants, including makeovers, gym memberships, bath and body products, and gift certificates.

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