Group hopes to lose 1,000 pounds by May 1

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Amanda McGuire, left, Danni Jobe and Sarah Holderfield work out for Chaffee’s Biggest Loser on Wednesday in Chaffee, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

It appears weight loss is going viral in Chaffee, Mo.

While the waistlines are getting smaller, a Chaffee's Biggest Loser group is growing by number. More than 20 members strong now, with 157 following on Facebook as of Monday, the "Losers" hope to shed 1,000 pounds by May 1.

The informal but organized program includes four workouts each week for 17 weeks, weekly weigh-ins and an abundance of support.

Organizers Karrie Rinehart, Brenda Dannenmueller and Becky Ivester are full of energy and enthusiasm. These three women are asking residents from Chaffee and beyond to join the growing group of people ready to get healthy.

"We want to help other people get healthy," said Rinehart, the owner of A Simply Different Salon, where individuals can sign up and weigh-in.

Riley Holderfield works out with a rower in Chaffee's Biggest Loser on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 in Chaffee. (Fred Lynch)

Rinehart has struggled with weight her entire life. She began her weight loss journey last year. While looking into adoption, she was denied life insurance in Oct. 2011 due to being overweight.

"I weighed 331 pounds, and that really opened my eyes," said Rinehart, who lost 90 pounds in 2012. "My goal weight is 180 pounds, so I have a ways to go, but I am confident I will get there," Rinehart said.

Ivester said the group includes people with varying weight issues, and she wanted to create the group to keep everyone motivated.

"I have struggled with weight my entire life and have been on a diet as long as I can remember," Ivester said. "Some people are scared to discuss their issues, but we all have them."

Ivester said most overweight people have low self-esteem. She said she wants to help pick those people up when they feel down. The group also is open to children and teenagers, as well.

Sarah Holderfield is one of over 20 individuals participating in the Chaffee’s Biggest Loser program.

"I don't want them to feel like I did in high school," Ivester said. "I want them to have confidence and self esteem. Everyone needs that in life."

Dannenmueller also struggled with weight loss all of her life. She tried to get healthy after a heart attack last year, but with little success. After a recent doctor's appointment, she knew she needed to be part of a group that would help hold her accountable for her choices when it came to dieting. Her first stop was Rinehart.

"I knew how dedicated Karrie was to her weight loss, and I knew she would be a great person to keep me accountable," Dannenmueller said. "I want to get healthy and be around for my grandbabies one day," she said.

Between the three women, they came up with the idea to start "Chaffee's Biggest Loser" which has grown into an outpouring of community support.

The group has set a goal of losing 1,000 pounds by May 1. A weekly "biggest loser" will be crowned, and at the end of the 17 weeks, a "Biggest Loser of Chaffee" will be named.

Daily reports are posted to Facebook by members regarding how many calories they have eaten, how many they have burned and how many ounces of water they have consumed. Members also post words of encouragement and plenty of healthy snack tips. Several members of the group have opened their homes for workouts and many meet up throughout the week to walk in groups.

More than 20 people had registered and weighed in by Jan. 21 at the salon where weights and information are kept confidential.

Several businesses and organizations have offered space and assistance to the group, including the The Chaffee Flower Shop and the Chaffee VFW. The VFW and Chaffee General Baptist Church have donated their facilities to the group for workout nights that host a volleyball night on Fridays.

"The workout groups are just for people who would like to take advantage of them," Rinehart said. "I love the way working out helps me feel. It has helped with my depression and just makes me happy. I want everyone to feel this way."

Entry is free to join the group, and the workout sessions are not required. The contest officially starts Feb. 1 -- those wishing to compete for the actual title must be weighed in by this time. For further information, call Karrie at A Simply Different Salon, at 887-6400.

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