Contestants start 'UST Weight-Loss Challenge'

Contestants start ‘UST Weight-Loss Challenge’

Sixteen University of St. Thomas employees are off and running in the “UST Weight-Loss Challenge,” sponsored by the university's Human Resources Department.

Based on the NBC television program “The Biggest Loser,” the contest is being conducted in coordination with LifeTime Fitness Corp. The event runs for eight weeks, from March 13 to May 5.

Participants are using professionally guided diet and exercise to see who can lose the largest percentage of weight. First place wins $500, second place wins $250 and third place wins $150.

Each participant attends three personal-training sessions per week at a LifeTime facility in Eagan or Woodbury. They also are meeting with a nutrition coach for a half hour each week.

Each contestant tracks her or his progress in a lifestyle journal and has free use of LifeTime facilities for the two months, which includes daycare if needed.

A body-composition test and weigh-in was held at the start of the event. The contestants return for two additional weigh-ins, at six weeks and at the end. A ceremony will be held May 10 to announce the results.

Contestants working out at the Woodbury LifeTime are: Laurie Dimond, Theology; Michael Elwell, Physical Plant; Gloria Hurtado, Service Center; Phyllis Meath, Purchasing Services; Sandy Prince-Black, College of Business; Randall Scott, Public Safety; Lori Shimer, Art History; and Jerry Sweeney, Food Services.

And working out at the Eagan LifeTime are: Katherine Johnson, College of Business; Liz Johnson, Information Resources and Technologies; Patsy Maloney, Student Affairs; Wilfredo Nieves, Food Services; Paula Reed, Physical Plant; John Sailors, College of Business; Dan Strojny, Information Resources and Technologies; and Diane Weber, Residence Life.

The event is being held to encourage good eating habits and regular exercise, according to Peter Ronza, the compensation and benefits manager for Human Resources.