Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford is sponsoring a ‘Biggest-Loser-Style’ challenge for the entire community.
By Ronni Newton
Losing weight and/or developing healthier life habits are probably top New Year’s resolutions for a majority of West Hartford adults, and Fleet Feet Sports has found a way to support the goals of individuals as well as the entire Hartford area community by launching the “Ton of Fun” challenge.
“So many people want to lose weight, but this adds a comprehensive health and wellness component, too,” said Alli Lipsher, event coordinator for Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford.
This is the second year that the West Hartford store has run the program. Last year there were 100 participants who lost a combined total of about 900 pounds, Lipsher said. This year’s goal is to have a “ton” (2,000 pounds) of weight lost by 200 participants over the course of 12 weeks.
“Our demographic is everyone,” Lipsher said. Ton of Fun is not just an exercise or diet plan, it includes health and wellness programs and seminars, access to experts, and group support. “We are there to help people meet their own goals,” Lipsher said.
Registration costs $50 – but that cost will be won back if you lose just 5 percent of your body weight. That translates to a loss of just 8 pounds if you weigh in at 160 pounds on Jan. 5.
And in true “Biggest Loser” fashion, there are also weigh-ins and incentives. All participants are required to weigh in at the store for eight of the program’s 12 weeks (although Lipsher said that some weigh-ins can be on the honor system). Unlike the “Biggest Loser,” however, the weigh-ins are done privately in a dressing room and are not shared with other participants.
There are also “race clubs” ranging from the 5K (loss of 3.1 pounds) to the marathon (loss of 26.2 pounds) where special prizes are awarded once you achieve “membership.”
Much of the interaction between participants can take place online, and those who register will receive membership in a private Facebook group where they can communicate and give and receive support. There is also a weekly e-newsletter and a calendar of “Ton-of-Fun-only” events that will include indoor and outdoor fitness activities, cooking demos, and a grocery store tour.
At the end of 12 weeks, the three males and three females with the highest percentage of body weight lost will be awarded the grand prize. According to Fleet Feet, the total value of grand prizes from last year’s competition exceeded $1,000.
At the conclusion of Ton of Fun, Fleet Feet will host a “finish-line victory potluck for participants to mingle, share their stories, their favorite healthy dish or refreshment and celebrate all that they’ve accomplished!” There will also be a finish-line healthy cook-off that includes prizes from Fleet Feet Sports and Get Out ‘N Play.
The Ton of Fun challenge kicks off on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, at 6 p.m., at the Fleet Feet Sports store, 1003 Farmington Ave., West Hartford. Challengers can register in advance, or at the kick-off meeting. Many of the program’s health and wellness experts and local partners will on hand at the kick-off, and all those who sign up will also receive a welcome packet that includes coupons and promotions for goods and services to help them “gear up” for the challenge.
Anyone unable to attend on Jan. 5 can still participate by stopping by Fleet Feet Sports for an initial weigh-in any day between Jan. 2-10. Organizers do ask that you contact the store (860-233-8077) to let them know when you are coming.
For more information, or to register on-line for the 2015 Ton of Fun challenge, click here.
All questions can be directed to Alli Lipsher at [email protected].