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October 22, 2010 > 'Biggest Loser' contestant is big motivator

'Biggest Loser' contestant is big motivator

Submitted By Eileen McDonald

Photo by Lycette Kinatar

A group attending the fitness event at the Alameda County Office of Education were the 'big winners' as Lafayette resident Patti Anderson shared her tale from the selection process to getting voted off the reality show where she and her daughter, Stephanie, were the "Purple Team" on last season's 'The Biggest Loser.' Applause erupted when the audience viewed Anderson's 'before photos,' when she was 95 pounds heavier. Although bound by contract not to give away all of the show's secrets, Anderson did spill a few behind-the-scenes stories about how they lived, cooked, exercised, and really existed at the Gillette Mansion in Malibu where the show is filmed.

"Cameras followed us everywhere but in the bathroom," she told the group of nearly 50 community members, who eagerly asked questions to the contestant who lost an astounding 23 pounds the first two weeks - the most any female has lost in the show's history. However, the next televised weigh-in was not as successful, with only a four pound weight loss, which caused her to be voted off the show.

That story brought laughter from the group as Glenna Rose Jorgensen of Newark shouted out, "Heck, I'd be happy to lose four pounds in a year!"

Now, motivated by a beautiful and more slender Patti Anderson, an example that it CAN be done, Fran Joslyn, a Certified Personal Trainer hopped onto her over-sized exercise ball for the next phase of the evening - chair exercises.

Joslyn instructs and coaches ladies each Tuesday and Thursday at Washington Hospital's Ladies Choice Fitness Program.

With emphasis on strength training that even the most out-of-shape person can do, and armed with 8 oz. water bottles disguised as weights, Joslyn demonstrated exercises in chairs as the group followed her encouraging lead. "Ten, then eight, doing great, now five, stay alive, it's three, then one, almost done," shouted Joslyn.

Fremont's Patti Maddon did the exercises with ease but it was Glenda Preston of Newark who was clearly the teacher's pet. Sitting in the front row, Preston, who regularly attends the classes at Washington Hospital, was able to do the entire routine--which consisted of three sets of arm exercises and ab crunches - like a pro. "Everybody watch her," Joslyn commented more than once as Preston beamed.

The event was held to bring awareness to Childhood Obesity Month which took place in September.

Eileen McDonald, President of the Alameda County Board of Education, who organized the event, thanked County Superintendent of Schools, Sheila Jordan, for her support of the event. "Obesity is a reality," McDonald shared. "I'm living it and the road to change by eating more sensibly (and less) and exercising regularly, which is a real struggle. I am so appreciative we are able to host events such as this at The Office of Education (ACOE) and learn about changes we can make to become role models for our children and grandchildren."

Earlier in the year Lorrie Sullenberger, who serves on the Governor's Physical Fitness Commission, addressed employees at the County Office about activity and better eating habits. She will return in the spring of 2011 to lead employees and community members around a fitness path incorporated around the ACOE parking lot.

For further information on the Washington Hospital ladies Choice Fitness Program contact Phyllis Fiscella, RN, at (510) 494-7022.

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