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Nazareth's 'Biggest Loser': Week One

Nutrition On Broad kicked off its December weight-loss challenge -- perhaps the toughest challenge of the year.

Who will be Nazareth’s "Biggest Loser"?

This past Monday, Dec. 5, began its 18th weight-loss challenge, during which participants will vie to be the top loser in both weight and inches. 

Each Monday throughout the month, Nazareth Patch will report on the status of some of the challenge’s losers -- those brave enough to share their goals, their reasons and their efforts.

Wellness coach Christine Simpson, who owns and operates Nutrition On Broad, explained that challenges normally run for 12 weeks, but December’s “mini-challenge” will last for four weeks, before the new year and the new challenge begins on Jan. 2.

The last challenge saw 15 people lose a total of 127 pounds, and 11 people lost a combined 87.25 inches from their waists.

December’s challenge promises to be tougher than the rest; the participants have only four weeks, and the final weigh-in will be only two days after Christmas.

It’s not without incentive, though -- the top loser wins prize money, accrued through registration fees and the penalties that participants must pay if they gain weight.

Throughout the challenge, Simpson will coach the participants on eating healthy, using proper supplements, and recognizing trouble areas.

So without further ado, here are the five weight-loss challenge participants bold enough to share their stories:

Donna Burton, 40, lives in . She participated in the last weight-loss challenge and lost 14.4 pounds and 13 ½ inches. Her goal is to lose 10 pounds in December.

When asked why she wanted to participate in the year’s toughest challenge, she said, “It keeps me on track, getting weighed in every week.”

Jeanette Skrapits, 70, lives in . She has participated in three challenges before, and has lost a total of 30 pounds. She has already lost nearly 20 pounds from the fall challenge, and her goal is to lose a total of 30 to 35 pounds.

“I didn’t like the way I looked in a swimsuit,” Skrapits said. “I feel better now. I have more energy.”

Lori Easterday, 42, lives in Nazareth. This is her second challenge. She placed in the top spot in her first-ever challenge. Easterday lost 31 pounds and 21 inches, and won nearly $300 in prize money. She shared her secret: She uses Herbalife supplements and exercises regularly.

And the best part: Easterday originally heard about from Nazareth Patch!

“It’s a great incentive,” Easterday said about the challenges. “It’s incentive to get something money-wise, and for personal reasons. When I’m not in a challenge, I misbehave.”

Amy Pidgeon, 38, lives in . She has been participating in challenges since January of this year, and has lost 35 pounds so far. She uses Herbalife products and heads to the on a regular basis to meet her weight-loss goals.

“I never have a short-term goal,” Pidgeon said. “I only have a long-term goal… it keeps me on track.”

Pat Cosgrove, 50, lives in Effort. She makes the trip to Nazareth to visit her daughter and for the weekly weigh-in. Cosgrove started the challenges this past summer.

“I need to do better,” Cosgrove said with a laugh. “I don’t have a specific number goal… I just have to stay away from the Christmas cookies.”

We suspect that as the challenge progresses, more participants will come forward to be featured in Nazareth’s "Biggest Loser." See the Week One pictures of the participants in the photo gallery, and check back each week to see how they’re doing!

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