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The Y’s Weight loss challenge participants lose 460 pounds

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The Watertown Family Y had many biggest losers during its recent 12-week Get Fit/Get Healthy Weight Loss Challenge.

About 30 of 90 people actively participated in the program, which had a total loss of 460 pounds.

“I think it’s a good motivator to get people to stay involved,” said Michelle A. Graham, the Y’s senior director of health and wellness. “Weekly challenges made people try something outside of their comfort level.”

That was the case for Keevy Jones, who won first place in the women’s division, as she lost 11.9 percent of her body weight. Taking the Y’s functional fitness class was a mini challenge during the 12-week program.

“Functional fitness played a huge role in the weight loss,” she said. “That, and I went to RIP a few times. New Year’s Eve I just had a defibrillator put in. It feels good to walk and not breathe heavy.”

Jen Anderson won second place after losing 10 percent of her body weight, and Cheryl Ryan lost 9.2 percent of her body weight.

“I wanted to get healthy,” Mrs. Ryan said. “My dad died of a heart attack, so that inspired me to be here.”

David Deskins was pre-diabetic before losing 13.9 percent of his body weight. Now, his blood glucose level is considered normal at 81.

Jim Davis, who lost 5.2 percent of his weight, said the challenge provided him with a level of accountability and he didn’t want to let the Y staff down.

John Ryder was the first-place winner of the men’s division, losing 20.9 percent of his body weight.

The challenge was open to Y members in Watertown.

Mrs. Graham said participants received a half-day rental for paddle boarding in Sackets Harbor, and a mix of gift cards to healthy eating establishments and gift cards to T.J. Maxx for new workout gear.

People already are calling the Y asking about the next challenge, she said.

Some participants will continue to weigh in weekly, to check their progress now that the challenge has ended.

“My hope and goal for them is to live life in a healthier way,” Mrs. Graham said. “My hope is they learn from it, grow from it and change.”

She said the Y might consider hosting one in the fall, and the nonprofit hopes to continue the weight loss challenges on a more regular basis.

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