On January 15th, 46 contestants started their journey to a healthier life with the United Way of Florence County’s 2019 Florence’s Biggest Loser program. They have had weekly group fitness training sessions, nutrition classes, weekly weigh-ins, workouts with local sports teams and more to help them not only lose weight, but to also create long-lasting fitness and nutrition habits.

On Thursday, March 28th, the 2019 program will come to an end with a finale celebration sponsored by Pepsi of Florence, Pee Dee Food Services and the Leatherman Senior Center. During the celebration, all of the finishers of the 2019 program will be recognized and the Overall Weight-Loss Biggest Loser, Overall Inches-Lost Biggest Loser, the Fan-Favorite winner, the True Grit winner, and the overall Biggest Loser Team grand prizes will be awarded.

As the contestants enter their 10th and final week of the competition, we asked them to share how their overall experience in this year’s program has been.

Khadija Williams >>>My overall experience with this competition was life changing!!! I learned how to eat healthier, how to exercise more effectively, and I've learned how to lose and maintain my weight loss. I didn't really have a particular goal I wanted to lose, I just set one for the competition and the outcome from this will carry me into the future and help me continue to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Scott Baldwin >>>My overall experience through the competition has been great. It has really opened my eyes in being able to see my body change based on a few lifestyle changes I have made through the competition. I am very satisfied with how the competition has turned out, and will recommend anyone that would like to take a step towards being healthier or getting in shape to join the Florence’s Biggest Loser next year.” 

Melinda Fuller >>> “I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this competition. I haven’t reached the weight loss goal that I set at the beginning, but I have had a lot of fun, met some great people and learned so much to get healthy. I hope I can keep going without my amazing teammates...I will miss Tory and the Sunday afternoon workouts!” 

Romtorail Spencer >>> “First, I'd like to thank God for giving me the will power and strength. I'd like to thank my family for their support, especially my wife and son. This has been an amazing journey to improved health and weight loss. The competition was exactly what I needed to jump start myself. To add to this, I've made some new friends, and met some interesting people. It's great to see so many people doing what is needed to lose weight and be their best self. The fact that United Way of Florence County and McLeod Health & Fitness Center support this event annually is great! I am grateful to have been a part of it and no matter what the results WE ARE ALL WINNERS!

Alex McGill >>> “I can use one word – illuminating. Initially, I thought my word would be growth – but then, that’s an easy out. We grow all the time, learn something new every day as they say. And I have certainly done that during this competition. I’ve grown used to getting up before the sun on Monday morning and working out with a fantastic team. I’ve grown used to getting the United Way’s friendly emails as a benchmark of my week. I’ve grown used to the weirdly nice aches and pains that are associated with a good workout. But I’ve done so much more than that. While I’m not where I want to be, I feel like I’ve come a good ways. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and know that there are still areas I need to improve on. I know that working out is a good way to deal with the stress in my life, but now I need to make sure I get up and do it. It has been a pleasure to work with both my team members and the FBL community at large. And while I will miss seeing their faces every Monday and yours every Thursday, I am excited about the path ahead.”

Make sure to read the Friday, March 29th edition of the Morning News to see the exclusive full list of all the program finishers, the amount of weight and inches lost and all the grand prize winners.