Biggest losers battle it out

After 18 gruelling weeks and the foundation of a lifestyle overhaul, Rip’N Ronnie’s has named its third batch of “losers”.

After 18 gruelling weeks and the foundation of a lifestyle overhaul, Rip’N Ronnie’s has named its third batch of “losers”.

This year’s top five losers of the Biggest Loser contest are Lee Varty, Brad Buss, Tim Schofer, Jennifer Bomak, and Gloria Bruggencate. The wild card winner is Diane Rankin. Over the course of 18 weeks the top five lost a combined weight of 94.4 lbs.

Varty was the grand prize winner and took home a $350 travel voucher from Julie’s Travel.

Other prizes included a makeover and tanning minutes from Cutting Edge, a golf package, another program with Ronnie and Sorensen, a new wardrobe, and coupons for wild and organic meat.

Rip’N Ronnie’s started the Biggest Loser contest three years ago when they opened in Ponoka. Ronnie wanted people to feel welcome to come in off the street. This contest helps give them the knowledge and a head start to feeling welcome and confident.

Twenty-four people, all Ponoka residents, entered the contest. They were divided into groups of eight and assigned one of three personal trainers; Ronnie, Craig Sorensen, or Brett McCaughey.

After three weeks the groups changed trainers. “If you just do the same program your body will plateau,” said Ronnie. However, even with only three trainers each individual had a program customized to their goals and other factors, including initial fitness.

The contest also included punch cards that could be used for extra or one-on-one training. “It’s no surprise it’s mainly the top five who took advantage of the extra training. The dedication was there from the get-go,” Ronnie said.

Second-place winner Buss names his wife as his mentor. She had started first and he joined because it would be easier if they were doing the same things and eating the same food.

“It was tough, not so much the working out but the eating,” Buss said.

While active with hockey, wallyball and tennis, Buss hadn’t been in a gym for five years. While he didn’t reach his goal weight, Buss isn’t giving in just because the contest is over. Buss and the other contestants didn’t just enter a contest, they entered a new lifestyle.

“Once the contest is over it isn’t over,” Ronnie said.

“It’s basically taken me 30 years to realize I’m heavy,” Buss said. “It isn’t going to come off in 30 days.”

The contest also featured a healthy potluck. Each contestant had to bring a healthy food item and recipe with its nutritional information. Ronnie said he even learned some new things at the potluck and walked away with some new ideas.