Chesapeake ‘loser’ seeks healthy winners

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 31, 2010

CHESAPEAKE — It’s about promoting a lifestyle change. That’s the focus of Peace 4 Life, the biggest loser contest the faculty and staff at the Chesapeake schools are participating in.

The contest started on Jan. 4 and runs through March 24 with the winners being chosen from the highest percentage of weight loss stats. A team from each school has been formed with a total of 50 in the district joining in. There are 17 on the elementary team, 23 on the middle school and 10 on the high school.

“The main goal is just to become more healthy,” Cecili Nida, physical education and health at the middle school, said. “We are not trying to stress pound goals. Many are at a healthy weight but are trying to stay healthy.”

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Right now each team works out every other day at the respective schools and all meet on the alternative days after school at the Chesapeake Community Center for group exercise.

“Every two weeks in our group sessions we change exercises,” Nida said. “We have been through kick boxing and jazzercise and on Monday we will start yoga.”

The slogan Peace 4 Life is an acronym for Portions, Eat All Five Food Groups, Awareness, Choice and Exercise.

First place winner will receive $1,000; second place, $800; and third place, $600. The winning building will get $1,000 to use toward buying health supplies such as workout DVDs, exercise bands and balls for use by the faculty. The money comes from the school’s insurance company, matched by the Chesapeake Board of Education.

So far Nida has gotten positive feedback from those involved.

“I am just proud they have made the commitment and took the initiative to sign up,” she said. “Some people don’t like to exercise but I have personally heard a lot more positive than negative. Even some who say ‘I wouldn’t do this on my own, but I am glad I am doing this. It has given me motivation.’ It is really intended to be not thinking about an 11 or 12-week program, but a lifetime commitment.”