Biggest Losers

Celebrating the winners of the 6-week NeoHealth Northeastern State University Biggest Loser competition are, from left: NSU President Dr. Steve Turner, Nurse Practitioner Libby Rogers, participants Mike Ford, Phyllis Chappelle, and Mark Kirk, and NeoHealth representatives Scott Rosenthal and Marcus Bruner.

Northeastern Oklahoma Community Health Centers Inc. had the opportunity to brighten up the summer for Northeastern State University faculty and staff.

NeoHealth held a six-week Biggest Loser competition at NSU that involved weekly weigh-ins and corresponding weekly prizes. Participants used many weight-loss tactics, such as cutting carbs, eating smaller portions, and drinking more water. Participants also used the NSU Fitness Center, the Tahlequah track and even walked around downtown Tahlequah.

NeoHealth announced the winners of the State Biggest Loser earlier this month. NSU had a total of 111 entries and a group weight-loss total of over 400 pounds. The winners were: Mark Kirk, first place; Mike Ford, second; and Phyllis Chappelle, third.

Kirk attributes his win to better eating habits and vacation plans.

"Over the past few years, my metabolism and fitness level had changed. I had already been modifying my diet and going to the gym, but the contest was extra incentive to increase my efforts. This made me more internal about diet and exercise, and now I get to put the award money toward vacation plane tickets," said Kirk.

Ford, who won second place, said he needed to improve his physical health overall.

"I knew I needed to kick some food addictions to lose weight and improve my overall health, and this contest gave me the incentive to do it," said Chappelle.

Nurse Practitioner Libby Rogers said she and the clinic staff began the contest to improve community health and involvement with the university.

"Congratulations to all the NSU employees who participated in the Biggest Loser competition. Whether you lost 5 pounds, maintained your weight, or even gained a few, the first step to changing your health is to become aware," said Rogers.

NeoHealth NSU Medical Center, 529 N. Oak Ave., is open weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. NeoHealth welcomes walk-ins and new patients. Medicare and Medicaid are accepted, as well as third-party insurance and private pay. Uninsured patients may qualify for a discount.

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