Big win: Dump Your Plump competitors lose more than 900 pounds
Annual weight-loss contest wraps up with prizes, healthier competitors
By Lisa R. Rhodes
An animal caretaker at the installation's Family Pet Care Center, Frett lost the highest percentage of body fat -- 24.8 percent -- in Dump Your Plump, the annual weight-loss competition at Gaffney Fitness Center.
Frett was named Dump Your Plump's overall winner and the first-place male winner. He was honored for his efforts at an award ceremony Tuesday afternoon. The eight-week competition ended March 2.
"I feel real good," Frett said. "I worked real hard."
Frett lost a total of 65 pounds. At 6 feet 3 inches tall, Frett once weighed 326 pounds. His prizes included an iPad, gym bag, T-shirt, swim towel, goggles and water bottle.
Dump Your Plump began with the first weekly weigh-in Jan. 10 and ended with a final weigh-in March 2. More than 300 members of the Fort Meade community initially signed up for the competition. As the contest concluded, only 167 contestants remained.
In its third year, Dump Your Plump is open to DoD civilians, post contractors, service members and their families.
"We had more participants than any other year," said Katie Harrington, lead swim instructor and organizer of the competition. "As more and more people find out about it, they tell their friends and co-workers. People seem to enjoy the competition."
This year's participants lost a total of 921 pounds, with more than 30 people losing 10 pounds or more, said Harrington.
Prizes for the competition were provided by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Each week, participants were required to weigh in at Gaffney. For every weigh-in missed, a pound was added to the final weight. Participants who missed two consecutive weigh-ins, or a total of four during the competition were eliminated.
Participants competed in teams or as individuals. In addition to the overall winner, prizes were awarded to the two top men, the two top women and the three top teams.
This year's top team was Dead Weight, a group of four employees from Youth Services who together lost 12.9 percent of body fat.
"I'm happy; it was close this year," said Matthew Wise, a supervisory lead for the installation's middle school program and the team's captain. "It was between us and the firefighters, so we were not sure how it was going to turn out."
Wise said that although team members did not work out together, they shared eating tips and kept each other abreast of their workout schedules.
Last year, the team came in second place to Fat Fire Four, which represented the Fort Meade Fire Department. Wise said it was his team's competitive drive that made the difference.
Fire Capt. Edward Lindsay said the team would have liked to have triumphed again this year, but members were busy and didn't quite dedicate themselves to the effort.
"We could have done better," he said.
For a second consecutive year, Air Force Master Sgt. Kat Collins is the top female winner.
"I feel good. I'm very competitive," said Collins of the Operational Division 7, an Air Force unit within the National Security Agency.
Collins shed 17.8 percent body fat and 25.4 pounds.
"My body reacts well to doing what you're supposed to do," said Collins, who gave up junk food and took a spin class four days a week. She also ran three miles twice a week.
Collins said one of the benefits of the contest has been the clothes she is now able to wear. "I started off with a size 16 uniform shirt, now I can wear a size 10 with room," she said.
Frett said he woke up at 4:30 a.m. five days a week to do cardio at Gaffney. He also ate a lot of baked chicken and salads.
Despite the big win, Frett plans to lose an additional 50 pounds. "My program seems to be working," he said. "I'll keep doing it."
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