TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It was seven months ago when the Super Fitness Weight Loss Challengers first stepped foot in the Super Fitness gym.
Over 260 people weighed in. Some rose to the challenge with only one goal and some wanted to build some healthy habits.
After seven challenges, eight mandatory weigh-ins and over 2,000 pounds, the challengers as a group have lost over one ton!
Neil Heiden was crowned the Super Fitness Weight Loss Champion after completing each of the mandatory challenges and weigh-ins. He also lost over 126 pounds during the competition.
"I just really put my mind to this challenge. I live in Blissfield, so I made a big change in my routine to work out every day and make drastic changes to my meals," said Heiden. "I am a referee and an active guy, but wow! After losing over 126 pounds, I have so much more energy. This whole group has been so inspiring. They really helped me push myself and gave me a lot of support."
Rich Graham placed second and lost over 116 pounds.
Wild Card, Pat Peiffer took third losing over 67 pounds.
Larry Large placed fourth losing over 53 pounds.
The only lady in the top five, Dawn Rafferty, lost about 50 pounds since the kick-off in October.
"It takes a lot of dedication to get this point," said 2016-2017 Champion Robert Frederick.
Fredrick lost over 114 pounds last year.
"Everyone here tonight has had perfect attendance at each challenge and has been at the top of their game since October. Except for one, our wild card Pat Peiffer. And Pat never gave up. All of this takes discipline," He added.
"We had over 260 challengers when we started and it is amazing to see so many of them stick with us all the way to the end of the season," said WTOL 11's Kelly Heidbreder, Super Fitness Challenge Host. "They truly become a family over this seven-month challenge. And here's another interesting fact: All challengers over 50 years old! It shows that you can make major life changes at any age."
Super Fitness Owner, Ron Hemelgarn said he is always amazed at the effort this group puts out each year.
"This long term health shift works and you can see it working right in front of your eyes. We want to help each person reach their goal, so it isn't a sprint. We take their longterm health seriously. Our team backs this program because it is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle," he said. "Many of these challengers have been able to get off blood pressure medicine, have less joint pain and just feel better every day."
Heiden received over $7,000 in prizes as this year's champion including a year membership at Super Fitness and a commercial grade treadmill. He will also guide the challengers throughout the summer and lead a monthly workout at Super Fitness throughout the next season.
The remaining top challengers also received gift certificates and prizes.