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Kitty Hawk Searches for 'Biggest Losers'

USS KITTY HAWK -- To help sailors aboard USS Kitty Hawk learn more about fitness and nutrition while engaging in friendly competition, the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) hosted a “Biggest Loser” contest.

Teams of four competed against each other to see which group could lose the most weight in a safe and healthy manner. After six weeks of competition, Team 4, made up of engineers from Main Machinery Room No. 2, racked up 118.5 points to win the competition.

Chad Quinn, Kitty Hawk’s afloat fitness director, says the program is an adaptation of the popular TV show, “The Biggest Loser.” The object was still to see who could lose the most weight in a set period, but Kitty Hawk participants came together as teams of four instead of competing individually. Every week, the teams were measured and weighed, and each inch or pound lost was one point added to the overall score.

Quinn says that although six weeks is not enough time for some people to see drastic changes, the results for each individual are hoped to be enough to motivate them to continue after the program is over.

“I had one participant come up and tell me how much more energy he’s had since starting the program,” says Quinn. “He was excited about having the energy to go play with his kid when we pull back into port.”

In addition to shedding inches and pounds, weekly competitions helped teams add more points to their score. One of the competitions was a 10-kilometer relay race using treadmills in the ship’s gym. Each teammate took their turn running 1.5 kilometers, and all the times were added together for an overall score.

Quinn says that many sailors enrolled in the program were not regular visitors to the gym but signed up after being encouraged by friends and co-workers.

“Now, I see these same people in the gym coming up to me excited about the progress they’re making,” says Quinn. “It’s really great to see people getting excited about fitness, especially people who didn’t make it a priority before.”

The ship’s 68 participants lost a total of 383 pounds and 302.5 inches.

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