biggest_winnerLike many of us, Dale Garwood is goal-driven.

That’s why he decided to participate in the Biggest Winner program last year. The contest, sponsored by Beacon Health and Fitness, gave the South Bend resident weekly fitness and nutritional challenges.

The competition not only prompted Garwood to lose 10 pounds, but he also ranked among the Top 10 participants for total points earned each week for reaching certain benchmarks.

Garwood also appreciated the camaraderie the program offered. He never felt alone on his fitness journey and enjoyed sharing the road with other like-minded participants.

“It’s a personal challenge for me to accomplish specific goals each week. At the same time, I was able to meet new people at the club and the extra encouragement from team members also helped,” Garwood said. “My doctor was very complimentary at my last exam and told me to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Naturally then, Garwood has already signed up to participate in the 2017 Biggest Winner contest that starts Jan. 9.

Registration is now open. The 10-week program includes membership to both the South Bend and new Mishawaka fitness centers.

Bridget Hardy, fitness instructor, has watched participants like Dale work extremely hard in the gym.

“Lots of folks came up to me and said Dale had helped them in some way – being encouraging or having a kind word, and it meant a lot to them,” Hardy said. “Dale has been a long-time exerciser, but the Biggest Winner pushed him in new ways.”

Garwood hopes to lose another 10 pounds during the contest.

“I’m 60 years old and I feel like I’m in the best shape of the last 20 years,” Garwood said. “The contest got me into a good routine to take care of myself. And my self-esteem is sky high. I feel good about myself and it’s nice to receive complements on how good I look.”

The Biggest Winner program cost is $99 for Beacon Health & Fitness members and $249 for non-members, which includes a 10-week fitness center membership. Beacon associates receive 20 percent off the total cost.

Registration forms are available at both locations. For more information, contact Bridget Hardy at BHardy@BeaconHealthSystem.org.