Biggest Loser: Winning with weight loss

In this competition, there is no loser — but everyone is very excited to be a loser.

And on the red team, losing is more important than winning.

The Biggest Loser competition at the Federal Way Community Center, under way for just over a month now. Pounds have been lost, but more importantly for Kari Beuthien and her son, Scott, their health is improving.

Twice a week for the past month, Kari and Scott have met with the rest of the Red Team and their trainer, Eva Rasor.

For 90 minutes they are run ragged and to their limits — and they like it.

"My favorite days are Tuesdays," Scott said. "Running around the track is better than staying inside a room."

Each Tuesday, the Red Team members gather before workouts for their team weigh-in — something that has evolved from the TV show's version of weigh-ins with an audience to a one-on-one weigh-in with Rasor.

"It's nobody's business," Scott said.

Scott and Kari haven't seen a lot of success on the scale. Scott has lost three pounds and Kari has lost 11 pounds. However, more importantly for them, they are feeling better. Kari has already dropped one pants size, and Scott can now run around the track.

"The scale has not been our friend," Kari said. "But I have more endurance now. I went down a pants size. Sometimes you don't need a scale."

For Scott and Kari, the competition isn't about who loses the most weight. It's about getting healthy and encouraging others on their team in that quest.

The Red Team, whose members range in age from 15 to 65, works hard to keep everyone on the team going.

"The collective energy of everyone gives me energy to do what I thought I couldn't do," Maggie Robinson said.

"I know this won't be over in March," Kari said. "These are friends for life, someone you can call and see if they want to go for a walk."

Saturdays feature more work on machines and also hold a surprise for the Red Team. Each Saturday, there is a motivational saying and a stick of gum for each team member from an anonymous donor.

"They motivate each other," Rasor said. "That's just cool. They make my job a lot easier."

Many also go for a walk along the BPA trail with Rasor on Sundays. "And we aren't walking on the concrete," Kari added.

Scott and Kari also workout most other days of the week, bringing their workouts to six days a week. They were trying for seven days, but Rasor told them they weren't giving their bodies enough time to recover.

On this particular Tuesday, Rasor puts the team through stations of lunges, squats and pushups, breaking up each set with a run around the track. Between 12 and 13 laps around the track equals one mile, so by the time the team is done with three sets of eight exercises, they have run about two miles.

This year's Biggest Loser is already turning out to be more successful than last year's competition.

At the first all-team weigh-in on Feb. 6, the entire group of 61 participants had lost 606.5 pounds in four weeks. Last year's group of 73 participants lost 602 pounds in three months.

The next whole group weigh-in will be at 5:45 a.m. March 6.

Statistics as of Feb. 6

Orange Team: 53.25 pounds and 2.40 percent lost

Red Team: 78 pounds and 3.33 percent lost

Black Team: 81 pounds and 3.58 percent lost

Green Team: 83 pounds and 3.92 percent lost

Blue Team: 112.40 pounds and 4.06 percent lost

Purple Team: 94.4 pounds and 4.14 percent lost

Gold Team: 104 pounds and 4.86 percent lost

Top 5 individual efforts

A'ndria Salcedo: 18.5 pounds and 9.16 percent lost

Colleen Persson: 14 pounds and 7.37 percent lost

Laurie Sherwin: 13.5 pounds and 7.34 percent lost

April Ellington: 13 pounds and 7.14 percent lost

Nichole Washington: 24.5 pounds and 6.77 percent lost

Christie Taylor: 12.1 pounds and 6.77 percent lost

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