Glenwood Springs Post Independent team wins weight loss competition |

Glenwood Springs Post Independent team wins weight loss competition

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO
Kelley Cox Post Independent

NEW CASTLE – The New Castle Family Fitness aerobics room was filled with smiles, tears, hugs, applause and screams on Friday, March 12. It was the final weigh-in for Team Alpine Bank and Team Post Independent in The Greatest Loser Contest.

“You look wonderful.” “Congratulations, you look so much younger!” “We’re here to cheer on our girls!” Those were some of the comments from the many family members, co-workers and friends who were on hand for the Greatest Loser finale.

Before the winners were announced Friday night, fitness trainer Jennifer Harbottle said, “It’s been absolutely wonderful. Everybody tried so hard and gave everything they had. As a trainer, I feel very lucky to have been able to do this. Claudia (Craig) and I wanted both teams to win. I’ve never met more dedicated people in my life.”

Fellow fitness trainer Claudia Craig said she was very proud all the team members who put themselves out to the public to set a good example.

Team Post Independent screamed and jumped for joy as they were pronounced the winners of the competition. They lost a total of 93 pounds, while Team Alpine Bank dropped 91 pounds. The Post Independent lost a total of 110 inches, and Alpine Bank lost a total of 113.75 inches.

“Jennifer and Claudia have done such a good job of taking care of us, we wanted to give you something to take care of yourselves,” said Team Post Independent member Kendra Jones after the announcement. “Everybody from both teams gave to these gift certificates for manicures and pedicures.”

Team Post Independent member Renee Caleron’s husband Kenny Stanley and her cousin, Irma Diaz, took turns accompanying her to work out during the competition.

“She loves it,” said Stanley. “The two trainers were very helpful. She’s wanted to slim down since she had our son, and this was a real kick-start. Now she’s talking about running in the Boulder Boulder 10K in May.”

Donna Dunlap of Team Post Independent thinks the local contest was totally different from the popular television show, even though the show is known as a reality show.

“The television show, and our competition, are two totally different things,” Dunlap said. “This is reality. The show has all the drama of television.”

Mike Dunlap, Donna’s husband, also received benefits from the competition. “This has made Donna motivated, and I’ve lost weight, too!”

Matt McDonell of Team Post Independent lost a whopping total of 46 pounds.

“I feel great and I’m thinner, for sure,” said McDonell. “I’ve gained more skills to continue my weight loss to get where I should be. I’ll continue to exercise and eat healthier.”

McDonell’s catch phrase is, “Calories in versus calories out.” He has discovered soy milk, preferring the plain or vanilla varieties over the chocolate, because they have less calories than the chocolate.

Team Alpine Bank member Laree Mangnuson is feeling great these days.

“I have more energy,” said Magnuson. “I feel good about my accomplishment and hope to keep it up. I’ve always eaten fairly healthily. My husband and family, and everybody at work have been very encouraging.”

Rosa Santiago is glad she learned how to transform her favorite Latin food into healthier options. Everyone is proud of Rosa and her weight loss.

Team Alpine Bank member Robin Nunn said, “I’m glad I did it. I’ve learned a better diet. I’m trying to keep motivated, and I like losing the inches. But my husband hates my diet because he’s cooking for one.”

New Castle Family Fitness owner Cathy Lee said she would do The Greatest Loser again.

“Absolutely. We were talking about this yesterday, and we were unprepared for how emotional the final weigh-in would be. It was life-changing.”

“It’s been so exciting to be out in the public, bouncing around different places, with everybody commenting about The Greatest Loser. They are following the event in the paper.”

“It’s been great for business. We’ve had lots of calls, people coming in to check out the club and take a tour. They’ve found that joining a health club is not so intimidating. Exercise is not just for the fit and the healthy. Everybody should be doing it, no matter their health issues or fitness level

When you see Team Post Independent members Matt McDonell, Donna Dunlap, Renee Calderon or Kendra Jones; Team Alpine Bank members Laree Magnuson, Rosa Santiago, Lucy Stewart or Robin Nunn; or trainers Claudia Craig and Jennifer Harbottle, be sure tell them “Job well done. Go Greatest Losers!”

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