Strive to Thrive comes to an end; winner announced – Richland Source

Editor's Note: The Strive to Thrive competition launched in January 2020 after nine local contestants were chosen by Richland Source and OhioHealth Ontario Health & Fitness to compete in a 12-week weight loss challenge.

MANSFIELD After seven months of exercise, waiting through delays due to COVID-19 and contestants maintaining self-discipline, the Strive to Thrive contest officially came to a close, crowning Sue Hunt as the winner.

Based on the relative change of body fat percentage in the final weekly contestant standings, Hunt won after a relative change of 10.6% followed by Justin Brant with 9.2%.

It was really tough and I wasn't 100% on track, Hunt admitted. I was kind of slipping back into my larger portion eating ways, although I still tried to eat the good things and not so much of the not so good things.

The Strive to Thrive contest began in January 2020 and has now concluded.

The contest began in January 2020. The fitness team at OhioHealth and Richland Source embarked on a 12-week contest called 'Strive to Thrive.

From the start, we saw commitment from our contestantseating right and making time to exercise. When fitness centers were required to shut down and quarantine due to COVID, contestants were not deterred, wrote Emily Freeman, OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center supervisor.

At the start of the competition nine contestants participated, but with COVID-19 a few dropped out, leaving only five contestants in the running to receive a one-year gym membership at OhioHealth training facilities.

The OhioHealth fitness team quickly adapted to virtual programming, providing online workouts and emailed support, Freeman wrote. After four months of quarantine contestants saw a reduction in body composition and weight. They adapted new skills in overcoming challenges to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

At the start of the competition nine contestants participated, but with COVID-19 a few dropped out, leaving only five contestants in the running.

Hunts original goal for the competition was to get back in shape so she could be able to play tennis again. She made great progress and maintained the lead throughout the competition, though COVID-19 ended up setting her back. In order to maintain her workout regimen, Hunt took her dog out for long walks and purchased a set of dumbbells to workout with at home.

After winning, Hunt, who works as an administrative assistant at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital and is already eligible for a reimbursable membership through OhioHealth's insurance, decided to give her one year membership to the runner up.

I didn't know who was in second but I'm happy that somebody will be able to make good use of it, Hunt said. With the hospital reimbursing associates memberships, it just didn't seem fair for me to take it all.

While taking extraordinary measures to keep their facility safe, OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center is also offering to waive enrollment fees in the month of September, allowing new members and Strive to Thrive contestants to join with the first month for free.

For Hunt, winning was never her goal, but rather making a healthy change for herself. However, along the way she also built camaraderie with the other contestants, which she found to be the biggest takeaway from the competition. Shes already signed up for the Mission Slim Possible Program offered by OhioHealth, a body fat loss competition, where she hopes to achieve another goal she sets for herself.

Generally when I talked to the other (Strive to Thrive) contestants that was pretty much what they saidthat they wanted to make this change for themselves, and I think that's important," Hunt said. "We have to take care of ourselves and even more so this year than ever before.

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Strive to Thrive comes to an end; winner announced - Richland Source

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