Meet the Berndana winner!

Michelle Dochat of Lititz, PA is the winner of the autographed Berndana from Biggest Loser’s Bernie Salazar. Congratulations! She signed up for the DietsInReview.com newsletter, which is packed with the best recipes, blog posts and diet reviews, and was then entered to win. Michele is a true Biggest Loser fan and was kind enough to share her amazing story with all of you. Thank you, Michele, and best of luck on your weight loss journey!Berndana Winner

It’s kind of funny how this got started for me. My husband was honestly pretty disgusted with the fact that I had a gym membership I didn’t really use. He’s very thin and fit (although he doesn’t work out), and even though my size has NEVER been an issue for him, he wanted me to be healthier. I had diabetes, and high blood pressure along with all the aches and pains you can imagine a 41 year old obese woman would have. My weight topped the scales at 310lbs last July. It’s funny, everyone always says they can’t believe I was that heavy, but it’s true.

My husband finally asked me one day what it was going to take to get me to commit to going to the gym. I told him I didn’t know and told him to drop it.

He threatened to cancel my membership if I didn’t start going. A couple of days later on the way to work I heard about the contest on the radio.

In September 07 a local radio station (WLAN – FM97) announced that they would be doing their own version of Biggest Loser with a local gym and they were looking for contestants. One of their weekend dj’s was Nicole from BL4, and she would be calling in each week for updates and they would be doing it through a gym I already belonged to. I was like a bad catholic, I was a member, but didn’t really go.

They asked for email entries, and photos. I sent an email to them along with two pictures of myself from my wedding in December 04. I didn’t think they would pick me and I sort of forgot about it. I told one co-worker about it and she wished me luck in getting picked and that was that.

About a week later I received an email from the station that I was one of the 4 contestants that would be competing! The prize was going to be a free year at the gym! I was scared and excited, and realizing that this meant I would actually have to go to the gym now, no backing out.

Well, I told my co-worker first and told her how scary it was but she encouraged me BIG-TIME! It took a couple of days to tell my husband and when I did he was skeptical, and didn’t think I would stick to it. I was determined to prove him wrong!

I went to the gym, got all set up with a fitness plan, and started a 14 day detox diet that was rough! I went to the gym 4 times a week and got through that detox and started to like working out ( A HUGE shock to me). The pounds started to drop and all of the contestants got to know each other and become friends, as well as the two dj’s from the morning show at the station. We all weighed in once a week and loss amounts were announced weekly on the station. It gave everyone a lot of accountability and was fun.

In December we all gathered for a holiday party at the gym and to find out who had won. I didn’t win, and my weight loss total at that point was 25 lbs and 22 1/2 inches. My starting weight at the gym had been 289 (I’d been losing a bit before starting the contest but wasn’t really aware of it).

The wonderful part was that the gym (Tim’s Fitness in Lititz, PA) was generous and gave ALL of us a year long membership, as well as out heart rate monitors to keep! What a wonderful gift. As of my latest weight in last week my weight is at 260. That makes me 50 lbs lighter than I was last summer! I still go at least 4 times per week and watch every bite (almost) that goes into my mouth!

One Response to Meet the Berndana winner!

  1. Mom #2 says:

    Michelle I am so proud of you. I had no idea you were that heavy. You keep up the good work, trust me I know it is hard but you know it will be worth it. Don’t fool around about it, I wish I would have known I would have tried to go with you. I weigh a little more than you, my knees need replaced, it is very difficult to walk. I started with a fractured ankle and now I am in what they call a “Crow’s Brace” and will be in it for the rest of my life. I have something called “Charc’s Tooth” and it comes from the diabetes, and my foot is deformed and I am unable to wear a regular shoe. Lets see if there is anything else that I can tell you, ah yes, both of my “rotator cuffs” are torn. I have had five surgeries and none of them hold and the Doctor at LOG thinks it is from the “fibromyalgia”. I am going to try to start walking and see how far I can walk until my one knee stops me completely. Sweetie, I am very serious, “PLEASE STAY ON THIS DIET AND CONTINUE TO EXERCISE”. I am unable to even get on the floor to do floor exercises because I can’t put weight on my knees at all.

    Well this is probably all jumbled up but I had to tell you just how important it is for you to stick with it. There are a few other things but if you want to call me we can talk about it then.

    Love ya,
    Mom #2

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