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Weight loss: Healthy Church Challenge II

The second annual Healthy Church Challenge – 100-day weight loss competition for churches in West Tennessee – kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Mississippi Blvd. Family Life Center, 70 North Bellevue.

BlueCross BlueShield® of Tennessee is presenting the Challenge, which puts the focus on weight loss, healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.

Winners of the Challenge will receive prizes that will benefit their churches and health ministries. The grand prize is a $5,000 certificate for fitness equipment and nutritional counseling. There will also be an individual prize awarded to the person who loses the most weight overall.

Memphis and Shelby County rank in the bottom 10 percent of some studies as it relates to health, healthy eating, exercise, healthy living, life-altering disease management and prevention. The 100-day Healthy Church Challenge is designed to address these problems through area faith-based organizations and create a healthier place to live, work and play in Memphis, Shelby County and West Tennessee.

"We've all set a New Year's resolution only to quickly give up. That's why working with faith-based groups is a great way to create change. It already provides the support and stability you need when things get tough. Why not for healthy lifestyle changes?" said Calvin Anderson, senior vice president and chief of staff at BlueCross.

"If your goal is to eat healthy, work off those unwanted pounds and have some fun doing it, The Healthy Church Challenge is for you."

The 100-day Challenge will also include a range of ongoing activities to keep participants motivated to achieve their health goals:

Kick-Off – Mandatory Weight-In: Saturday, February 2, 2013, Mississippi Blvd. Family Life Center, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Alternative Kick-Off Weigh-In: Monday, Feb. 4 - Friday, Feb. 8
2nd Work-Out Session: Saturday, Feb. 23

3rd Work-Out Session/Weigh-In: Saturday, March 9

4th Work-Out Session: Saturday, March 23

5th Work-Out Session/Weigh-In:Saturday, April 13

6th Work-Out Session : Saturday, April 27

7th Work-Out Session/ Mandatory Final Weigh-In: Saturday, May 18

Alternative Final Weigh-In: Monday, May 20-Friday, May 24

Obesity Summit/Awards Presentation: Saturday, June 1

Yusuf Boyd, founder of Memphis-based BIOMechaniks, a boutique health/wellness studio, athletic performance, and injury prevention/rehabilitation service in Germantown, will work out with participants and provide them with the tools to achieve optimum health.

Also, at the kick-off, a nutritionist from The Regional Medical Center at Memphis will teach participants the basics for healthy eating. And Darrel Petties, a national gospel recording artist and pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Memphis, will provide entertainment.

Additionally, there will be give-a-ways, and vendors will distribute health care information and products.

Last year, 458 men, women and children from 36 churches participated in the Healthy Church Challenge and lost collectively 2,821 pounds. Church recruitment is underway for the 100-day Challenge this year.

Along with BlueCross, the Challenge is sponsored by The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, Hallelujah 95.7 FM, The New Tri-State Defender, and Biomechaniks.

The Healthy Church Challenge is open to all churches in West Tennessee and limited to 100 participants per church.

(For more information, call 901-278-0881 or visit Facebook.com/The Healthy Church Challenge.)

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