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Drop holiday pounds with Cottonwood’s help


Each year, the city of Cottonwood makes a major investment in the well-being of its citizens, encouraging healthy weight loss through its Looking Good Cottonwood program.

Managed by Cottonwood Recreation Center Fitness Center Supervisor Trevor Faust, the 12-week competition challenges participants to lose weight and offers substantial prizes to winners. This year’s competition, the seventh of its kind, kicks off Feb. 21, 2018 — far enough away, perhaps, to procrastinate just a little, yet soon enough to inspire News Year’s resolutions. The contest ends on May 16.

In 2017, 260 community members registered for the competition. Ultimately, 105 of those individuals made it to the competition’s end, registering weekly for weighins. The first place winner in the women’s category, Denise Steinert, lost 34.6 pounds, just over 21 percent of her body weight. The first place winner in the men’s category, Steven Wilkens, lost 55.6 pounds, nearly 25 percent of his body weight.

According to Faust, the final tally of weight lost by all participants, almost 1,900 pounds, “easily beat” the next best year.

“This evidence-based program has helped thousands lose weight in the past six years and we know it can help you, too,” Faust said, adding that the fitness center provides guidance over the course of the competition. “With registration, you get access to group exercise classes, health presentations, informational emails and weekly weigh-ins for that accountability factor.”

According to Faust, the competition is the opposite of the “crash diet” or “get fit quick” approach, encouraging instead a healthy attitude toward weight loss that ultimately allows participants to sustain a healthy body composition. All participants who complete Looking Good Cottonwood receive an event T-shirt, 10 percent off memberships three months or longer at the recreation center and 10 percent off one Brian Mickelsen Memorial Race entry fee.

“This year, there will be three weight categories defined by your starting body mass index,” Faust said. “There is also a team category where the top three teams compete for prizes of $1,000, $500 and $200.”

Winning prizes include: 

  • First place female and male winners — those with the highest percentages of weight lost — receive $450 each and annual recreation center memberships.
  • Second place female and male winners receive $200 each and six-month recreation center memberships.
  • Third place female and male winners receive $75 each and three-month recreation center memberships.

Individual participants, as well as teams of at least five people, can apply now at the Cottonwood Recreation Center. A recreation center membership is not required, but those who sign up for a three-month or longer membership receive a discount.

Fees for entering the competition are $20 for recreation center members and $40 for non-members. For additional information, contact Faust at tfaust@cottonwoodaz.gov or call 639-3200 ext. 3210.

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