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North Country Biggest Loser' organizers are looking for you!

PLATTSBURGH - These days, being a "loser" can be considered a good thing - especially when it comes to losing weight and getting healthy.

That's why the City of Plattsburgh Recreation Department and the Plattsburgh chapter of the American Heart Association have teamed up to host the first North Country Biggest Loser weight loss program. The two entities have joined together to find 10 people willing to make a commitment to make lifestyle changes and work with a personal trainer for four months beginning Monday, March 1.

Faith Osborne Long, regional director of the American Heart Association, said the program will be offered at the City Recreation Center at no cost to participants. The recreation department is donating a four-month membership in an effort to motivate people who may have used cost as a reason not to exercise.

"[The participants] don't have to pay for a membership, so we're really looking for people with a lot of motivation, people who will really stick with it through mid-July," said Osborne Long.

The program will be similar to the popular NBC television series, "The Biggest Loser," which it's modeled after, said Osborne Long - with a few exceptions.

"Our program isn't going to be as competitive," she said. "We won't be voting people off. The 10 people who participate, we're planning they're going to make it to the end. We're going to look at how they did as a group because, really, we want them to be supportive of each other."

North Country Biggest Loser also won't require participants to move to a fitness ranch for several weeks like the television show. Rather, the program will require attendance at two-hour workout sessions with trainer Mary Duprey Monday and Thursday evenings, as well as a commitment by participants to workout on their own time. The program will also feature education through guest speakers and require participants to keep track of their eating habits and work with dietician Ann Watts to see what improvements can be made in regard to nutrition.

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