The new Teresa Stevenson is brimming with confidence as she looks to shed even more than the 55.4 pounds she's already lost in Norwalk's Biggest Losers contest.
Stevenson said she feels like a new person after losing so much weight through the competition, which is entering its third season. The life-long asthmatic can now talk while walking without losing her breath.
Monday is the last day to sign up for the new season. You can do so at the Ernsthausen Community Center, 100 Republic Street, Norwalk from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday or 7 to 9 a.m. or 4 to 6 p.m. Monday. The cost for new participants is $35, while current contestants pay $30. Cash prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in both the male and female categories.
The competition challenges local residents to lose weight by dieting and/or exercising. Participants may not take any type of diet pills or have any weight loss surgery throughout the competition. It rewards the person with the largest percentage of weight lost after 16 weeks. After two seasons, more than 200 people have lost a total of 3,500 pounds. Norwalk's Biggest Losers kicked off in January.
Stevenson was the biggest loser for the second season.
"I saw the pounds coming off and I stuck to it," the Collins resident said.
Stevenson, 41, said she would encourage those looking to lose weight to register.
"I think it gives you the little push you need to get going," she said. "When you see the weight coming off, it's an awesome feeling."
You do notice the weight coming off: Weigh-ins take place every Monday during the competition. During the rest of the week you can exercise alone, or participate in weekly exercise classes group walks, weekly challenges and free offerings from the Norwalk Park and Recreation department.
Stevenson, who is participating in the third season, said she followed a low-carb diet Tuesday through Sunday each week and then treated herself to sweets every Monday.
She had been trying to lose weight for years and shed pounds through various diets, but felt hungry. That has not been the case with the low-carb diet, Stevenson said. She added she is not tempted to indulge more than once a week.
She knows that each Monday, she can treat herself to sweets and smile as the scale indicates a trimmer and newer Stevenson.