7,509 lbs. – Meltdown’s total weight loss nearly equals a school bus | TheUnion.com

7,509 lbs. – Meltdown’s total weight loss nearly equals a school bus

According to Yogi Berra, “It’s not over until it’s over,” and about 1,000 Nevada County Meltdown Challenge participants concurred Tuesday night.

Although it was billed as the last official meeting of the eight-week fitness frenzy, many of those involved said they have shifted themselves to a new lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise.

“They have no intention of quitting,” said Meltdown maven Carole Carson, whose own fitness odyssey spurred 1,061 people on 207 teams to lose a collective 7,509 pounds. “We will continue. The question is, in what format?”

Meltdown team leaders will meet next Tuesday to decide just that, Carson said. It could continue in large groups, or just become a situation where people motivate each other to keep fit through e-mails and the Meltdown Web site.

The Meltdown originated as an idea floated by Carson in her regular column for The Union. In January, it exploded to life as a communitywide weight-loss initiative with prizes and gym memberships pouring in from business owners. It has since gained national attention as one of the most dramatic community health events in recent memory.

Meltdown participants in the group “Losing Weight In Style Team 2” lost 97 pounds, or 19.4 pounds per member, to take first place in the Meltdown.

“Half Ton of Fun” was second, shaving off 92.4 pounds, or 18.48 per Meltdowner. “Ten Percent Off” did not quite reach that, but did pare 89 pounds, or 17.8 apiece for third place.

The “Peggy and the Durham Dolls” team of school bus drivers was the surprise highlight of the evening. The group drove into the Nevada County Fairgrounds main exhibit building in one of their vehicles.

The 8,000-pound bus represented a rough equivalent of the total weight lost across the community during the Meltdown.

“We will continue to do our own mini-Meltdown,” said Durham Dolls captain Brenda McNeil. “We’ve had a lot of fun, and it truly has brought people together.”

According to Carson’s figures, Meltdown participants lost the equivalent of 40 people weighing 187 pounds apiece. The 7,509 pounds they shed also equals 5,631 bags of Oreos, 30,036 McDonald’s Quarter Pounders, or 68,653 bags of M&Ms.

While aspects of the Meltdown might have seemed competitive, Carson reminded participants that the effort worked and will keep working because determined people supported each other through a fun time while learning how to eat right and exercise.

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