Meltdown not done yet |

Meltdown not done yet

The Nevada County Meltdown will end tonight – or will it?

The last meeting of Carole Carson’s eight-week fitness brainchild will be at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, where participants will learn who lost the most weight and what prizes they will be awarded for developing new lifestyles.

Carson promises a few surprises, and team captains will be asked to attend a future meeting on March 2 to see if the Meltdown is something to be continued in some form. Whether the Meltdown goes on, dies or turns into something else is not known, but a number of participants Monday said the concept is definitely not over for them.

“This is just the beginning for me,” said Ann Mitchell of the team “The Oldies But Goodies.” Mitchell, the junior member of the team at 58, has been able to keep up with five teammates ranging from 68 to 80. “My ultimate goal is to be looking real great for my 60th birthday, May 25, 2005.”

Mitchell has lost 10 pounds by exercising daily and turning off her lifelong sweet tooth. “I’m off sugar, and everything tastes so sweet now I don’t miss it,” she said. “I’m trying to make a permanent lifestyle change that isn’t a diet but a part of my everyday life.”

The Nevada County Meltdown has grown from its first meeting on Jan. 6 that overflowed a high school theater to more than 1,000 participants representing about 200 teams. Television stations from major networks have aired segments on the Meltdown, as well as three stations in the Sacramento area. During the communitywide effort, Carson has stressed continually that it is not a diet program, but rather a complete lifestyle change for its participants.

For Rene Lawson, that has already happened.

“It’s changed my life. I’ve lost 30 pounds, my husband 25 and my son 10 pounds,” said the manager of Helga’s Uptown Salon and a member of “Losing With Style II,” a team of salon workers.

“It’s changed our lifestyle. We were a fast-food family,” Lawson said. “We probably ate 4,000 calories (apiece) a day before, and now we’re down to 1,200, to 1,500,” thanks to the nutrition knowledge learned in Meltdown meetings.

“My team has decided we’ll keep going,” Lawson said. The team will meet at each others’ homes once a week “until we all meet our goal weights. Now it’s how you live your new lifestyle, how to eat, how to dress, how to do everything.”

Dena Nick does Meltdown workouts when she is not busy raising six children, five of whom are still at home. Two of her children are toddlers born after her 40th birthday.

“Our team name is ‘Slim and Sexy,’ because that was our goal,” Nick said. “We’re working on it slowly. It’s been a change in diet and exercise so we could slowly lose and keep it off.

“My goal is to carry it through the year, Nick said. “Basically, it’s a lifestyle change.”

Kathy Palmer also helps Carson with Meltdown numbers, joining the effort “because it’s been really instrumental in getting my butt off the couch.”

Palmer joined “Mom’s Melting” or the M&Ms. “Our motto is, ‘Let it melt in your hand, not in your mouth.'” She has lost almost 40 pounds.

“I’m inspired to keep going,” she said. “A lot of people don’t want to let go.”

Kathy Lenk is another person who helps Carson with Meltdown calculations, and tonight is not the end for her, either.

“I lost seven pounds” with the team “Less Equals Success,” Lenk said. “My goal was 12, so I’m not going to give up.”

Stopping a good thing is not in the Rev. Jerry Smith’s mind, either. The pastor of the Nevada City United Methodist Church has five teams from his congregation, while wife, Barbara, has three from hers at Grass Valley United Methodist Church.

Smith actually started a weight-loss program in November, “because I didn’t want to gain over the holiday.” He has lost 40 pounds – 20 during the Meltdown.

Smith wants that trend to continue because “I’m getting up there,” and he knows he has to work at being in shape from now until his final day.

Whether the Meltdown continues or not, Smith knows one thing. “The secret for losing weight is finding the people to support you.”

More information on the Meltdown is available at


Know & go

WHAT: The Nevada County Meltdown final meeting.

WHEN: 7 tonight.

WHERE: Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley.


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