Thinner Winners: Partcipants shed more than 1,000 pounds |

Thinner Winners: Partcipants shed more than 1,000 pounds

Al Aragon and Beth Whittlesey were the top individual winners of Fit Culture Studio's Thinner Winner contest.. The group of 124 participants dropped more than 1,006 pounds in six weeks.
John Hart/ | The Union

Fit Culture Studio

75 Bost Ave., Unit 6

Nevada City


Participants in Fit Culture Studio’s six-week-long Thinner Winner contest lost a whopping 1,006 pounds cumulatively this year, between Jan. 20 and March 3.

The 124 participants at Joey Bratton’s Nevada City fitness studio teamed up in pairs, vying for the top prize of $1,000 for the greatest percentage of body weight lost.

The winnings went to teammates Beth Whittlesey and Camille Haughey, who lost roughly 17 and 16 percent of their body weight, respectively.

Whittlesey also took home an additional $250 for the being the top individual female, and Al Aragon took home $250 in the top individual male category.

“I lost 40 pounds — 15 percent of my body weight,” said Aragon. “My partner, Jeff Dellis, lost more than 29 pounds.”

Aragon and others said the competition is what initially got them in the door of Fit Culture.

“Physically I was in bad shape — I needed a motivator,” Aragon said. “The last three years, I hadn’t done much of anything, and I work at a restaurant with a lot of comfort food. Let’s just say I had been very ‘comforted’ the past year.”

The first week of classes were tough, said Aragon, as he had been sedentary for months.

“But after the first week I started to feel better and better,” he said. “For me, the diet part was the most important. I switched to eating more vegetables, fruit, fish and chicken. I was eating all the time, but my caloric intake was lower.”

While the competition was the initial motivator for many, the goal is to arm participants with an arsenal of lifelong healthy living skills that transfer into their everyday lives.

“Our coaching includes things outside the fitness realm — we take a more holistic approach,” said Bratton. “We look at the whole spectrum — eating habits, sleep patterns, mind-set, lack of mobility, etc. Often if there is just one weak link in the chain, people don’t lose weight.”

Every person comes in with a different history, he added, so each workout is customized accordingly. As a result, it’s not unusual to see 70-year-olds working alongside 20-year-olds at the studio.

Changing a series of small habits over time can add up to big changes, said Bratton, but you can’t do everything at once because it’s rarely sustainable.

Josh Pack and his wife, Jennifer, lost 46 pounds between the two of them.

“My wife gave birth to our third child a little over a year ago and I’m about to turn 40,” said Pack. “That was our motivation. I think it was the holistic approach that we liked — and the fact that the bite-sized attainable goals were doable. Now we’re even more motivated and signed up for six more months.”

The six-week Thinner Winner contest cost $67 for Fit Culture members and $147 per person for nonmembers.

Was it worth it?

“If someone told you that you and your wife would lose nearly 50 pounds in six weeks and all it would cost was $147 per person — wouldn’t you pay that?” asked Pack, who has 5-year-old twins and a 1-year-old. “You really can’t put a price on wellness. We sleep better and have much more energy for our kids.”

Aragon couldn’t agree more.

“I feel fantastic — I’m 43 but now I feel younger,” he said. “I’m so much more conscious of what I put in my body. I will definitely keep working out. I’ve yet to miss a day since the competition.”

To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email or call 530-477-4203.

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