Contestants at local gym reach goals


From left, Randy Eldridge, Heather Spivey and Chris Stansell lost a combined 142 pounds over the last 12 weeks as the top finishers in M.O.A.B. Fighting Concepts “Biggest Loser” competition. Stansell was the contest’s big winner, dropping 58 during the span. 

Sometimes the biggest obstacles to losing weight is staying motivated.

Just ask the participants who went through 12 grueling weeks of the Biggest Loser Competition at M.O.A.B. Fighting Concepts in Newnan.

The gym, which is owned by professional mixed martial arts competitor Tim Stout and his wife Christy, takes a different approach to fitness and weight loss, using everything from cardio kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsi , mixed martial arts training, and kids classes, as well as nutrition to inspire its clients.

“Here if you take 300 consecutive classes, you will never do the same thing. You just never know what you are going to get,” Tim said.

Motivation is also a big part of the couples business plan and it showed during the Biggest Loser competition.

“It’s a mental challenge. Exercise is very physical, but it also has a lot to do with emotions, and we give that support here,” Christy said. “They see that when they first walk in the door. We have had people lose 150 pounds It’s a process, it’s a lifestyle, a destination, and a journey.”

In the end, their was some radical weight loss for the 15 participants of the Biggest Loser contest who mixed in high-energy exercise with a new healthy diet to create changes they hope will last a lifetime.

Chris Stansell won the competition by dropping 58 pounds. Randy Eldridge was second (50 pounds) and Heather Spivey (33.6 pounds) third.

“I was at my highest weight, 227, and I tired of it,” Stansell said. “I started working out here a couple of years ago, and after about a week, I asked Christy to help me with some nutrition, and she kind of guided me through it. I changed my diet because either you are all in or you are not.”

Ethridge also proved that he could change his ways with plenty of hard work.

The 56-year-old, motorcycle riding, fitness buff, was challenged by those around him.

It was hard but it was fun. All of these people are very inspirational. It was good spirited competition. It’s like one big family,” Ethridge said.

There were times all three of the contestants wanted to give up.

“There was some mornings after the classes where I thought there was no way I could come back, but then I said I better get my butt in there,” Spivey said. By the time the warm up is over, you are dripping. That’s how I could measure my workout. How soon did that first bead of sweat hit the floor. Then you knew you were going to have a hard workout.”

The top three competitors admit winning was important to them, but the competition never got nasty.

“We all wanted each other to succeed,” Stansell said. “It really is like a big family. We were all pulling for each other.”

It was the fellowship with other competitors that helped Ethridge say focused.

“The way these folks treated me when I walked in. I had been going here a few months before the contest, but when the contest came around it was just a little more incentive to be more conscience about diet. It’s just a group thing,” he said.

There was also some good-natured kidding that helped the contestants survive their weigh loss journey.

“I came after Randy, but I couldn’t catch him,” Spivey said.

There were times during the competition when the contestants hit a plateau in their attempts to drop weight.

“Tim told me you have to do one of two things, change your diet or change your exercise. So I did a little of both,” Stansell said.

Stansell increased his exercise to include walking two miles three times per week, running four miles three times per week, taking cardio kickboxing classes and also swimming.

Diet changes were also a part of all three contestants lifestyle change.

“Listening to Christy, and just paying attention to lean proteins and cutting out all the things we like. You can still eat good, you just don’t eat bad foods. You can’t lose weight simply by working out. You have to change your diet,” Ethridge said.

For Stansell, it was all about eliminating things such as bread, pasta and dairy from his diet. Plus drinking a gallon of water a day.

“It all just about how bad you want it,” Stansell said. “I have three who kids kind of motivate me too.”

Spivey agrees changing her eating habits might have been the most difficult part to her success.

“It seems 90 percent of it is changing your eating habits. I eat more proteins, more vegetables and less sugars now,” she said.

The gym’s owners say stick to a workout and nutrition program might be the hardest part of losing weight, but in the end, it will be worth it.

“Take it one day at a time. The first time they come in here, they might not be able to jog a home lap around the bag cage, but on their fourth day here, they might be able to jog four times around. Everyday they get a little stronger, and everybody once to see those results,” Christy said.

Her husband also has some inspiring words.

“They have to remember, they didn’t get out of shape overnight. If they give us 100 percent, we will guarantee they will see results,” Tim said.

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