Weight-Loss Contestants Have Much to Gain, Lose

By Julie Tam
|  Saturday, May 7, 2011  |  Updated 5:32 PM CDT
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A Lewisville fitness center gave 20 members incentives to lose weight, Biggest Loser style.

A Lewisville fitness center gave 20 members incentives to lose weight, Biggest Loser style.

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A Lewisville fitness center has found a creative way to help North Texans lose weight.

The trainers wanted to see who could keep their new year's resolutions, so they put on their own version of the NBC reality contest The Biggest Loser. Only in their version, there was money to be won and lost.

Transform U Fitness gave 20 North Texans four months to reach their goals. The trainers motivated the contestants with $1,000 in prize money.

Rose Palacios lost 31 pounds, exercising and dieting alongside her fellow weight-loss contestants.

"My goal was just to make it through and not drop. But my goal that they set for me, they thought 25 would be good," said Palacios.

Cindy Elrod has lost 26 pounds but wants to keep going.

"You're like, 'I'm going to die, I'm going to die.' And they're like, 'No, you're not going to die,'" said Elrod.

The gym's co-owner and personal trainer, Heidi Axelrod, lost over 100 pounds before she started training others to do the same.

"I've been in their shoes. I don't ask them to do anything that I haven't done. And I know it can be done," said Axelrod.

The trainers gave incentives not to gain weight. They charged contestants $5 for every pound they gained and $100 for dropping out.

"I never had to pay them a dime, so that's good," said Palacios.

All they lost were pounds, but they've gained much more.

"I know for me, it's personal reasons: To be fit, be more healthy, so I can be here longer for my kids," said Elrod.

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