The Biggest Winner contestants were given paper to write letters to future contestants. The letters include messages of congratulations as well as encouragement. CHASE LAWRENSON | Scroll Photography

BYU-Idaho’s Biggest Winner competitors experienced their closing ceremonies on July 5.

Contestants had the opportunity to think back on the things they learned throughout the semester during the competition.

“One thing I learned was to keep going. This was not just a physical competition: it was definitely mental. It was hard not eating what your roommates are eating. It’s made me a stronger person,” said Adrienne Compton, a freshman studying sociology, and a Biggest Winner contestant.

Learning to overcome the mental aspect of weight loss can be a big factor in the competition.

“I never thought I could run a 5K, and it’s not that my legs couldn’t do it; it’s that my head didn’t want to,” Compton said.
The contestants also learned the importance of nutrition.

“Nutrition is everything. I would just put food in my face when I really wasn’t that hungry, but because I was bored. I’ve stopped doing that, and I actually watch what I’m eating, and I’ve learned to count calories, and I lost a lot of weight because of that,” said Noelle Christenson, a freshman studying family and consumer science.

The contestants were divided into gros and had a nutritionist and personal trainers who they met with each week to record their progress.

Suzanne Nelson, a senior studying health science, was one of the nutritionists who taught the contestants about the importance of the food they were eating as well as the amount and portions they should have.

“Every week I would meet with the contestants, I’d weigh them, and then give them a lesson, and I would teach them different nutritional topics,” Nelson said.

The personal trainers were able to teach the contestants a variety of new work outs and also helped them to feel more at ease in the gym.

“It was nice to get them comfortable and then having them work out on their own,” said Megan Carlin, a sophomore studying exercise physiology and a trainer for the competition.

At the closing ceremony the director had the current contestants write a letter to future contestants of the Biggest Winner. Those writing the letters were able to include words of encouragement and tips to help future potential contestants.

“As far as the letter goes, I’m putting in congratulations for taking the first step. Realizing you aren’t healthy and that you need to improve; that’s the hardest part, which is saying something because this program is not easy.” Compton said.