CA’s Biggest Winner Contestants Lose Big

Biggest Winner2013

Joe Berman with PT Jen Medillin’s Team Texas Orange.

The 2013 Biggest Winner Weight Loss and Fitness Contest was more than a success. There were 18 teams, 72 total participants and 690 total pounds lost. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. This year, I had the honor of being a part of Team Texas Orange, which was home to Columbia Association’s (CA) 2013 Biggest Winner, Joe Berman. I had the opportunity to chat with Berman and his personal trainer, Jennifer Medillin, to find out what it’s like to be the Biggest Winner.

What motivated you to participate in the Biggest Winner Weight Loss and Fitness Contest?
Berman: “My son and daughter. They’ve wanted me to lose weight for the last 10 years.”

How much weight did you lose?
Berman: “48.2 pounds in eight weeks.”

What was your biggest challenge or obstacle that you faced during the contest?
Berman: “My back pain was the hardest thing to overcome to complete the challenges. I tried to quit before the first week, and I am very glad I didn’t.”

What did you learn from the Biggest Winner?
Berman: “I learned that I can stay focused on a goal of losing weight for more than a week and not gain it back.”

What did you enjoy about the program?
Berman: “The structure of getting up every day knowing I had a goal that I needed to accomplish.”

How has your life changed since becoming the Biggest Winner?
Berman: “My friends and co-workers who have seen the change in my weight have been complimenting me every day. I am playing a lot more handball at the Supreme Sports Club, and I have maintained my 48-pound weight loss!”

What was your experience like working with your team and personal trainer?
Berman: “Amazing! Once I went to the first training session, I knew this was going to be something special.”

Medillin: “I feel very humbled and happy to have been part of Joe’s weight loss experience. I felt like jumping up and down like Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch for his huge achievement! I cannot say enough positive things about Joe. He is such an inspiration to those that have thought or are thinking about how to get rid of the extra weight. Joe has nothing but commitment and dedication to himself. He understood what he needed to do in order to reach his goal, and he accepted the challenge. He put himself and his health first. Go, Joe!”

What are your fitness goals for the future?
Berman: “I have a goal of losing another 5 pounds a month for the rest of the year.”

What advice would you give someone who wants to participate in future Biggest Winner Contests?
Berman: “Make your mind up that you are going to take the challenge, and for whatever reason, don’t quit.”

Medillin: “There are so many ways our members can take advantage of our Personal Training Department’s programs. The obvious one, of course, is to hire a trainer one-on-one or in a small group setting. You can also participate in small group training classes such as TRX, Kettlebells, Core Conditioning, etc. We also have a nutrition team that our members can take advantage of to figure out why, what and how to plan for their food intake. And of course, one cannot forget the variety of fitness classes that CA’s Group Fitness Department offers. There is more than one way to get yourself on track!”

Berman wasn’t the only winner of the contest. The winning team of the Biggest Winner Contest was Team Maroon, which consisted of CA Personal Trainer Rodger Carter and participants Diana Fiste, Brenda Rhodes, Jessica Petree and Sheila Tajalli. They had a total body weight percentage change of 10.28 percent. There was also a Bod Pod Challenge winner: Elizabeth Winters, who had a 4.20 percent change in her total body composition.

Congratulations to all of the 2013 Biggest Winners! You guys deserve it. To find out more about CA’s personal training programs, visit


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