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Biggest Loser participant tracks down calories

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - City manager Denise Carey is one of eight Estacada participants in the Biggest Loser Communiy challenge.As Estacada’s city manager, Denise Carey has a lot on her figurative plate, but she’s trying to watch what’s on her literal plate as a participant in the Biggest Loser Community Challenge.

Eight Estacada residents are competing in the eight-week health challenge, modeled after the popular television show.

The two teams from Estacada are joining teams from across the country to participate in tracking their diet and exercise and partake in daily wellness challenges. The team with the most participation will be eligible for prizes, including Garmin fitness trackers, Biggest Loser Bootcamp online subscriptions and trips to the season finale of the Biggest Loser television show.

The challenge began three weeks ago, and Carey says she’s found it to be a valuable experience.

“It makes me think about living a healthier lifestyle,” she said. “It makes me think about all the different pieces of that.”

The challenge has made Carey pay particular attention to what she eats.

“It makes you think about what you put in your mouth and really look at what you eat,” she said. “I’ve really been keeping track of my calories.”

In order to maintain a healthy diet, Carey often eats salad and Lean Cuisine meals.

“I love food,” she said. “A lot of things I’m used to doing, but I have to decide whether or not it’s worth the calories now. When we go to Mexican restaurants I usually like to eat chips and salsa, but I’m trying to be more aware of those calories now.”

Carey has had a lot of luck with recording her calories with the MyFitnessPal app on her phone.

“Writing it down is really helpful,” she said. “A lot of the times you don’t realize the calories you’re eating until you write them down. It really opens your eyes.”

For the rest of the Biggest Loser challenge, Carey hopes to continue working toward a healthy lifestyle.

“I want to keep looking at the different parts of being healthy,” she said. “I want to see what I still need to do.”