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Estacada Biggest Loser participant embraces community

Paulina Menchaca’s efforts in the Biggest Loser Community challenge are about more than winning.

“My goal is to start doing this as a lifestyle,” she said. “Weight loss has been a long-time struggle for me. With other (weight loss) programs, I’ve always fallen short of making it a habit.”

Menchaca is one of eight Estacada participants in Biggest Loser Community challenge, an eight-week wellness competition inspired by the popular television show. Challenges focus on promoting healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

Four-member teams across the United States participate in daily wellness challenges. The team with the most participation will be eligible for various prizes, including Garmin Vivofit fitness trackers, Biggest Loser Bootcamp online subscriptions and trips to the season finale of the Biggest Loser show.

Menchaca believes the challenge will be successful because of its community focus.

“I think it will be fun to do it with the community,” she said. “We can help keep each other accountable.”

Community plays a key role in Menchaca’s other wellness activities.

In addition to the Biggest Loser challenge, Menchaca also recently joined the TOPS (Take Pounds off Sensibly) weight loss group that meets at the Estacada Community Center.

During meetings, members discuss their weight loss successes and struggles.

“It’s been a really good support,” she said.

Menchaca says her biggest goal right now is “to get moving.” She achieves this by going hiking and spending time at the gym.

“Right now, hikes are my big thing,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I like to go with my family, and I take a ton of pictures. The scenery’s perfect.”

Menchaca recently hiked to the top of Pub Creek Falls for the first time and is excited about discovering other hiking opportunities in the area.

Additionally, Menchaca works out at Timber Town Fitness. She’ll often go with a friend, which she finds helpful.

“My friend and I will sometimes stay at the gym for an hour and a half, and people will see us and ask how we can go for so long,” she said. “You have to have someone there to keep you accountable. It’s good to bring a partner.”

Menchaca encourages anyone interested to join Estacada’s Biggest Loser Community challenge to sign up. Enrollment is open until March 15 and can be done online at www.biggestlosercommunity.com.

“If you’ve been thinking about it for a while, this is the time to do it,” she said. “Especially here in Estacada, where everyone knows each other, you’ll have the support.”

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