By Pamela Long Fitness Coordinator Fifty hopeful (and current) participants began the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Biggest Loser challenge with the goal of improving their physical fitness Jan. 6. The Family MWR Fitness Department have armed all participants (as a group) with information, encouragement and resources to help them on their journey to greater wholeness.Most participants indicated group support is a major factor to success. "It is one of the things I love most about this program," said Mariea Whitelow.Another participant Laura Arnold gave a thumbs up to the healthy eating support."I was floored when I discovered how much sugar matters in not just what I eat; but also what I do," Arnold said. "I am glad I decided to be a part of the Biggest Loser program."Across the health and fitness world many programs are emphasizing lifestyle change instead of weight loss as the most desired achievement with lifestyle. People want to change their lives, not just their size. Fort Jackson's Biggest Loser emphasizes lifestyle change with each component of the program focusing on the whole individual."The support to learn about all of you is amazing," said Timica Anderson, Human Service Specialist with Richland County Department of Social Services. "You don't get bogged down with just losing weight at all cost.Instead we learn healthier options that we can live with long term." Stay at home spouse Mildred Field said she loves the program because it "puts you first, not your weight, not your exercise level, but you as a whole individual."Continue to follow the stories and journeys of our Biggest Loser participants. Tune in weekly to read and learn more about the many successes and struggles they encounter as they use the Biggest Loser to bring lifestyle changes to their lives.(Editor's note: Pamela Long is the Fitness and Wellness Specialist for Family and MWR. If you would like more information about the Biggest Loser or any of the fitness and wellness programs, please contact Pamela Long at 751-3700.)