Earning roughly $5.69 for each pound of weight he lost, Quentin Oehme came out on top as the winner of the City of Pittsburg's Biggest Loser contest, which concluded Monday.



But for Oehme it wasn't about the money.

Earning roughly $5.69 for each pound of weight he lost, Quentin Oehme came out on top as the winner of the City of Pittsburg's Biggest Loser contest, which concluded Monday.

But for Oehme it wasn't about the money.

“I'm not done yet,” he said over a healthy lunch at Lincoln Center with other City employees as they celebrated the conclusion of their three-month contest, part of a new health and wellness program. “I'm going for 100 pounds total this year.”

Oehme, who won for shedding the most weight (59.4 pounds) and the greatest percentage of weight (17.4 percent), received $338 in cash and gift certificates. He began with a goal of losing 40 pounds.

“When I talked to you back on March 11, my goal was to lose 40 pounds by the end of this contest,” he said. “I've already topped that, so I'm going to keep going.”

He attributed his success to changing his eating habits, adopting an exercise routine, having the support of his friends and family, and educating himself.

“The key was knowing what to eat and knowing how to use my energy to burn up calories,” he said. “We haven't eaten fast food since February and I'm eating things like baked or grilled chicken now instead of fried.”

“I've also gotten a lot of motivation from my father, Glen, and my girlfriend Valorie, who also is doing the contest along with me,” said Oehme.

Ken Robertson won second-place honors in weight and percentage, and was awarded $30 in gift certificates. Tammy Edge won third place in weight and percentage and was awarded $20 in gift certificates.

“I walk five days a week and am a team leader for my Walk Kansas team, 'A Walk in the Park',” said Edge of her success in losing 20.8 pounds to narrowly beat out contender Jessilyn Nokes, who lost 20.2. “I've been counting calories and fat grams, except for this weekend. . . I cheated a little.”

“That's OK,” interjected Nancy Evans, a nurse from Community Health Center of SEK, who assisted program coordinator Christy LeFever in doing weigh-ins and handing out incentives each week for the duration of the program.

“It's absolutely OK to cheat. Otherwise you'd never stick to your diet or your exercise plan. I tell people all the time, 'If chocolate is your thing, you need to have it once in awhile.' Ask yourself 'What is my passion?' and whatever that is, if you have to completely give it up, you're probably not going to be successful,” Evans said. “Instead, just reduce intake to smaller amounts, or if you have to have it, exercise a little more that day, do an extra mile.”

LeFever said she was pleased with the results of the program.

“Maybe next year we can get bigger in terms of participation. But I feel like it definitely was a success. Even those who didn't lose very much, at least maybe they got an education to where it will help them somewhat,” she said at the luncheon as she handed out the program's last round of goody bags, which included vitamin water, bananas, granola bars, sugar-free gum, and other healthy snacks.

The City's next employee event is May 31.

“We'll have a day in the park where we'll be giving out kites and boomerangs and having a watermelon feed,” LeFever said. “It's an opportunity for employees to get outside and be active with their families.”

In June, the City has slated “lunch and learn” sessions which include healthy sack lunches, educational videos or speakers, and an opportunity for employees to weigh in to make sure they're maintaining their weight.

“I really want to thank Community Health Center of SEK for everything they have done. Nancy has been absolutely wonderful and without her help we wouldn't have been able to make this a success,” LeFever said. “I really look forward to working with her and the CHC on more wellness programs in the future.”

Andra Bryan Stefanoni can be reached at andra.stefanoni@morningsun.net.