It's Team Doug vs. Team Melinda in the Biggest Winner Challenge at Missoula's Access Fitness. No matter what team you are rooting for, anyone who has signed up for this six-week weight loss competition is feeling the burn and already noticing the results.

More than 20 people entered the challenge, including myself. (I was recruited into Doug Lefler's team.) The top finishers - those who lose the highest percentage of body fat – will be awarded fantastic gifts, including a year-long gym membership.

I knew I was making unhealthy decisions in my life and it was time to make a change. The Biggest Winner Competition came along at just the right time. In my first meeting with Doug he greeted me with such a warm welcome that I knew I had finally made a good, smart decision for myself.

For the last two weeks, I have prepared to win, planned to win and now I will utilize the tools provided so that I can expect to win in the final weeks of the competition and every week in the future! At this point, I have the core of our nutrition, fitness and dreams all set and ready to go. We have prepared our strategies that have made our goals seem realistic, and just a series of easy steps to take.

I have always been intimidated by group classes. I was so nervous I could not keep up, or I would be the slowest, weakest person in the class. I can honestly say I have never had those thoughts once while working out with Doug. When you walk into a class, everyone is so welcoming, calling you by your name and they make you feel like you belong in that room and you are part of their team.

One of the best parts about working out at Access Fitness is the instructors. They are always so positive and make you believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it, no matter what your fitness level may be. That is exactly what I needed - someone to give me the motivation to work harder and dig a little deeper. I know I have more work to do, but I am excited to continue my journey with my Biggest Winner team!

This was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life, and I look forward to giving you some progress updates along the way.

My Progress (week two)

Starting weight: 262
Hips: 45
Waist: 41
Thighs: 26 1/2
Bicep: 13 1/2
Current weight: 253
Hips: 44
Waist: 39
Thigh: 25 1/2
Bicep: 12

This post was sponsored by Access Fitness of Missoula. Access Fitness is located at 1906 Brooks Street. Contact them by phone at 728-5515 and online at