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It has been nine years since the Beatrice Daily Sun's first Fitness Challenge began.

Originally, it pitted a group of competitors against each other in a battle to see who could lose the most weight in 13 weeks.

In the past eight years, local residents have combined to lose more than 2,300 pounds and claim significant improvements in their overall health.

Over the years, the Challenge has evolved and become more about long-term sustainable lifestyle changes than just losing weight.

Make no mistake, the Fitness Challenge is intense.

Rather than seeing only bits and pieces of a larger group, this year’s Fitness Challenge will again be intensely focused on the journey of  two local challengers as they look to improve their health through diet and exercise.

For the next 13-weeks, readers will have a front row seat into the struggles and successes of our two challengers. 

Leading the challengers on their journey this year is Bryan Seibel, owner of Anytime Fitness in Beatrice, who is also a certified trainer. This will be the seventh year Seibel has led the Fitness Challenge.

He provides both challengers with a diet plan, three personal training sessions each week and a workout routine for their off days. Most importantly, he’ll be a key member of their support system, guiding them on the ups and downs that are sure to come as they make significant changes to their lifestyles.

Readers can follow the contestants’ progress each Saturday in the Daily Sun or online at www.beatricedailysun.com, where each challenger will write a weekly blog and the Daily Sun will track weight loss and post pictures of the challengers as they progress through their journey to fitness.

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