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The Fitness Challenge began in Beatrice in 2011 with a simple goal: To help others make improvements to their health and lifestyle that could last a lifetime.

The 2019 Fitness Challenge stayed true to that goal as contestants Gage McCarthy and Annette Lytle spent the past three months learning about nutrition, working with a personal trainer three times per week and ultimately improving their health.

The challengers were given a nutrition plan and worked out each week with Bryan Siebel, owner and trainer of Anytime Fitness in Beatrice. Daily Sun readers were able to follow along as the challengers blogged about their struggles and successes each week.

Bryan’s philosophy about health and fitness begins with the foundational belief that life is a gift. A gift that we only get once. If that is a person’s core belief, he says, it should make a dramatic impact on the care they give to their body and the passion behind their personal pursuits.

Over the course of 13 weeks each competitor learns how to change their lifestyle through better eating habits and adding exercise into their daily routines.

Though everyone who finishes the challenge is technically winning in some way, a winner is chosen based on total percentage loss of body weight since their first weigh-in.

The winner of the 2019 Fitness Challenge, with a 0.5 percent margin, was Annette Lytle.

Each competitor lost nearly 7 percent of their starting weight.

Before their final weigh-ins this past week, Seibel had one more challenge for Lytle and McCarthy.

A timed obstacle course challenge awaited the duo on Thursday complete with running, weights and a food challenge. For the food portion each challenger had to choose whether to peel an orange and eat it or eat a powdered doughnut. While the doughnut would be faster, and possibly tastier, that option came with a 60 second penalty.

Both challengers opted to peel the orange rather than eat the doughnut. Lytle was also victorious in the obstacle course.

“It’s the way life is,” Seibel warned the challengers. “We go for the fast things or we go for the better things. In the long run what might take us a little longer now is going to pay off in the end.”

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