Colleen Bromley read about the Biggest Loser contest in the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation magazine, she said. The Army spouse immediately decided to sign up for the weight-loss contest, and contacted NuCo Fitness experts at Hercules Fitness Center on Pope Field.

NuCo Fitness holds the contract for personal trainers on Fort Bragg and facilitates the contest, which is open to anyone who has access to FMWR facilities, said Bradley Willis, NuCo Fitness manager.

Winners were determined by total pounds, inches and body fat lost.

On May 14, first place winner, Bromley picked up a $1500 check at Hercules.

She had lost 14 pounds or 9.2 percent of her body weight, 6.7 percent body fat and more than 24 total biceps, chest, waist, hips and thigh inches, said Rebecca Jackson, a NuCo trainer.

I was overweight and it was the prize money that gave me that oomph I needed to get off my butt something to work towards, said Bromley, who stands 5 feet, 10 inches and now weighs 138 pounds.

A portion of her weight-loss effort entailed getting up at 5:30 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays and exercising one-hour, usually P90X, weights and resistance bands, with a rest break on Sundays, she said.

In addition to exercising, the mother of two began paying closer attention to ingredients and serving sizes, she said. She made the switch from white to wheat bread and began to pack healthy snacks such as carrots and apples.

Eventually, the body gets accustomed to eating healthier foods, though it takes the taste buds a while to adjust.

You eat it and it taste good when you are hungry and youre not hungry anymore, Bromley said.

Jennie Newsome hastened her 22.4-pound weight loss by eliminating sweets and consuming lots of vegetables, fish and grilled foods.

She lost 3.3 percent body fat and more than 16 total inches, said Jackson.

I was fed up with the way I felt about myself, said Newsome, who is also a wife and mother of two.

Newsome said she began to take a healthier turn when she noticed shed lost two dress sizes and was more motivated to get up so early in the mornings.

The importance of exercising is something that both women promote.

Now that Im exercising. I feel like my body needs it. If I dont do it, I dont feel right, said Bromley, who typically runs on the treadmill, jumps rope or walks the hills in her Carolina Trace neighborhood in Sanford, N.C.

Losing weight and wearing a smaller size is not something to which Bromley has become completely accustomed.

I kept going to the plus-sizes at Catos, and the lady kept saying, we dont have your size over here can you go to the other side?

And go to the other side, she did.

Bromley went from having no energy to enjoy Family time to relishing quality time with her husband and sons. The Family likes fishing at Carolina Trace and at Tybee Island, Ga., where the youngest son lives, Bromley said.

Im happier. I joke around. I dance. I laugh, she said.

For her transformation and her efforts, Newsome took third place and received a check for $300, May 14.

The money is not important to me its just how I feel, she said.

Second place winner was Michael Timme, whose weight loss was 25.4 pounds, 6 percent body fat and more than 11 total inches, Jackson said.

NuCo Fitness works because it is designed to teach fitness, not to tell fitness, Willis said. Through customized services, it gives proactive steps for functional fitness. Areas of concentration include orienting customers to become proficient body builders, to compete in triathlons or to simply improve their sports prowess.

NuCo Fitness experts are available at the Hercules Fitness Center on Pope Field, at Ritz-Epps Physical Fitness Center (Building C-7215, Champion Main St.) and at Callahan Athletic Center (Building 2-T-1705, corner of Reilly and Woodruff streets).

According to Willis, the Biggest Loser contest is offered every three months.

If interested in joining or for more information about NuCo Fitness, visit its website at www.NuCousa.com , call Willis at 916-0718, or visit the FMWR website at www.fortbraggmwr.com/gyms/.