Looking to make good on that new year's resolution to lose a few pounds during 2013?
The Maryville Community Center is once again offering local residents a chance to keep those promises by working to get slim and fit during the annual New Year's Challenge.
For the eighth consecutive year, MCC will sponsor a twelve-week fitness program designed to give participants the motivation and encouragement they need take off excess weight.
This year, however, will be a bit different with improvements made by MCC fitness supervisor Audrey Osborn.
More emphasis will be placed on tracking healthy activities on a weekly basis, and a food journal will be available.
Teams and individuals will earn extra points for keeping the journal and taking part in various center activities.
These are to include weekly fitness challenges and nutrition classes, both of which are optional, but which will help teams and individuals beef up their scores.
Though the challenge is organized around competition, Osborn said that the most important aspects involve keeping people motivated.
"It's been proven that when you have other people counting on you, and you're counting on them, you are more motivated to do well," Osborn said. "Nobody wants to be the one that doesn't put in their full effort and lets their team down."
The team aspect is another thing that will change slightly next year.
In the past, individuals who entered for the challenge were placed together in teams of four. Osborn found that people in that situation were less likely to complete the program, which ends in April.
Now, individuals will be able to sign up and compete against each other.
Times are set for weekly weigh-ins, of which participants can only miss two — a requirement for the competition.
The theme for this year is "Lean and mean in 2013," and there are already eight teams and six individuals enrolled.
"This week and next, we expect to see a lot of people sign up," Osborn said. "I think that a lot people enjoy their holidays and then want to start fresh after January 1."
The 2013 edition of the challenge will also feature weekly guest speakers at the center.
Presenters will include Kelly Quinlin, head athletic trainer at Northwest Missouri State University; Bob Rice and Kelsi Bounds, last year's individual winners; Vince Shelby of Northwest Chiropractic Center; and registered nurse Joyce Harris.
Topics will include injury prevention, using supplements, how to read nutrition labels and personal weight-loss success stories.
The entry fee for MCC members is $15. Cost for non-members is $20. Prizes are being donated by more than 30 local sponsors and will be awarded in April to teams and individuals.
Sign-up ends January 3. For more information or to enroll, visit the center or call Osborn at (660) 562-2923.