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66 + 94 = $1,000: 'Mathletes' win Best Loser contest

April 4, 2012

Earl Boyer and Michael Delp, the “Mathletes” team, won the grand prize of $1,000 in the Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness at the LifePlex and Pilot News sponsored Best Loser contest. The teachers said they were encouraged during the contest by support from their students and colleagues.

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth High School math teachers Michael Delp and Earl Boyer recently solved an equation they can take great pride in.
The two collectively lost more than 150 pounds in just 10 weeks to win the “Best Loser” competition — and the grand prize of $1,000 — at Fitness Forum.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Boyer. “We didn’t pressure each other, but I think we both put pressure on ourselves to pull our own weight on the team. Each of us wanted to do a good job for the other. I wouldn’t have been able to do this well on my own.”
“The accountability was important,” agreed Delp. “Earl and I work together, and we see each other literally every hour in the day. That was very big as far as being motivated.”
Delp said that he wanted to lose weight in order to keep up with his young family and stay healthier in the long run, while Boyer said the Best Loser contest gave him the push he needed to begin a major weight loss.
“I had known for a while that I needed to lose weight,” said Boyer. “There were some days I just wasn’t sure about my health, and it scared me.”
Both men dedicated hours each day to working out at the LifePlex and made a huge change in their eating habits. They were extremely calorie conscious, in the beginning limiting themselves to about 1500 calories a day and eating mostly fruits and vegetables. Toward the end of the contest, they switched to cutting out carbohydrates almost entirely and ate mostly protein. At one point, Boyer said he consumed under 1000 calories most days.
“I had an app on my iPad, and anything I ate went in the iPad,” explained Boyer. “I could see how many calories I had left.”
“I wasn’t writing down my calories, but I knew how much I was eating,” said Delp, adding that seeing big results helped he and Boyer continue their intense routine. “I’d rather go as crazy as we did for a short period of time than stretch it out over a year,” said Delp.
Their significant weight loss has helped both men change their lifestyle habits. Delp said he can easily run nine miles now, and he’s planning on entering events such as marathons and triathlons in the future.
“Keeping with the theme of competition will keep me motivated to maintain my (fitness level),” said Delp.
Boyer, a self-described early riser, spent his recent vacation getting up at dawn and going for runs on the beach. He also won another prize in the contest, for the most body fat percentage lost. Boyer said he wasn’t specifically trying to lose body fat.
“I was just doing pure cardio, I don’t know if I even knew what my body fat percentage was,” said Boyer.
Both Delp and Boyer said that their support system at school — including both colleagues and their students — played an important role in keeping them going throughout the contest.
“Everyone was supporting us,” said Boyer. “There were a lot of people counting on us, and we didn’t want to let them down. After a while, it wasn’t just two guys on a team. It was about 60 people on a team.”

See Wednesday's Pilot News for more photos and info on Best Loser participants.

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