Want to lose weight, gain confidence and be healthier?

If so, then the third annual Biggest Winner contest could help change your life.

Blue Mountain Health System's fitness center, Healthworks Health and Wellness Center, located in the Carbon Plaza Mall, Lehighton, is hosting the annual event as a way to promote choosing healthy food and becoming more physically active. The contest runs from Jan. 2, 2010 through April 2, 2010. A $20 entrance fee is requested.

Tim Kocher, certified fitness professional and manager at Healthworks, explained that the program, which is based on the hit TV show, "The Biggest Loser," is designed to help people meet their weight loss goals and learn how to make healthy choices.

"If you need support, there are trainers available for consultations, as well as to help design the perfect workouts to meet your needs," he said. "Sometimes people need a little push. We're here to help.

"You don't have to make drastic changes. You just need small lifestyle changes. That's the first step to success."

Kocher also explained that anyone can join the contest.

"You don't need to be a member of the gym to join," he said, adding that the only stipulation is that each contestant must complete their initial weigh-in and final weigh-out at Healthworks.

Once a person signs up for the contest, all they have to do is lose weight. There is no set routine of what a contestant must follow, such as diets or exercise programs. That is completely up to them.

At the end of the contest, male and female winners of each division are announced. The divisions include greatest weight lost and greatest percentage of body weight lost.

Kocher stresses that all contestants must weigh out on or before April 2 to be eligible to win each division.

For the second annual competition, the two "biggest winners" took two very different weight loss paths. Kim Cann of Mahoning Valley, who lost 44.5 pounds during the competition, chose to utilize the gym's equipment, trainers and classes; while Jim Clifford of New Ringgold, who lost 64 pounds, decided losing weight at home was what worked for him. Cann and Clifford captured both divisions in each gender class.

Kocher said that there was a very good turnout for the second annual contest and hopes to see even more people working to become healthier this year.

"Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life," Kocher said. "Make the right decision today to start toward a better lifestyle tomorrow."

For the new year, Healthworks is also offering a discounted rate for anyone wanting to join the gym. The offer, which is a three month special, expires on Jan. 31, 2010.

For more information on the contest or current membership rates, call Healthworks at (570) 386-8080.