The Orange County AgriLife Extension Office is hosting their

second annual “Hope For Health” Expo on Saturday, Nov. 5. The event will start

at the Carl Godwin Auditorium, located at 202 Western Ave in West Orange, with

registration beginning at 8 a.m.

Helen Phillips, Season 7 winner on the Biggest Loser, will

come back again this year to give an update on her weight loss journey and to

promote her new cookbook. Admission to Phillip’s presentation is free and will

begin at 9 a.m.

“She’s going to talk about her cook book, how she’s kept the

weight off and how her family eats,” Paula Tacker, County Extension Agent over

Family and Consumer Sciences said.

This year marks the first year for the Healthy Lifestyle

Weight Loss Challenge. Participants in this challenge were asked to email a

before and after picture with a one page story of their personal transformation.

“We wanted to do our own little ‘Biggest Loser’ contest,”

Tacker said. “People have been sending in their story and their before and

after picture. The winner will receive a year’s membership at Fit Life (in West

Orange), a six month membership at Body Workz and a plaque.”

Each of the contestants in the weight loss challenge has

faced an uphill battle but they didn’t let that dampen their spirits.

Amanda Adams, one of the

participants in the weight loss challenge, wrote in her personal transformation

letter: “In November of 2010, I was fortunate

to be chosen for a new job. Things seemed to be turning around for me, but my

health was still quite poor. I grew up as an overweight child, fought for

self-esteem as an overweight teen and finally caved to my tumultuous

relationship with food and became a morbidly obese adult with a pre-diabetic

diagnosis and on high blood pressure medication by age 30. I always had a zest

for life, but my struggle became the inner me versus my body. “


dedication to the kind of journey is not easy, but it can be done. Adams has

lost over 75 pounds and isn’t slowing down just yet.


accountable for what I eat. I workout 7 days a week, rain or shine. On October

19, I completed 12 weeks of a high intensity training program (p90x), and I’ve

spent months working on my weight and overall fitness to participate in this 5k

today,” Adams said. “It is my first 5k, but I can guarantee that it will not be

my last. Every day is a new step forward. I’m making my future better. I’m

doing it for myself which will in turn benefit the people in my life that love

and care for me. I’m filled to the brim with the most grateful feeling for

having lost a total of 75 lbs. It is possible, and I’m living proof!”

The 5K walk/run will begin at 10:30 a.m. Those interested in

registering can do so at

or they can register Saturday morning at the event. Holiday in the Park will

begin at 10 a.m. Those attending the 5K walk/run are encouraged to attend the festival

and check out the local vendors.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers