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“Loser” Finalist Appearing In State; Fort Smith Stop Saturday

LITTLE ROCK — Joe Ostaszewski, a finalist on “The Biggest Loser,” says the show saved his life. Now he’s teaming up with the National 4-H Council for a cross-country bike ride to save kids from the dangers of childhood obesity.

Ostaszewski and his Wear Your Soul project will be making a stop at Little Rock as part of his “Ride it Forward” fitness campaign. He’ll join Pulaski County 4-H members in a Yoga For Kids event at the Dee Brown Library on Aug. 21 from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. The library is located at 6352 Baseline Road.

The former Florida State lineman tipped the scales at nearly 370 pounds. He told the “Ocala (Florida) Star Banner” newspaper in 2013, that he and his twin brother Henry, who weighed about 360 pounds, decided to try for The Biggest Loser while in a hospital waiting room wondering if their father would survive a triple bypass. The two brothers began getting back and shape and applied for the show. Joseph got the casting call. In the end, the effort was worth it. He lost 147 pounds in six months.

His brother, who lost 120 pounds, joined him in starting the Wear Your Soul Foundation (http://wearyoursoul.org/ ) to keep obesity from taking hold of America’s children.

“Joe has been such an inspiration to so many Americans who are trying hard to get and stay fit,” said Erica Williams, Pulaski County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We especially value his message of healthy living for youth at a time when obesity among our children is epidemic.”

The Wear Your Soul Project and National 4-H Council are inviting the public to match Joe’s 3,000 miles across America with a commitment to bike, run or walk your own miles and commit to healthier living.

Williams said her 4-H members are looking forward to showing their commitment to fitness by demonstrating Yoga for Kids – the first such 4-H program in the country.

On Aug. 22, Becky Comet, a winner on “The Biggest Loser,” will be leading a wellness the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale. (see http://www.uaex.edu/media-resources/news/july2014/07-25-2014-Ark-Wellnes...)

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

All meetings and activities announced in this news release are open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office as soon as possible prior to the activity.

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