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"Biggest Loser 8™" Fan Favorite to Visit Fort Wayne to Discuss His Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle

Hoosier firefighter Allen Smith to meet and greet guests at free seminar

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Sept. 14, 2010) — An Indiana firefighter who captured the imagination of countless viewers of the hit NBC television show "The Biggest Loser" will share his inspiring story Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, at the University of Saint Francis. Allen Smith of Columbus, Ind., is the keynote speaker at the "Taking Healthy Steps" seminar presented by Lutheran Hospital. The free event is open to the public and will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the USF North Campus building, 2702 Spring St., across from Mirror Lake. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

Smith became a fan favorite during "The Biggest Loser 8" because of his positive outlook on life and his determination to lose weight so he could continue to meet the needs of his family, his fellow firefighters and the community he serves. Smith continues to use what he learned during his successful stay at "The Biggest Loser" ranch to help others take that all-important first step to better health.

"Traveling around the country and sharing my struggles and triumphs with others has been a great way for me to pay it forward," said Smith. "I believe what I'm doing is giving someone that gift of hope that I was given to adopt a healthier lifestyle."

In addition to Smith's presentation, the event will also feature dancing and cooking demonstrations, a Wii challenge and free health screenings, including blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and body mass index. It is not necessary to fast for these screenings.

Other featured speakers at the event are Leonard Mastbaum, MD, medical director of the Lutheran Weight Management Center, and Sonja Lingo, LMHC, a behaviorist from the Lutheran Weight Management Center. Their specific presentations are titled "Ten Myths and Truths about Dieting" and "Steps to Setting and Achieving Weight Loss Goals," respectively.

Each speaker will stay to chat with attendees after their scheduled talks. All activities at the event aim to help the general public better understand how to sustain healthy behaviors and maintain weight loss. Smith recommends including others in the process.

"I find that having an accountability partner is key to a great start because it gives you someone to share struggles and celebrate victories with," he said. "I tell people 'Do not let a gym membership stop you from starting your journey — walking is free and a great way to burn calories anywhere'."

Media partners for "Taking Healthy Steps" are WAJI Majic 95.1 FM and Indiana's NewsCenter.


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