Past, current Biggest Loser contestants to appear

While frigid weather forecasts for Saturday, Jan. 26, forced Franklin Tomorrow to postpone its Get Fit Franklinquarterly event from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2, that will allow a past and a current Biggest Loser contestant to be part of the event at the Westhaven Residents Club, 401 Cheltenham Ave.

Get Fit Franklin, presented with founding partner BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, is a distance walking project designed to encourage residents to take the first steps to a healthier, more active community by stepping out their front door.

The Feb. 2 event will focus on a cold-weather workout, followed by one-mile and 5K walks through the neighborhood. Westhaven has an extensive sidewalk network and routes for one-mile walks, as well as 5Ks, are readily available to residents and nearby citizens as exercise routes.


Vanderbilt Health is the sponsor of all quarterly events for Get Fit Franklin, as well as providing in-kind support and content for the program’s Web site,

Run Franklin’s Andy Johnson has arranged for past Biggest Loser contestant Hannah Curlee — who lost more than 120 pounds during season 11 — and current contestant Gina McDonald of Hoover, Ala., to be part of the Feb. 2 event. The duo will share their stories that morning and answer questions at Run Franklin’s booth.

The Feb. 2 event will begin at 10 a.m. with packet pickup for those individuals not yet registered for the program or for those who were unable to attend the Nov. 17, 2012, kickoff event at Pinkerton Park.

Links appear on the Website for new registrations and RSVPs by those already registered.

Trainers from Westhaven and area fitness facilities will lead adults in cold-weather workouts and stretches while the Franklin YMCA will coordinate the children’s workout area. Those attending the event will be eligible for door prizes from vendors, including 10-visit passes to the Williamson County Parks & Recreation facilities and from the newly opened Team Tae Bo Fitness facility on Murfreesboro Road in Franklin.

Light refreshments will also be served.

Get Fit Franklin provides residents with pre-measured and marked walking routes in an effort to increase the level of physical activity among the city’s residents. All routes use existing sidewalk networks where available.

You can register at as an individual, family, corporate team, neighborhood or walking group or in the most popular category to date — families. The online registration tool for the program allows you to choose which category you register in and register multiple individuals.

The event will be held 10 a.m.-noon, and will include health screenings, information from the Franklin Police and Fire Departments on road safety and basic first aid.

Initial routes have focused on three areas of the city, in the areas of Fieldstone Farms/Williamson County Rec Center, Downtown Franklin, and McKay’s Mill/East Franklin/Carothers Parkway.

Additional sponsors of the event include the City of Franklin • Middle Tennessee Electric Customer Cares Inc. • BancorpSouth • Turner Construction • The Tennessean • Vanderbilt Health • Southern Land Co.

Supporting the project are the Franklin Special School District • Williamson County Parks & Recreation Dept. • Franklin Mayor Ken Moore • The TMA Group • Williamson County Health Department • PMC Mobile Solutions • Franklin Synergy Bank • • Downtown Franklin Association • YOUR Williamson.

Bios for Special Guests on Feb. 2

Gina McDonald, Season 14 contestant, Biggest Loser

As a lawyer and law firm owner, 47-year-old Gina McDonald is very accomplished in her professional life and was recently voted one of her city’s top bankruptcy lawyers. Getting control of her lifelong struggle with weight has proved to be a greater challenge. The Memphis, Tenn., native grew up in Vicksburg, Miss., the middle child of three children and got a business degree from Northeast Louisiana University and a law degree from Birmingham School of Law in Alabama. She got to a healthy weight when she started practicing law, but she began getting heavier after a divorce in 2002 left her a single mother of two young children. Poor eating habits, lack of exercise and the stress of divorce and dealing with emotional and financial issues of clients going through tough financial times were all contributing factors. Now 245 pounds, with weight-related health issues that have included sleep apnea, high cholesterol, diabetes and hypothyroidism, Gina wants to finally become fit and healthy. She looks forward to running a marathon, playing golf with her husband, having the energy to work longer days and just enjoying life. “My whole life, I have dreamed of being fit and healthy,” she says. “Now I have the courage, desire, dedication and opportunity to finally make my dream come true.”

Hannah Curlee, Season 11 contestant, Biggest Loser

Hannah Curlee, 33, lost more than 120 pounds during her season on Biggest Loser, going from an all-time high of 299 pounds when she turned 30, to a starting weight when she appeared on Biggest Loser of 248 pounds. She described on The Huffington Post earlier this month how a severe back injury ended her dreams of playing volleyball and basketball and once depression set in, her weight ballooned. “When I turned 30, I hit 299 pounds, my highest ever. I remember thinking to myself, “How did I get this way?” I was always out of breath, exhausted and withdrawing socially. I had become a totally different person. I wasn’t able to fit in a booth comfortably, had to ask for a seat belt extender on airplanes and my daily life became so incredibly difficult. My life revolved around food and trying unhealthy ways to lose weight.” Along with her sister Olivia, she writes a successful lifestyle blog,, and has worked for HCA as director of Health Engagement for the Health 2 U program in Nashville. She tours the country speaking about the importance of nutrition and wellness and maintains her weight loss through cardio workouts and early morning boot camp regiments.