Nov 14, 2013

How do I sign up to be a FIT contestant?

When does the next FIT challenge start? How can I sign up? Scott from Sandsuky

Firelands in Training, or FIT, editor Brandi Barhite provided the following answer:

Thanks for inquiring about the FIT Challenge. Since its inception in 2009, FIT Challengers have lost more than 1,000 pounds collectively.

The challenge is every six months from January through June and then again from July through December.

The current group of FIT Challengers will finish Dec. 31. Therefore, we will accept applications for FIT Challenge 2014 from Dec. 1 through Dec. 20.

To apply, you will need to write a 300-word essay about why we should pick you for the FIT Challenge and then email it to FIT Editor Brandi Barhite at brandibarhite@sanduskyregister.

Within the essay, please list your home address and place of employment. Contestants have been from Sandusky, Margaretta Township, Port Clinton, Huron, Bellevue and Norwalk in the past. Anyone can apply. However, we also need a photo. Without a photo, your application will not be considered.

Oftentimes potential contestants want to hand write their essays. We only accept email entries because those accepted to the FIT Challenge are required to use email to write a weekly blog.

Every contestant receives a free personal trainer and gym membership. In exchange, we follow your progress for six months. We usually pick three to five contestants.

FIT Challenge news is published in the Sandusky Register and Norwalk Reflector every Tuesday. We also have a website at You can also find us on Facebook by searching on the word “FIT” and Twitter @afityou.

Only apply for the FIT Challenge if you are willing to have the public view the ups and downs of your journey toward a new and healthier you. Most contestants find that the readers keep them accountable.

Hope to read your essay soon.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on Each weekday at noon, we will post one question from a reader and answer it. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or email Please include your first name and a location in the email, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."