TWO Ipswich pastors will offer words of encouragement and wisdom to help members of their congregation lose weight over the next two months.
Springfield Christian Family pastors Stephen Grosser and Phil Cutcliffe will inspire 20 churchgoers and community members to shed weight as part of the Losing for Life Challenge.
The pastors will push their teams to work out, eat well and lose a combined weight of more than 100kg.
"This is my first year leading the challenge, and I'm aiming to lose about 16kg myself," Pr Grosser said. "I think losing 2kg a week would be achievable."
"It's not all about weight loss though. It's about getting into healthy habits, feeling good and supporting the community."
Pr Cutcliffe said he was happy to take a back seat in terms of organising the event.
"Last year was extremely busy so it will be an experience for Stephen this year," he laughed.
"In the last Losing for Life challenge, Steve Hodgson from Ray White lost about 40 kilos, so you do get some amazing results.
"I went to the gym before the challenge, but it definitely got me going there more and improving my eating habits."
Pr Grosser said he would start attending one of the four participating gyms this week.
"I haven't really built up to the competition. I'll just start working out and gradually increase.
"I can't see myself going twice a day though, which one of the competitors built up to last year."
Pr Cutcliffe said that the healthy lifestyle challenge did have a connection to faith.
"Most people think of churches as being interested in spirit, but we're interested in promoting a healthy body, soul and spirit.
"It's also a good opportunity to get involved in the community."
The competition officially opened on Saturday and will run until June 2.
Losing for Life participants will compete for three awards - the Great Percentage Weight Loss award, the Greatest Kilograms Lost, and the Highest Fundraising Participant.
Each participant will raise money for Westside Community Care and their own nominated charity.