A Steinbach resident was told Monday that she had won a worldwide weight loss competition.

By going to the gym everyday, Nissen lost 30 pounds in 8 weeks (photo credit: Desiree Marie Photography).“My TransPHORMation” is an eight-week long event involving over 54 thousand people worldwide. Rebecca Nissen says she got the news she had won the $50,000 first-place prize while shopping with her daughter in Sobeys.

“We were out grocery shopping when I saw that [my trainer] had facetimed me five times,” she recalls, “when I finally answered it he told me I came in first place.”

Nissen says she had not even remotely considered the possibility of winning and thought her trainer was playing a joke.

“That’s not cool, I said, do not call me and tell me that!”

When he persisted Nissen says she was absolutely shocked: “Instantly, I started to shake and cry and the people in Sobeys probably thought I was a little bit crazy. It was totally mind-blowing.”

Nissen says the competition takes place four times per year and the prize always goes to the individual whose body visibly loses the most weight. In this particular iteration of the contest, losing 30 pounds was Nissen’s winning ticket. To achieve that loss she said she visited the gym once or twice per day and radically changed her eating patterns.

Having participated in the contest, Nissen won a lot more than just cold cash. She says the fitness required to get her there increased her self confidence, enhanced her appearance, and taught her better daily habits.

“I don’t want to look in the mirror and see the person that I was before,” she comments, “everything is different.”

Because the win caught her totally off guard Nissen does not yet know what she will do with the prize money. However, she says her next order of business will be visiting the event organizers in St. Louis for a special photo shoot.

Meanwhile, as we head into the new year, Nissen encourages her fellow Steinbach residents to strive for their own bodies’ potential. “Get ready, crush your goals, and stop making excuses!”