Could Phil be in the running this year?

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Phil Knowler is no stranger to exercise.

The 48-year-old has successfully completed the London Marathon twice and taken part in his fair share of half-marathons in between.

But despite his willingness to work up a sweat, Phil struggles with his weight – and that’s why he’s applied to take part in this year’s Portsmouth’s Biggest Loser contest.

The challenge will give eight News readers the chance to tackle their bad eating habits and unhealthy ways once and for all. With the help of the team from 24/7 Fitness they’ll be put through a punishing eight-week regime in a bid to transform their lives.

And for burger van owner Phil, from Hilsea, it would be the perfect opportunity to get the support he needs.

‘I need all the help I can get,’ he explains.

‘It would give me the motivation and that’s what I need. The exercise bit isn’t the problem. I love exercising and working out in the gym and always feel great afterwards but I’m just not sure I’m doing the right things.’

Phil weighs in at 18 stone 10 and longs to lose at least two stone. But temptation often comes in the form of a bacon and egg roll from the burger van he operates in Waterlooville.

The challenge will start in January and readers have until Tuesday, November 27, to apply.

Our chosen eight will exercise every weekday and take part in a fitness challenge on Sundays. They’ll also get a strict diet plan to follow.

In return they’ll be expected to give the challenge their all by working hard and following the advice on offer.

At the end of the eight-week programme, the person who has lost the most will be crowned winner and receive some great prizes, including a year’s free membership to 24/7 Fitness.

Here’s how to enter: Men should weigh no more than 25 stone, women no more than 20 stone. You must be over the age of 18 and available to dedicate eight weeks at the start of 2013 to the programme.

In no more than 250 words, explain why you want the chance to take part. Include an up-to-date photograph, your current weight and how much you want to lose. You can e-mail or write to Sarah Foster at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX. Please include your age, address and a daytime phone number.