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‘Biggest Losers’ a good thing at Methodist Hospital South

biglosers-600Undaunted by uncertainty, Linda Smith – Methodist South Hospital community development manager – took on the task of putting a positive spin on the term biggest loser. Her resolve is paying off.

As part of Methodist Healthcare's myHealthy Life wellness program, Methodist South Hospital recently held a "Biggest Losers" competition. Smith designed the program, which also includes fitness speaker sessions, walks with administrators and exercise classes.

"We weren't sure what kind of participation we would have when we started," said Smith. "But we had 54 to sign-up and most have kept a great deal of interest and motivation in the program."

During fitness speaker sessions, Methodist dietitians, wellness experts, clinical coordinators and EAP Associates presented such topics as "Nutrition Myths and Facts," "My personal weight-loss journey," "Exercise? Do I have to?" and "Behavioral changes for successful weight loss." In one session, Methodist South chef Seth Feibelman prepared a breakfast wrap with creamy guacamole sauce while putting on a healthy cooking demonstration.

Associates were also encouraged to add a fitness component – like boot camp, cardio Boom!, line dancing, pilates, yoga, Zumba and Jazzercise fitness classes – to help their weight loss strategy. All the components are offered at South, Wellworx or other Methodist hospitals.

The "biggest losers" competition winnings are determined by a "pot," which includes participation sign-up money and dollars collected during weekly weigh-ins. Participants were charged $1 each time their weight increased. The first-place winner receives 70 percent of the pot and the second-place winner receives 30 percent.

Richard Schnatterly and Vera Lewis came up the "biggest losers" at the conclusion of the competition.

The next challenge ends in August.

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