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Time to Scale Back

If losing weight is atop your New Year’s resolution list, take note — preparations are now under way for “Scale Back Alabama,” the statewide weight-loss initiative sponsored by Alabama’s hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health, Barber’s Dairies and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. This is the fourth year for the program.

Locally, Andalusia Regional Hospital and Opp’s Mizell Memorial Hospital will once again serve as weigh-in sites for the 10-week program.

ARH’s Valerie McCallum said the hospital is “excited to once again offer this successful program to our community. It provides those looking to lose weight with a little extra support in the spirit of competition.”

The way the program works is participants will compete in teams of four, and for every team that completes the 10-week contest with each team member losing at least 10 pounds — “which is an average of only one pound per week,” McCallum said — that team will be included in a drawing for one of three grand prizes. The first team drawn will win $250 each, second team drawn will win $500 per team member, and the third team drawn will win $1,000 per team member.

“You can win money in this contest, which is great, but the feeling you get known you’ve done something good for yourself is the greatest,” she said.

Everyone statewide who loses at least 10 pounds will be included in a drawing for one of 50 achievement prizes of $100 per person, regardless of his or her team’s achievement. These drawings will take place on April 28.

Last year in Andalusia, 172 participants lost a total of 1,118 pounds.

“And although that’s outstanding, we are looking to exceed this amount in 2010,” she said.

Andalusia’s weigh-ins will be held in ARH first-floor classroom on Mon., Jan. 25, and Wed., Jan. 27, from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

In Opp, Mizell’s Patty Ferman said weigh-ins will be held in the Wellness Center and she will offer a luncheon each Monday of the 10-week session to “jumpstart” each week.

“Sometimes we all need a little extra encouragement, and that’s exactly what these luncheons are,” she said. “I’ll be offering easy and nutritious menus that fit in with exactly what Scale Back is all about.”

Ferman said no specific weigh-in or weigh-out dates have been set for Opp yet.

The program will conclude April 10 with weigh-outs scheduled through April 16.

In Andalusia, a weigh-out will be held April 12 and 14 from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

For more information about the program or to register a team, contact ARH at 334-222-8466 or Mizell at 334-493-3541.