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Ganus ‘scales back’ with statewide initiative

Participating in the Alabama’s weight-loss initiative has helped Andalusia resident Ed Ganus “scale back.”

Ganus said he and his wife, Aubrene, took part in their first Scale Back challenge in January 2009.

“In the first year, I lost 31 pounds in 10 weeks,” he said. “That was a little over three pounds a week with the 31 pounds – that was a little too fast. So, this go-around, I set my goal a little lower, and I lost 13 pounds.”

Ganus said he decided to participate in statewide program because he really desired to lose some weight.

“I feel that I had success, if you measure that I have actually lost some weight when we weren’t in the program,” Ganus said.

One thing that helped him was attending the nutrition classes taught by John Newsome at Andalusia Regional Hospital.

“I was particularly interested in nutrition,” Ganus said. “It really helped me. It suggested how to eat correctly and how to accomplish weight loss and how to still keep your strength.”

Ganus said another vital change, was something he learned in the fourth grade.

“Drink at least six to eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day,” he said. “We learned that is good for you in a lot of ways. It helps keep your system flowing and cleanses your whole system. It’s very good for you.”

Ganus said before he began the Scale Back program, he was eating on 18-ounce jar of peanut butter every 10 days to two weeks, but quickly learned how much fat and sugar is in peanut butter.

Another thing Ganus said is vitally important is exercise.

“Exercise is important,” he said. “We’ve been walking more since we got into Scale Back Alabama. It’s very good for your body to exercise.”

His exercising includes taking his dog along for the walk.

“Sometimes I run with her,” he said.

Ganus said he used to work in construction and got plenty of exercise, but said being a pastor makes exercising harder.

“You have to make time to exercise when you are visiting people or the hospital and studying,” he said.

Ganus said he will probably participate in Scale Back again.

“I would encourage my friends to do it,” he said. “I am going to continue to follow the things I’ve done, but I’m not going to lose the weight as fast.”

Ganus’s wife, Aubrene said she is proud of him.

Countywide, weigh-in totals are in for the Scale Back 2010.

Valarie McCalman of ARH said there were a total of 44 teams – or 176 people – losing a combined 465 pounds.

In Opp, 37 teams began the program; however, only 52 people weighed out, said Joni Ross, Mizell Memorial Hospital’s Wellness Center director.

“But of those 52, there was a total of 459 pounds that were lost,” Ross said. “That’s an average of 8.8 pounds per person.”

Ross said the highest weight loss achieved by one person was 24 pounds.

In 2009, ARH had 43 teams – or 172 individuals – lost 1,118 pounds.