Weigh-ins set next week

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2011

“As a former dancer, now working at a desk job and progressing in age, I knew I had to do something to get healthier,” said Diana F. Green, M.F.A., Arts in Education Program Manager with the Alabama State Council, who spoke at Thursday’s kickoff event for the 2011 Scale Back Alabama.

“I had let my health get completely out of control and was on medication for blood pressure and cholesterol. After participating in Scale Back Alabama, I was able to lose weight, exercise more and get off these medications.”

Scale Back Alabama is a statewide weight-loss contest designed to help Alabama fight its challenge with obesity and to encourage participants to develop lifelong healthy habits. Green was just one of 30,000 people who participated in last year’s contest and who, like others, credits the contest with providing the accountability and healthy advice needed to learn to eat better and exercise.

The program, targeted to adults 18 and older, primarily focuses on the workplace and utilizes businesses, schools and other local organizations as weigh-in sites and local coordinators for the program.

Louis Thornton, wellness director at AUM, described how his campus participated in the event, both students and faculty. “The AUM family really enjoys participating in the Scale Back Alabama program. The potential cash rewards and prizes provide plenty of motivation, but in the process of trying to qualify for the rewards, the participants become intrinsically motivated and their improved lifestyle changes continue. The program is a big success at AUM.”

Individuals interested in participating in the free contest simply go to a public weigh-in site with their team of four people, or a private one if their company is participating, to weigh in and register. Those who complete the contest and are on a team in which every member loses at least 10 pounds, are placed in a drawing for one of three grand prizes, the top prize being $1,000 per team member. There are also other prize drawings for individuals who lose at least 10 pounds, regardless of their team’s success, and still other prize drawings for people who have lost any weight and show up to weigh out.

This year, Andalusia Regional Hospital will serve as the local weigh-in site for the 10-week weight loss competition. Weigh-in dates are Mon., Jan. 24, and Tues., Jan. 25, from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the hospital’s first floor classroom.