Not long ago, I read that the average dieter gives up after about five weeks with most diets derailed due to loss of motivation and willpower. That said, it’s easy to see why a midpoint meet up and weigh-in is so important to the contestants in this year’s H-E-B Slim Down Showdown, a “Biggest Loser” style competition for 30 contestants selected from H-E-B employee and customer applicants.
Saturday marked the halfway point of the contest and afforded the contestants the opportunity to reconnect, share their experiences and compare their progress. The morning began with yoga followed by weigh-ins, health screening and blood tests.
Clayton Miller, a health and wellness project manager with H-E-B, reported that the biggest weight loss so far was about 40 pounds and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) has dropped up to 50 points for some contestants. Miller said he is extremely encouraged by the results – and he would know. In 2012, Miller himself won the competition by losing a total of 68 pounds during the 14-week program. He went on to lose more than 100 pounds and has continued the new healthy habits he learned throughout the competition.
The day’s events were just beginning when I caught up with the contestants after the weigh-in. The group had just jogged from the Westin La Cantera resort over to the Golf Academy. Trainers from Gold’s Gym led the contestants in an intense Crossfit-style workout.
I started to feel really guilty about missing the last two weeks of Pilates classes as I watched the contestants enthusiastically hit a tire with a sledgehammer and perform endless squats.
Ashley Kuzar, the San Antonio contestant I visited with earlier in the competition, was clearly among the most dedicated. Ashley saw me and came over for a quick chat, but she kept on with the squats the whole time we spoke.
“I am sorry I am bouncing up and down while we are talking,” she said, “I don’t want to miss out on any of the exercises.” Kuzar shared with me the results of her weigh-in: she’s down 17 pounds and under a 40 body mass index (BMI) – a huge accomplishment and there is still seven weeks left of the contest’s health and fitness programming.
The final weigh-in and awards ceremony will be held at the Healthy at H-E-B Family Expo on April 12 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. I’ll check in with Ashley and some of the rest of the San Antonio contestants again at the end of the competition.
But for now, I’ll focus on meeting my own health goals that have gone to the wayside since I made those resolutions back in January.
Pilates twice this week.
*Featured/top image: H-E-B Slim Down Showdown Contestant Ashley Kuzar and her workout buddy take turns with the bungee stretch exercise. Photo by Megan O’Kain Lotay..