Trim the Fat: Branson group wins big with 931-pound loss

Maria Hoover, SBJ Features EditorMaria’s weight update: -2.2 pounds; total: -10.4 pounds

For those who are trying to lose weight, watching others progress on the same journey can have one of two effects: jealousy or motivation. Because I think jealousy is an unhealthy emotion, I try always to look for the motivation and the lessons that can come from others’ successes on the journey to better health.

When I learned that a group of 44 people in Branson lost a combined 931 pounds during Hometown Radio’s Lighten Up for Life Challenge Two, which ended this month, I was intrigued.

For nearly six months, the participants were divided into two teams, working out with trainers at Skaggs Regional Medical Center, using comprehensive weight loss and fitness plans designed to help them lose weight and live healthier lifestyles.

Based on results, two people were eliminated from each team until it was down to a final four: Bradshaw Smith, Jim Rayle, Katy Lathrup and Tim Corbell, whose final weigh-ins were during the Hometown Radio Health and Family Fair, presented by Skaggs. Smith, who started the competition at 370 pounds and lost 90 pounds, was declared the winner. He walked away with a free one-year membership to Skaggs Health and Fitness Center, and a free seven-day cruise from Ozark Country Vacations and Cruises.

In the end, what worked for Smith was finding a method that worked for him.
“Weight has always been a huge problem for me; diet after diet didn’t work,” Smith says in a news release. “Finally, the personal trainers at Skaggs Health and Fitness gave me the education and tools to help me live a healthier life.

Beyond the smaller number on the scale, Smith also reports that his blood pressure has dropped from a 190/90 to 125/70. As someone who struggles with high blood pressure, I know very well how important it is to lower those numbers.

Others in the final four dropped anywhere from 59 to 75 pounds, and I found that we have many things in common, from our reasons for wanting to lose weight – Rayle is motivated to better health by his 5-year-old daughter – to the fact Lathrup also found it intimidating to be surrounded by physically fit people at a workout facility.

I salute Hometown Radio and Skaggs for getting behind this effort to help these folks get healthier. I find, too, that my resolve is strengthened: If these people can make a plan and get results, I have to believe that I can, too – and it’ll take however long it takes. The important thing is to keep reaching toward my goal until I achieve it.

Weekly update
My overall loss is actually based on my last weigh-in on Feb. 7. The good news is that I took off that 2.2 pounds I had gained. The bad news is, Feb. 8–14 was a rough week, and to be completely honest, I wasn’t sorry that Valentine’s Day got busy to the point that I never stopped in to clock my weight. This week, I’m going to renew my focus and do my best to ensure that there’s a negative sign when I hit the scales on the 21st. I’ve decided that I’d like to hit the 25-pound mark by late April. Setting reasonable goals is important, but I also find it challenging. Anyone got ideas on how to divide the “big goal” into smaller, manageable stepping stones? Share your thoughts in the “responses” section below.

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