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What a bunch of losers we are! AAC

F A M I L Y & F R I E N D S

— that AAC’s Member Benefits Manager was on the show three years ago. Mix all that together, and we have a recipe for a “Biggest Loser” competition for county government employees and elected officials. In putting this competition together I wanted to put into practice some of the things I learned through my own “Biggest Loser” experience about weight loss and weight related health problems. I thought it important to incorporate important health measures along with weight loss. Consequently, I chose to include waist circumference and blood pressure. Furthermore, I wanted this to be a long-term program so people would have an opportunity to create healthy habits and incorporate them into their lifestyle. From there, the 2014 Biggest Loser competition was born — a six-month competition in which the winning team would have to lose weight, lose inches and improve their blood pressure. It was no easy task. However, in true form, the county employees and officials faced the challenge head on and with gusto. We started with just over 200 people and, although not everyone crossed the finish line with us, we saw amazing results. Collectively, the group: • Lost approximately 2,000 pounds. Yes, we lost a ton of weight! • Lost 677 inches in waist circumference. That is a little over 56 feet. • 71 percent of finishers lowered their blood pressure. I could not be more proud of the hard work and perseverance exhibited by all these folks. Way to go! Here are the final team standings:


1st Place: “Reducing Government Waist,” Saline County 2nd Place: “Love Handle Losers,” Monroe County 3rd Place: “Calorie Counting Carb Cutting Clerks,” Crawford County 4th Place: “Tin2Win,” Pope County 5th Place: “Sugar Town Muffin Tops,” Arkansas County

Although this was always a team competition, I feel obligated

to share the names of some individuals who worked hard and had terrific results. Here are the Top 15 individuals:

1. Joye Hickman, Monroe County 2. Holly Gwatney, Saline County 3. Jim Ed Gibson, Pope County 4. Stephanie Stanton, Jefferson County 5. Carrie Kilgore, Crawford County 6. Marie Giles, Saline County 7. Jennifer Heidelberg, White County 8. Carol Cloud Jacobs, Arkansas County 9. Nette Curtis, Saline County 10. Kristen Edwards, Crawford County 11. Renee Neal, Monroe County 12. Sharon Blount Baker, Crawford County 13. Kristy Lewis, Little River County 14. Pam Neel, Crawford County 15. Tina Roscoe, Jefferson County

Congratulations to all on a job well done. You have made healthy lifestyle changes that will affect you and those around you forever. On a side note, during the course of the six-month “Biggest Loser” competition we started a “Step Competition” to promote


Saline County’s “Reducing Government Waist”: Holly Gwatney, Vickey Jor- dan, Marie Giles, Nette Curtis, Tammy Shores, Kathy Carlise and Sandy Rial.


ealth and wellness are hot topics. Reality TV shows like “The Biggest Loser” contributed to a raised awareness of the health conditions caused by being overweight. Then there is the “elephant in the room”

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Savings times 2

and encourage increased physical activity. The AAC received a grant from the Arkansas Blue & You Foundation to purchase pedometers for all team members. Using their pedometers, the teams kept track of the number of steps they took in a month. The team with the highest average steps per person won and kept the traveling Step Champion trophy until the next month’s winner was announced. Franklin County came in first place in both May and June, with Monroe and Jefferson Counties coming in second and third,

respectively. In

July, Monroe County was able to take the trophy from Franklin County, which came in second, with Jefferson County holding on to third place.

Wallet & waistline

Becky Comet AAC Member Benefits Manager

So many people asked to continue the Step Competition that we started it up again in October. However, this time it is open to anyone who wants to take part, not just “Biggest Loser” participants. We will keep the competition going as long as people want to compete. So, if you missed out this month, jump in next month. Walking is a great stress reliever as well as a terrific workout. A great big thank you to all who participated in this program, whether you finished with us or not. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and step on the scales that first time. I am so proud of all who even dared to take that first step. Another giant thank you to all those who weighed, measured, kept track of numbers and sent them to me every other week. That was a huge undertaking along with all the other things you have to do. We could not have started without you. You played a key role in this competition and in the lives of those on your team. Thank you so very much.

Well that’s a wrap on the 2014 AAC Biggest Loser competition. I hope that you all will take what you have learned in your journey and pay it forward . . . for the health of it.

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