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N&N: Region 7 Weight Loss Competition

3-biggest-loser2Monarch staff in Wilson and Nash counties are looking for the biggest loser.

The two behavioral health offices are locked in an intense competition to see who will lose the most weight by March 28.

The battle began after Alicia Graham, clinical operations director, proposed the idea to her office following the holidays. She said everyone was looking for a way to lose weight, and a competition seemed like a good way to motivate people to do so. Plus, she noted, “I’m pretty competitive.”

At first, she said the staff was skeptical and not sure what to expect. But once they picked their teams, registered online and began the first weigh in, people started to formulate a strategy and get into the spirit.

There are currently two teams, Nash and Wilson, and every Monday they weigh in. At the beginning of the competition each person paid in $10 so that the team that loses the most weight earns a cash prize. The office that loses the highest percentage of weight also wins a dinner out.

The teams also create challenges for each other. This week Team Wilson accepted a challenge from Team Rocky Mount.  The team that exercises the most minutes for the week wins the challenge and the team members will receive a  $5.00 gift card to Subway.

Even though there are prizes at the end, the real goal of the Biggest Loser Competition is to get healthy, Graham said. “It is a way to give people motivation to change, but also provide guidance.”

Staff members have increased their exercise, some have started using Wii Fit, others are getting together at lunch time to eat out together and make healthier choices. There have also been discussions about cooking more at home instead of eating out and making poor choices ordering unhealthy food. One of the most positive changes, Graham said, is that the candy bowls at the offices have been replaced by fruit bowls.

“People want each other to do well. Everyone is supportive, willing to give tips and pep talks and there is more office camaraderie. People are sitting down at meals and getting to know each other and encouraging each other to make healthy options,” Graham said.

The last weigh in for the competition is March 28, where the teams will learn who the biggest loser is, and who will win the cash prize. Until then, staff are continuing to forgo french fries for fruit, and getting more competitive as the weeks go on.

“Maybe next we can get everyone at Monarch on board,” Graham said.

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