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Resolutions for Healthy Weight are not just for the New Year

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December 29, 2010

The New Year brings with it a desire to be more mindful of our health and get into shape.  Studies have shown that those wonderful treats enjoyed over the holidays usually mean added weight that creeps up and up on us year after year.  The Bariatric Institute at St. Petersburg General Hospital sponsored an employee Weight Loss Challenge from August to November 2010 in which staff lost 1207.1 pounds in 14 weeks!  Beginning January 3, the Institute will again aid employees with making lifestyle changes to live and eat more healthily by sponsoring a new wellness contest called Healthy Weight Challenge 2011.

The weight loss began on August 2 where 30 teams of five people joined together for a 14 week journey to lose weight and win prizes for their personal and their team’s weight loss.  Certified weight management dieticians lectured and gave out materials on healthy eating.  Rehab Services educated the teams on various types and frequency of exercise for losing weight and answered questions about aerobic versus strengthening exercises.              Each team chose their diet and exercise regimen and weighed in biweekly.   Winning teams received a trophy that was passed from one team to another depending on the total weight loss during each 2 weeks.  Participants could only miss one weigh in, more than that would disqualify the team.  Over 150 people signed up but slowly teams fell off until just over 100 people made it to the end. 

Competition was exhilaratingly fierce and everyone’s determination was increased with firm resolve to continue to lose weight and beat their opponents.  The two winning teams lost a total of 90.2 lbs and 11% of total body weight.  The two individual winners

lost over 35 lbs and 20% of total body weight.  The final celebration was November 23, 2010 at a much anticipated ceremony.

Many who did not compete saw how well their co-workers did and wanted to participate— a new Healthy Weight Challenge 2011 was born. New teams of four employees will vie for four awards, with bi-weekly weigh-ins over the course of 12 weeks, beginning January 3.  On April Fool’s Day, winners in two categories of individual (most weight lost and most percentage of weight lost) and team (most weight lost and most percentage of weight lost) will be named in a much anticipated Big Reveal.

Certified Bariatric Coordinator Julie Beckler states “Obesity and the complications thereof, is the second leading cause of death in the United States. It is easy for others to say just lose weight but it’s not that easy.  Most people find it achievable to lose weight by following a weight loss program, but most find it difficult to maintain that weight.” 

The Bariatric Institute at St. Petersburg General Hospital is a weight loss center that offers long-term weight management solutions for those suffering from obesity and obesity related health conditions through counseling, weight loss surgery and free monthly support groups. 

St. Petersburg General Hospital is a Joint Commission accredited 219-bed facility, providing comprehensive emergency, diagnostic, medical and surgical service and is accredited as a Breast Center with Digital Imaging and CAD, Chest Pain Centend Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center.


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