First Place Winners: The Expandables
The Expandables could aptly be renamed the Shrinkables after their extraordinary team effort that combined some healthy competition along with camaraderie that helped this group of five industrial workers reach their weight loss goals. Comprised of guys with different weight objectives and ten years of working together, including a few team members who had supported their pregnant wives by piling on the pounds themselves, they came across the Healthy Wage challenge through an online ad that got them thinking that the money could make a difference in getting the weight off. Some guys like team member Eric Noble were faced with medical tests that proved they had to change their lifestyles sooner than later. With a team name lifted from the movie by the same name where a bunch of guys work together to complete a formidable challenge, the guys pushed each other along. The team’s strategy included a scale in the workplace kitchen, fist bumps when goals were being reached, snappy banter about who should be eating what, regular updates about who was beating who at pounds lost each week and ongoing walks together on lunch breaks. The result has been an incredible feeling of rejuvenation and radical lifestyle changes, going from donuts to healthy food choices and a sedentary lifestyle to three-mile walks with a weight vest. Team member Eric Noble used to just coach his baseball team from the sidelines; now, he out there playing along at practices. The team is now inspiring their colleagues with more groups now joining the Healthy Wage challenge, including a group starting in just a few weeks.
Second Place: LLL – “Liberty Lake Losers”
Whether it is sports or weight loss, team success is often about gathering the right team players. Mike Clinton was determined to win by creating the ideal team of seriously committed weight loss members – so much so that when he went to find these winners, he provided a very specific set of criteria on his community Facebook page. Across 600 members, he found those people who were willing to lose 17% of their body weight in twelve weeks and win the money in the process. While all were serious about the Healthy Wage challenge, many admitted that past efforts on their own had been stop-starts and yo-yo weight. This was going to be different. To increase the chances of creating the winning team – named after the community group of the same name — Mike and his team mates made a pact that if any member did not reach 15% weight loss, that losing member would pay the entry fee for all the other members who had reached that goal. This was a serious team but don’t confuse the seriousness for an ‘every man for himself’ approach. The team was collaborative on every level, using a fitness app to track their calories and share this information so that others could learn what delivered the optimum calorie count for the day while also planning bike rides together, sharing recipes, and providing verbal and written encouragement to keep a steady pace toward the finish line. Success began to show in just a few weeks, which egged the guys on to meet their weight loss goals so that they could overcome family histories of obesity-related diseases and enjoy their families for many years to come. The team members are ever committed to keep the momentum going with Mike participating in the Healthy Wage 10% Challenge while other members have set new diet and exercise goals going forward. What they achieved in the end was serious weight loss and lifestyle change success!
There’s a compelling reason this team decided to name themselves Doctors Orders. It’s because a few of them were under doctor’s orders to lose weight or face medication and obesity-related diseases not to mention a reduced quality of life. It was a serious proposition but one that was still challenging to face given the fact that two of the team members were faced with questionable food choices all day long as owners of a bakery. One team member had done her homework and knew that they had a fighting chance at losing weight and winning money with Healthy Wage if they could put together a team of committed members ready to put the effort in to drop the pounds. The team definitely was committed and wanted to make sure they didn’t let each other down, but the first few weeks were tough. After all, so much of weight loss is winning the mental game to cut out bad food choices and focus on a regimented exercise plan. While some members had to modify their previous exercise routines due to health issues, all the team members created a sweet recipe for weight loss success. For them, it meant a strict diet that removed all sweets, sugar, and carbs despite being tempted every day to cheat a little. After a few weeks, they could already feel the difference, which pushed them on. They sent each other inspirational emails as well as provided recommendations and updates to keep the motivation high. It was all or nothing and they chose all as they lost 175 pounds as a team – or, as team member Elizabeth stated, the weight of an average adult male. Lightening the load has meant renewed energy levels, a return to heavy lifting of bakery deliveries, and a positive outlook on life to keep going on their individual weight loss goals. Delicious success!