First Place Winners: The Righteous Brothers
The Righteous Brothers were formed when Coy Bowman and Sterling Birch reviewed the HealthyWage website after seeing the program in a magazine article. They then asked fellow seminary educators, Chris Beynon, Mark Mason and Dwight Durrant to join, completing the winning team of five.
Behavior change related to diet and exercise were key to their success as Chris explains, “I first eliminated fast food from my diet. I am (was) a big fast food eater. So eliminating burgers, fries and soda allowed me to lose 10 lbs really fast without much additional effort. After about a month I started counting calories and limited myself to 1500 calories a day. I then had to implement exercise, which was tricky, because I have a knee that needs replaced. I settled on the elliptical machine and lifting weights with light weights and high reps. The last 2 or 3 weeks I limited my calories to 1200.”
Constant communication among team members is an incredibly important characteristic of successful teams and The Righteous Brothers are no exception as Mark describes, “We emailed each other often, just talking about how things were going and encouraging each other. One of the members of our team is on my faculty so he and I would talk each week about it.”
In fact, the team-based approach helped motivate team members as Dwight tells us, “Being on a team was a huge motivator. I did not want to let them down. I did not want to be the only one who didn’t reach the max weight loss. I also saw their progress and it kept me on track. It was nice to root each other on.”
After losing over 200 pounds as a team, all of the team members plan to continue their weight loss success beyond the competition with a focus on diet and exercise. Sterling is especially committed with a very specific plan in mind, “I am going to make another 12 week push to take off 30-35 more pounds. I will simply continue to do what I have been doing. After I reach my goal I will continue to exercise and implement lifestyle changes to keep the weight off.”
Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment!
Second Place Winners: Full House
After hearing about HealthyWage through her work, Penny Vaughn recruited her husband Michael who then asked co-workers and friends Bill and Gretchen Norton. Bill’s sister Liz Turnbull then joined, rounding out the team of five that went on to lose over 200 pounds and second place finish in the Matchup!
All team members were committed to losing weight from the beginning and none more enthusiastic than Penny as she explains her regiment with a little help from above, “Prayer, without God’s help, I could not have made it through this three months. I cut out bread, sugar, caffeine, watched portion sizes and ate every two hours. Also I ate more fish. I was loosely following a low carbohydrate/low fat diet with fruit. Also I was drinking half of my body weight in water daily. We also started to go to a gym halfway through. “
Eating “diet” foods like so many of us try to do isn’t the only way to shed pounds. In fact, Liz was committed to only eating “real” foods that were healthy and it worked for her as she shares, “I cut out sugar and ate “real” food only. I really limited my carbs and only ate healthy carbs. I ate tons of lean meats, fruits and veggies. I drank only water and Kombucha and I worked out more.”
You also don’t have to live near each other to motivate and work effectively as a team as Liz continues, “The other 4 team members live 3 hours away so they emailed me and asked me how I was doing. My best friend and I talked several times a week and she filled me in on how everyone was doing. For Thanksgiving, my brother and best friend came here and it was nice to be together and we actually all lost weight the week of Thanksgiving. That week we walked tons too!”
The financial incentives up for grabs in the competition were definitely a strong motivator for the team as Michael explains, “The cash was the ultimate motivator. All of us had plans for the money and we were determined not to let the others down. Not losing the maximum amount of weight was not an option.”
All five team members plan to continue on their weight loss journey now that the competition has ended. Gretchen plans to continue exercising and eating smarter. Michael is committed to on continuing his diet modifications. Liz is going to utilize friends for continued accountability of her commitments. Bill plans to continue focusing on portion sizes and walking everyday.
And finally Penny is thinking beyond herself to keep healthy, “I plan on continuing to eat similar to what I have been on the diet. I realize the relationship with food can effect how I feel every day physically. I want to feel good and be there for my children. “
Congratulations team Full House!
Third Place Winners: Carb0nots
Daniel Brummett is responsible for the name of the team, Carb0nots, but was the last member to join as he shares the team formation process, “The team chose me as their fifth member in the weight loss challenge. My wife and three other members of the team are employees at Mercy Gilbert hospital and needed a person they felt was up to the challenge. I gladly took on the challenge and was given the particular honor of creating the team name.”
Sandra was held accountable at work and at home which worked well as she explains, “Being married to one member and working with the other three kept me honest at home and at work. We supported and gave each other motivation when it became difficult, particularly during the holidays. Unlike doing it by myself, I felt an obligation to the rest of the team and didn’t want to let them down.”
As a team, Carb0nots lost over a 175 pounds! The team all committed to dropping pounds by cutting out soda and their overall sugar intake. Tamara joined a gym and a bikram yoga studio while emptying her pantry of all bad foods. Sandra describes the team process in more detail, “We maintained a very low carb, high protein diet with the majority of our meals being vegetables. We also increased our activity level. We hiked, mountain biked and rollerbladed as often as possible.”
All team members plan to continue their commitment on not just changing their diets but changing their lifestyles and leading healthier lives.