In January, Liberty Lutheran announced an organization wide “Biggest Loser” challenge, to see which employee could lose the highest percentage of his or her weight. Twelve weeks later, Nick Weber, the winner of the challenge, is proud to say that he has lost 48 pounds… and counting!
“I feel really great,” Nick said. “I feel like I accomplished so much. I know I could have done it on my own but I didn’t have the motivation. This contest really motivated me.”
The contest was one of several wellness challenges that are offered by Liberty Wellness Works. Health and wellness are priorities at Liberty Lutheran, and Wellness Works encourages employees to maintain healthy lifestyles.
To compete in the challenge, employees formed teams of two. Nick and Suzette Edwards, who both work in Dining Services at Artman, formed the victorious team, “Mother and Son.”
Suzette and Nick began by cutting out soda, and watching their portion size. “I haven’t had soda since New Year’s Eve,” Suzette said. Suzette and other co-workers served as great motivators for Nick. “He would call me and say ‘what can I eat?’” Suzette said, “And all the other cooks were looking out for him too.”
Nick didn’t used to work out, but now goes to the gym at least four times a week. In addition, he walks two miles there and two miles back. “I feel so dedicated and proud that I did this. I put so much hard work into losing weight,” he said.
Nick also eats less junk food and more vegetables, salads and protein. “I never used to eat stuff like that, but now that I do, it’s amazing,” he said. “I was never motivated, and food was just too good, especially sweets, but I’ve stopped making excuses. It’s made a huge difference in my life.”
In addition to supporting Nick, Suzette made some healthy changes in her lifestyle as well. She has been a member of the Becoming Center at Artman for about nine years, but stopped going as frequently after a recent knee surgery. “The challenge motivated me to get back in there,” she said. “I even got up early on my days off to come in and work out. Now that took some motivation!” Like Nick, she is happy with the results of her hard work. “I really like the way my clothes are fitting,” she said.
Clothing was a big motivator for Nick also. “Two years ago I bought a shirt at Men’s Warehouse because it was on sale for only five dollars, but I was never able to fit into it,” he said. “Now, finally, I can wear that shirt!” The shirt served as a symbol for what Nick was trying to achieve.
Now, the challenge had ended, but Nick and Suzette’s journey is far from over. Nick is going on a cruise in a month, and hopes to lose even more weight before he leaves. “I’m going to stick to it with him,” Suzette said. “I’m going to continue to support him.”
Nick is committed to maintaining his active lifestyle. He recently walked three miles to a restaurant where his sister works, got a salad, and walked home. “I’m always on a mission now,” he said. “I feel so much more active and I can do so many more things.”
Nick received a Visa gift card for winning the challenge, which he plans to put towards an iPod. Listening to music while working out and walking will help him to continue to stay motivated.
Nick and Suzette weren’t the only employees to benefit from the Biggest Loser challenge. The employees who participated in the challenge lost a combined 772.4 pounds and each person lost an average of three percent of their body weight.