Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Weight Loss Trio Wins Contest With Atkins Diet

These three women lost a total of 100 pounds in half a year on Atkins

Although it has been named one of America's 125 best small towns, I bet you've probably never even heard of Kosciusko, Mississippi. But now you've got a reason to know about three of the nearly 7,500 residents who live there because they are livin' la vida low-carb thanks to a "Biggest Loser"-styled weight loss contest they won using the Atkins diet as their preferred way of eating. Yes, can you believe that this is happening in the year 2006?!

This Star-Herald story describes how three employees at the Kosciusko Medical Clinic named Linda Rea, Darlene Waddell, and Sandy Stahl (that's the order of how they are pictured in that photo at the top of this blog post from left to right) were the big winners at losing weight in a battle between 20 members of the staff at the clinic. They began the weight loss contest on January 4, 2006 and it concluded on July 4, 2006 -- a full six-month endeavor to lose as much weight as possible.

What were they playing for? Well, every other week the 20 contestants would ante up $2 cash to be placed in the prize kitty which would be divided up among the winners using a 50-30-20 split among the first, second, and third place winners respectively.

Just as I experienced with the weight loss contest I was a part of, some of the contestants didn't last for the duration of the contest and, I mean...DROPPED out of it before the six months was over. Even still, some of these people who dropped out still kept on contributing to the "pot" despite the fact they were out of the running. That was a nice gesture on their part to support the people who were still trying.

When the contestants were weighed at the end of the six-month contest, the official winners were announced:

1st Place - Waddell with 41 pounds lost, or 1.7 pounds a week
2nd Place - Rea with 31 pounds lost, or 1.3 pounds a week
3rd Place - Stahl with 30 pounds lost, just below 1.3 pounds a week

CONGRATULATIONS to each of these beautiful ladies! As a fellow "loser," I am so happy to hear when others are able to shed the pounds like I did. Unless you've been fat and experienced the thrill that weight loss brings, you can't really describe it to other people. You just have to go through it yourself to know what it feels like! :D

Rea was the one who thought up this idea for a weight loss contest and laid the groundrules about how the weight loss would be allowed to happen very early on: NO diet pills, NO ear stapling, or any other fad diets would be permitted. If you wanted to participate and lose weight, then it would have to be done naturally through a healthy diet.

“We felt that being in a health care facility, it was important that we go about our dieting in a healthy manner,” said Rea.

Good for you, Ms. Rea. In this day and age of quick-fix weight loss gimmicks, you are to be commended for sticking with what works. So what did the winners use to lose their weight? Would you believe the Atkins diet?!?! And they didn't think THAT way of eating was a "fad" diet! There may be hope for dealing with this obesity epidemic yet! WOO HOO!

“I mostly followed the Atkins diet, which stresses low carbs,” said Waddell.

HA! How about them apples?! Waddel, Rea, and Stahl all said they often read the labels on the foods they bought to make sure they were able to keep their carb intake near the 20g carbs daily that the Induction phase of the Atkins diet calls for.

As for exercise, they committed themselves, just like I have since I started livin' la vida low-carb, to exercise during their lunch break at work for at least 30 minutes every single day. Stahl even said she snuck in some extra cardio at the crack of dawn before going to work.

“I started out walking a mile and increased it to 2 1/2 miles,” Stahl said.

Now THERE'S commitment! What an inspiration these three must have been to the people watching their tranformations. I REALLY wish I could have been there during their weight loss cheering them on. It doesn't look like they needed much motivation and prodding to lose weight, though, considering their amazing success.

So what did they eat? Lots of green leafy vegetables, delicious meats and other non-starchy vegetables while completely avoiding the rat poison (that's my euphemism for sugar)-infested desserts except on very rare occasions.

“We always have food here at the clinic, and we really had to exercise willpower to stay away from the sweets,” said Stahl.

It's tough to resist at first, but it gets a WHOLE lot easier over time. Now I don't even have an inkling of temptation when something sugary is brought to work. I'll just take a whiff of it and say, "That's nice. Ya'll enjoy!" LOL! People think I have this great willpower now, but when you have convinced yourself it's rat poison, you just naturally stay away from it no matter what it smells or potentially tastes like. It's working for me so far and I expect it to keep on working.

Another great thing these three did for each other was they kept each other accountable. That is definitely a key aspect in any weight loss success which is why I dedicated an entire chapter to that topic in my book about my weight loss. In fact, Stahl said her thoughtful husband was romantic enough to buy her an exercise bike for Valentine's day. Aww, wasn't that a sweet hubby wubby?! Good boy!

The compliments about their weight loss from friends and family members have made it all worth the hard work and dedication to them, too. I know I used the postive comments from people to keep me going when I was losing weight. Of course, it took me losing 100 pounds before ANYONE noticed! Eeek! But the floodgates opened after that with people STILL telling me how great I look. Now people who haven't seen me in a while say that since I've lost weight I, er, uh to which I respond with a speedy THANKS! :D

At the end of the contest, there was $454 in the kitty that had built up, so they ladies split that money according to the 50-30-20 breakdown. But the doctors at the clinic were so amazed by the progress made by the ladies with their weight loss that they have issued another challenge for them to pursue: maintain their weight within 5 pounds of their goal weight by Christmas and they will match the $454 to be divided among the top three. Now THAT'S an incentive to keep the weight off, although it's too bad they can't keep the weight loss going if they so desire.

Nevertheless, the challenge is on for them to maintain the weight loss they have been able to achieve thanks to livin' la vida low-carb.

What a testimony about how the low-carb lifestyle is STILL changing people's lives in 2006! If this was just a "fad" diet, then why are so many people still doing so well on this remarkable and healthy lifestyle change? Hmmmmm? We heard about this Oregon woman winning a weight loss contest on Atkins last month and now these ladies from Mississippi. Watch out, everyone, we might just be seeing a resurgence and rebirth of low-carb happening right before our eyes!

And the media and health "experts" are having a cow about it! Don't ya just love it! :)

I wish I had a way to contact these three women in Kosciusko, Mississippi to thank them for being such incredible ambassadors for this nutritional approach we know as low-carb living. On behalf of low-carbers worldwide, I salute you Linda Rea, Darlene Waddell, and Sandy Stahl for proving the naysayers who oppose livin' la vida low-carb wrong yet again.

You know, I never get tired of showing these nitwits just how stupid and ignorant they sound for discouraging people away from what could quite possibly be the answer they've been looking for to solve their lifelong weight problem. All of us who have had our lives changed by the low-carb lifestyle just need to keep being shining positive examples of how this simple, yet effective way of eating can transform you from flabby fat to sensationally skinny! Keep on livin' la vida low-carb for all the world to see!

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