Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teams prep for annual ‘Scale Back’ challenge

Individual prizes may be the latest addition to Scale Back Alabama, but organizer Karen Herring knows it is the teamwork that makes the biggest impact on the annual weight-loss event.

“Usually, we have a lot of teachers on teams together and they do very, very well because they hold each other accountable,” she said.

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The 2014 contest begins with a weigh-in the week of Jan. 18 – 24. The majority of counties will be hosting weigh-ins for teams who want to participate.

“We’re serving as a public weigh-in site this year and will be offering the following times for teams to come by and sign up for the contest and do their initial weigh in Tuesday, Jan. 21 and Wednesday, Jan. 22 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” Herring said. “We know the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and are excited to be a part of this free, statewide effort to get Alabamians healthier.”

Scale Back Alabama is free to participants. The Alabama Hospital Association and the Alabama Department of Public Health sponsor the challenge, with underwriting by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

“It is the best free workout – other than My Fitness Pal, (an application) on your phone. And if you put the two together, there’s no way you won’t lose 10 pounds,” Herring said.

The 10-week event challenges adults to lose 10 pounds (one pound a week). Teams of four weigh in and are entered into a drawing if they meet that goal.

“You gotta have a team of four,” Herring said. “But you don’t have to work together. You just have to have four people weigh in and weigh out for your team.”

For every team on which each individual loses at least 10 pounds (one pound a week), the team names are entered in a drawing with the top prize being $1,000 per team member. There are also prizes for the second and third teams drawn.

In addition to the team prizes, Herring said individuals have chances to win some money. Fifty people who have lost at least 10 pounds by the weigh-out date, but are on a team that did not reach its goal, will go home with $100. “There were 27,000 Alabamians who participated in last year’s contest and lost almost 130,000 pounds,” added Herring.

She has seen individuals lose 50 pounds during the period. Herring said she hoped the challenge would continue to inspire big results.