It is a battle to be the fittest and at L'Auberge Casino and Resort, 100 overweight employees accepted the 12-week challenge to shape up. In the end, 40 people stuck through to the final weigh in.
39-year-old Peggie Dando took home the top honor as the "Biggest Loser" and shared her story with 7News.
Peggie admits that her post-work schedule after working swing shifts as L'Auberge's My Choice supervisor caught up to her. "You get off, you go home, sit on the couch, have a glass of wine and it just adds up over time," she said.
Peggie's "ah ha" health check came in January when she was changing out her picture on a wall. "I was looking at the pictures and I was like, 'that isn't even me,'" she said.
That night started Peggie's healthy lifestyle journey, that coupled in wonderfully with this spring's "L'Auberge Loses Pounds" contest. CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital/L'Auberge Heath Educator, Kristie Evans explained, "It's a 12-week weight loss challenge and the participants actually have to meet a weight criteria. We look at their BMI, which is their height and weight and it usually has to be over the healthy range."
Peggie and more than 100 of her co-workers also looking to shape up took on the challenge. "I didn't think of it as a diet," said Peggie, "it was a lifestyle change."
Peggie nixed the sodas, fried foods and starches - and started eating portion-controlled, lean and green meals while walking between 15 and 20 miles a week.
The result was a 57 pound weight loss and a first place "loser" prize! "I think I had a Miss America moment," she said, "because Kristie told me that I was in the top 3, so I saw the third person's picture go on the screen and I waited for the second picture to come up and the second person's picture went up and it wasn't me, and I went 'ahhhh!'"
Evans says Peggie is one of the 40 program success stories: 500 pounds lost and new lifestyles gained. "Now we have five percent of our population in a BMI of healthy range," said Evans, "we lowered our blood pressure by 20 percent, so we had a lot of positive outcomes come out of this program."
If you are looking for the inspiration to take control of your health, Peggie says look no further than the mirror. "It's worth it," she said, "you're worth it!"
As part of the first place prize, Peggie won $1,500, but she is getting it in three different three month pay-outs. She has to weigh in every three months and be within five pounds of her current weight to get the money.