Hundreds of pounds disappear in Tupelo weight-loss challenge

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Shouts of joy and good-natured groans sounded Tuesday at City Hall as hundreds of weight-loss participants stepped on the scale.
It marked the last day of a two-month weight-loss challenge called Trim Down, Tone Up Tupelo in which more than 150 teams participated. The program, sponsored by the city, pit the teams against one another to see which dropped the most weight.
Although officials haven’t yet released the winner or the total combined weight loss, initial results appeared positive.
“We had one team that lost 130 pounds,” said Hank Boerner, co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Health while manning the cattle scale. “Most of them are losing 50-60 pounds.”
About half the teams had weighed in by 4 p.m. The winning team will be announced at the City Council meeting of March 23. Members will earn a dinner at the home of Mayor Jack Reed Jr. and his wife, Lisa.
Members of the Rolling Strollers mounted the scale shortly after 7 a.m. The four women joined the challenge in hopes of finding health and fitness. They walked together, cut back food portions and attended health and nutrition classes.
End result: A combined weight loss of 44 pounds.
“We’ve all been doing good,” said team member Martha Webb. “We’ve learned how to eat better and how to cook better.”
Although all the women came in lighter than in January, Donna Davis was the biggest loser with a 21-pound reduction. She said she’s halfway to her goal and will continue to exercise and eat right.
Comments like those made Liz Dawson smile. Dawson, who is North Mississippi Medical Center’s director of community health, said the whole point of the challenge was to inspire a healthier lifestyle.
“That’s exactly what we were hoping for,” Dawson said. “That’s what we want.”
But Webb had other plans. She stepped off the scale, slid on her shoes and announced to her friends: “Now we’re going to celebrate by going to Connie’s and getting a big fat biscuit.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.