By Chris Kieffer | NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Mississippi legislators have shed nearly 6,000 pounds of body weight in the two-plus years that former Mississippi State football star Paul Lacoste has conducted a fitness and nutrition program for them.
Their efforts have also benefited K-12 students throughout the state.
On Monday, Rep. Steve Holland (D-Plantersville) presented Tupelo High School with a $500 check that he received for being the legislature’s weekly winner in Lacoste’s 12-week program. In that program, the participating lawmakers meet for an hour each morning at 5 and undergo an intense full body workout, Lacoste said.
The one with the largest percentage of weight loss for the week receives the money from the Victory Sports Foundation to present to a local school. Before making Monday’s check presentation, Lacoste and Holland, who shed 12 pounds during the program’s first week this year, each spoke to a health class at the school.
“People need to be made aware that good health and preventive measures are the only ways to sustain our health care system,” said Holland, the former chair of the House’ Public Health committee. Holland told the students about how he had lost 140 pounds over the last three years.
Tupelo High School Principal Jason Harris said the school will use the money to add more fitness equipment to its gymnasium.
“We want to have a ripple effect throughout the state,” Lacoste said.