Team Lean renews on Jan. 8

Published 7:26 am Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here we go again. After weeks of holiday indulgences and over-eating, it’s time to begin working toward that New Year’s resolution to lose weight.

Resolutions are based on resolve, or willpower, to meet your goal. Without willpower to eat right and exercise more, most weight loss attempts will fail.

The most successful weight loss programs are those that offer group support and encouragement. It’s much easier to maintain your willpower when you diet and exercise with friends and family than it is going it alone.

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For anyone serious about losing weight, Team Lean 2009 offers motivation and support to make healthy choices, not just for the 12-week competition, but for life.

Hundreds of people in Bainbridge have lost weight and kept it off after participating in Team Lean 2007 and/or 2008, mainly due to team support and weekly weigh-ins that help participants maintain focus and willpower.

The first weigh-in for Team Lean 2009 in Bainbridge will be held from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, at the Bainbridge Mall for any teams or individuals interested in losing weight.

Team Lean, a 12-week weight loss competition sponsored by Memorial Hospital and Manor and the Bainbridge/Decatur County YMCA, proved to be positive motivator for almost 1,000 people to lose weight during the first community-wide competition in 2007. The team effort, mixed with the accountability of weekly weigh-ins and the chance to win some cash, made the competition amazingly successful with a total of 16,154 pounds lost in 12 weeks.

More than 1,000 people began the competition in the first community-wide Team Lean competition in 2007, and 906 stayed with it for the entire 12-weeks, resulting in a 90 percent success rate.

Twelve people lost more than 20 percent of their body weight and 302 people lost between 10 percent and 20 percent of their weight. The top individual loser, James Watts, lost 111 pounds, or 31 percent of his total body weight. At the six-month weigh-in, a different “Biggest Loser” lost 31.2 percent of his total weight, as well.

The second community-wide Team Lean competition in 2008 was just as successful with 763 people losing 13,115.80 pounds in 12 weeks.

James Roberts won $1,500 as the overall Biggest Loser with a total weight loss of 31.4 percent. Delores Gray was the Biggest Loser at the six-month weigh-in, losing 39 percent of her total body weight.

Team Lean is a fairly simple, but successful competition.

Teams are comprised of five individuals from businesses, churches, civic organizations, schools, families and other groups.

Each team chooses its own unique name. Each week, all participants weigh-in at designated locations and pay $5 each week. For each pound gained, participants pay $1.

At the end of 12 weeks, all funds collected are distributed to the top 20 percent of teams with the highest percentages of weight loss. Individuals may compete in this competition, as well. Cash prizes will also be given to the top male and female biggest losers. Participants may pay on a weekly basis, or they may choose to pay the entire $60 in the beginning, or $30 at the first and sixth weight-in.

There are no special diets or exercise programs associated with Team Lean, but healthy eating and exercise are encouraged. Team effort helps motivate participants to stay focused on losing weight through exercise and diet. The team spirit and camaraderie make dieting and exercise more enjoyable, and the cash prizes are an extra incentive for participants to meet their weight loss goals.

Even individual competitors will benefit from the structure of weekly weigh-ins and support. Educational programs on diet and exercise will also be held throughout the competition, including “Lunch and Learn” programs with guest speakers.

As an extra bonus, the YMCA will waive the initial membership fee of $100 for each Team Lean participant who joins the YMCA from Jan. 8 to 15.

The YMCA is also organizing a walking group to meet at the YMCA track on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Team Lean participants do not have to be YMCA members to join the walking group. Also, Memorial Hospital and Manor will offer free blood screenings to measure cholesterol, glucose, etc., at the beginning and ending of the competition from 6 a.m. to noon. Fasting is recommended at least eight hours prior to blood work.

Teams of five people should be organized by the first weigh-in. Anyone who is not participating with a team may compete as an individual. Team Lean coordinators will not place people on teams.

Registration forms are available on the Memorial Hospital and Manor Web site,, by clicking on the Team Lean logo. A complete list of rules is also there.

Forms are also available at the front lobby desk of the hospital and at the YMCA. Registration forms may be turned in at the YMCA or the Memorial Hospital Gift Shop by Jan. 5.

Sponsors are needed to help offset the cost of weekly advertising. Tax deductible donations of $100 or more may be sent to Jan Godwin, Memorial Hospital and Manor, 1500 E. Shotwell St., Bainbridge, GA 39819. For more information about becoming a Team Lean sponsor, please call (229) 243-6187.

For additional information about Team Lean, please contact Leslie Stone at 243-6144, Cathy Willis at 243-6161, or Liv Warren at 243-0508.