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Team Lean awards more than $35,000

There were more than 100 thinner, smiling faces in Bainbridge this week as winners of the third Team Lean competition took home cash awards for losing weight.

Team Lean, a community weight loss competition sponsored by Memorial Hospital and Manor and the Bainbridge/Decatur County YMCA, ended with almost 8,316.9 pounds lost in 12 weeks.

The competition began with 750 participants and ended with 450. There were 106 teams beginning the competition on Jan. 8, 2009, and 85 teams competing until the end. In the individual competition, there were 231 participants at the beginning and 127 finishing the 12-week competition. Most of the remaining competitors were successful in losing weight through healthy diets and exercise.

Winners of the competition were announced Tuesday during an awards ceremony at Willis Park.

Buddy Earnest of GaNoles was the Top Team Leaner, winning $1,500 for losing 26.87 percent of his total weight (52 pounds). Cash prizes were also given the top five male and female biggest losers, and to the top 20 percent of all teams and individuals, which included 17 teams and 25 individuals. Winning teams and individuals were determined by the highest percentage of weight lost from the first weigh-in on Jan. 8 to the last weigh-in on April 2.

The Top Five Male competitors, not including Earnest, were Teki Perkins, Kial Hathcoat, Moose Moore, Billy Walker and Cody Phillips.

The Top Five Female winners were Susan Prouse, Tina Richardson, Andi Weathersby, Karly Boyd and Sunshine McCullough.

The team losing the highest percentage of weight was We Ain’t Tellin, which consisted of team members Moose Moore, Karly Boyd, Cody Phillips, Laurian Phillips and Kate Willis. They were closely followed by No More Excuses, Tailgaitin Tubbies, GaNoles and Health Nuts, respectively.

Weathersby was the top loser in the individual category, followed by Mary Smart, Robyn Whitfield, Jim Perkins and George Whitfield.

Laboratory reports were given out at the awards ceremony for those Team Leaners who participated in the free wellness profile offered by Memorial Hospital and Manor.

Jodi Scott, laboratory manager at Memorial Hospital and Manor, said there were 143 people who participated in the screening at both the beginning and ending of the competition. When comparing those results, 76 percent of the participants lowered their cholesterol by an average decrease of 16 points. Of the 143 participants 52 percent lowered their triglyceride level by an average of 17 points. Results are affected by the individual’s fasting state when the samples were drawn, the type of diet followed, and heredity.

As past Team Lean participants have discovered, keeping weight off is just as difficult as losing it. The YMCA will resume weighing Team Lean participants each Thursday until the six-month weigh-in at Memorial Hospital and Manor on Oct. 1 as an extra incentive for those who need motivation to continue losing weight. The weekly weigh-ins are optional and there will be no fees charged. Any Team Lean participant may also weigh-in on Oct. 1. Cash awards will be given to the top 15 Team Leaners who have lost the highest percentage of weight from Jan. 8 to Oct. 1.

For information about Team Lean and a complete listing of results for all teams, please visit the Memorial Hospital and Manor Web site at www.mh-m.org.