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Liberty congratulates the Biggest Losers

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POSTED: April 6, 2009 12:07 p.m.
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Jamie Sharp from the tax assessor's office shows off the trophies he received for winning bowling and boxing matches on a Nintendo Wii. County employees exercised with the game console during lunch breaks and after work as part of their "Biggest Loser" weight-loss challenge.

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Using the old-fashioined approach — exercise and eating right — more than 50 Liberty County employees battled the scale as part of a two-month weight-loss challenge patterned after “The Biggest Loser” reality TV show.  
The competition pitted seven teams against each other, each hoping to lose more weight than the next.
The top 10 “biggest losers” received hand towels as prizes.
Slimming down proved to be hard work for county administrator Joey Brown and Lt. Danny Pittman, who feigned exhaustion and wiped nonexistent sweat from their brows as they stood to receive their towels.
“Everybody here today is a winner, no question about it,” said assistant county administrator Bob Sprinkel during Friday’s award luncheon.
He announced the group collectively lost 275 pounds.
“It’s like making someone like me disappear,” Sprinkel said. “It’s a whole person going away.”
The participants fought flab with virtual gaming sessions on a Nintendo Wii game console.
Tennis, bowling and boxing matches got employees up and moving during their lunch hours and after work.
“We talk about games and how sedentary they can be, but they do have some benefit if used properly,” Sprinkel said.
Employees also got together for walks and organized workout trips to the YMCA.
Liberty County Health and Wellness Program sponsored the two-month program with a $2,500 grant it received last year.
Laura Troutman, Health and Wellness Program coordinator, said she wanted to create a workplace atmosphere that encourages physical and emotional health. 
“It affects employee productivity in a positive way,” Troutman said. “The health and well-being of our employees give us a good work force [and] hopefully, reduces healthcare costs because you have healthier employees.”
Quarterly events, such as smoking cessation classes and presentations from healthcare professionals, equipped county employees with the information needed to make lifestyle changes.  
“Nothing like promoting [wellness] in competition,” said Kim McGlothlin, county financial officer. “That’s a huge motivator.”
When Sprinkel announced the ‘Good and Plenty’ team won the competition, he asked what the name meant.
“No explanation needed,” chimed team leader Kim McGlothlin.
McGlothlin was the second-biggest overall “loser.”
Michelle Burriss in the records management department lost the most weight. Scott Wall in the tax acesssor’s department won the tennis championship on the Wii.
The luncheon included a drawing to see who would get to keep the game console.
Jamie Sharp in the tax commissioner’s office took home the Wii and won the bowling and boxing contests.
With pep in their lighter steps, the competitors said they’re ready to step it up a notch.
The county received confirmation another round of funding is on the way and Sprinkel said he wants to make the competition bigger and better for the coming year.
He thanked the commissioners for helping to create and maintain a fun workplace.
“Doing something like this brought us closer together as a county,” said Sprinkel, who hopes it will become an annual event. “I think what it also did was foster a lifestyle change.”
The YMCA and the Hinesville Day Spa also donated complementary services as prizes.
Lynn Cannon of Occasions catered the lunch.
 

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