San Antonio.- Juan Ramirez taking his laps in the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown. He and 24 others are half-way home. Ramirez is one a handful of San Antonians looking at slimming down by eating health and exercising. (Photo, Melissa Vela-Williamson)
This time of year normally signals the time when New Year’s Resolutions start to go awry and motivation begins to wane. Not so for the 25 contestants competing in the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown, who returned to San Antonio last week to chart their progress halfway through the 12-week contest. Several contestants have experienced health improvements after this first six weeks, such as being taken off of blood pressure medicine, eliminating or reducing their need for insulin and lowering their glucose or cholesterol levels.
“The midpoint of the contest is always exciting because contestants get a chance to see how much progress they have made, to share stories and encouragement, and to ask trainers and dietitians for help with the challenges inherent in making a serious lifestyle change,” said Kate Rogers, vice president of Communication and Engagement. “We are proud of all the contestants and anticipate dramatic results at the finale on April 6.”
H-E-B selected 25 participants from around the state to compete in the second-annual Slim Down Showdown presented by Dole, with a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize, a $5,000 “fan favorite” prize and a $3,000 “health hero” prize. The contest began in January with an intensive, five and a half day wellness program in San Antonio.
Additional sponsors for the 2013 Slim Down Showdown include Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, Gold’s Gym, Avocados from Mexico, watermelon.org, Hilton Hill Country Hotel & Spa, Brita, Fleet Feet Sports and Uncle Sam.
The Showdown is designed to give contestants the education and tools they need to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to share what they learn with friends, family, coworkers and the wider community. All contestants are blogging about their journey at www.heb.com/slimdown.
H-E-B manages the contest, including overall nutrition and fitness education. Methodist Healthcare provides medical oversight and testing for the program and the Cooper Aerobics Center provides expert speakers for Fit Camp. The contestants also receive weekly coaching and support throughout the 12-week program.
Overall winners will be announced on April 6 at a ceremony at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in conjunction with the Healthy at H-E-B Family Expo.
The Showdown is part of "Healthy at H-E-B," a comprehensive, long-term commitment to improve the health of Texans and to provide them with fresh, healthy food that is affordable and easy to prepare.
H-E-B aims to inspire millions of Texans to adopt and stick to a healthy lifestyle through special offers on healthy food, fitness groups, events and competitions organized around the three critical pillars of health— food, body and life.