Bolingbrook – The only thing heavier on Jeff Dudson these days is perhaps his wallet.
After losing more than 50 pounds in just 15 weeks, the computing specialist recently won a year of free health insurance valued at more than $1,200 from his employer, Adventist Midwest Health. During the same time period, his wife Kim shed 30 pounds.
The Dudsons were on a team with five other employees who competed in a “Biggest Loser” competition at the Adventist Tallgrass office which houses departments such as human resources, finance and information technologies for the hospital system.
In total, more than 70 employees finished the competition losing more than 765 pounds. It was the second time Adventist hosted a weight loss competition based on the popular television show. Dudson, 38, credits his wife and co-workers for helping to keep him motivated.
“By that second day, you’re not as hungry and it gets easier,” he said. “It helps when you have a teammate. My wife and I coached each other and kept each other going.”
Employees got really into the competition. Those looking to exercise started to speed walk outside the office campus while others ate healthy lunches in groups, said Don Russell, regional vice president for human resources.
“This contest changed the way our employees think about their health,” Russell said. “So many people participated. We’re so proud of the Dudsons and everyone who improved their health and their lives.”
To lose weight, the Dudsons severely restricted their food intake for three days, but loosened up the rules the following four days of each week, eating between 1,500 and 1,800 calories for the four-day period. With a little online research beforehand, the Dudsons even went out to fast-food restaurants for lunch from time to time.
“Find a group, that’s the best way to keep motivated,” said Kim Dudson, 33. “We always tried to support each other.”
The couple has some tips for people looking to shed some pounds. First, do your homework. It’s important to know how many calories you burn and consume each day and keeping a food journal is the simplest way to keep track. There are also free Websites that will count those calories for you.
“Before the competition, I never considered myself a huge overeater, but once you start adding up the little snacks and drinks, it’s a lot,” said Kim, a billing and collection supervisor.
Drinking lots of water is essential to any good diet. The Dudsons used Crystal Light to flavor their water without adding empty calories.
This could be just the beginning for the couple who live in Minooka and have three children ages 12, 10 and three years old. Both are continuing their weight loss journey. Kim wants to lose another 70 pounds.
“We’re doing some more walking and recently joined a gym,” she said. “We’re not done yet.”
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Media contact: Sheila Galloro, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org; 630-856-2359.