BY DANA HUGHEY
LONGVIEW — Sometimes a little competition can be just what a person needs to lose weight and keep it off. A Mayo Clinic study finds a well-designed weight-loss incentive program where cash is on the line produces more weight loss and long-term success.
This happened for a Gladewater man. Stephen Courtright took his bosses' challenge at Joy Global in Longview to join a weight loss team, and he's glad he did.
Stephen Courtright's love for tennis is a lot like his love for food.
"I like to eat. Pretty much it was something I have been taught in the past, you have got to finish your plate," Courtright said.
For much of his life, Courtright struggled with his weight. He'd lost weight before, more than 70 pounds, only to gain it back.
"One of the things I told them is once I do this I am all in," he said.
The HealthyWage weight loss challenge taught Courtright something valuable.
"In this case, it was a life-changing effort. It was changing my eating habits," he said.
"I cut everything in half. Instead of realizing I just paid for food and had to eat it all. What I would do is I would sit down and take half of that and immediately have the lady give me a to-go or if I was at home I would cut it in half."
Courtright also tripled his activity level working out morning, noon and night.
"I realized if I was going to make a life-changing effort it was going to have to be convenient. Something I would normally do," he said.
He also logs everything on this "Lose It App."
"I would see I just ate that and I would be like what am I going to do to get that off," Courtright said.
He ended up losing 50 pounds during the healthy wage competition.
"I like being in 32 pants rather than 38 pants. I like that," he said.
He earned some money in the team challenge, but the benefits don't end there.
"It immediately gave me a lot more energy, which I think is why I did so well because I immediately felt better," Courtright said.
The competition ended in the summer and he still feels great. He's now in "maintenance mode", which he admits is hard, but he's sticking to his portion-control plan.
Overall, Courtright and his teammates at Joy Global took third in the HealthyWage challenge.