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LOSING 81 pounds over 24 weeks was not an easy feat, but Alicia Hines from team ‘Weight Mus Go’ was determined to live up to the team’s name. She walked away with the title of top female and $55,000 at the 10th anniversary Work-It-Out-Challenge virtual awards ceremony on July 8.

Hines, who is living in Montego Bay and working as a payroll analyst, said in 2019 she got some news from her doctor that was troubling to her — at the time she weighed 314 pounds. “I was morbidly obese; I had never been this heavy in my entire life and diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol run in my family and so I did not want this to be my reality,” said Hines.

The 30-year-old, who has a nine-year-old son, said at the time she was breathing heavier than usual and her feet were always swollen. “Honestly, it was not a good feeling. It gave me a whole different way of looking at life.”

Hines said she went on Facebook and saw the National Health Fund (NHF) advertising the Work-It-Out challenge and decided that she wanted to be a part of it. She said she and five co-workers made a team with her as the captain and set out to achieve their goals.

Her diet consisted of fruits, egg, yoghurt, fish, chicken and ground provisions such as yam and sweet potato. “I do lots of blended juice and oats. I don’t do sugar, bread, rice and flour and during the competition I didn’t eat after 5:00 pm. I thank the NHF because they put me on a routine that every Saturday I got up and exercised. I looked forward to it and I continue, even now, to wake up at 5:00 am and work out,” said Hines.

Ending the competition at 233 pounds, Hines said her breathing is back to normal, her clothes are fitting better, and her feet are no longer swollen. “My face has changed and I look a lot different. I’m glowing. Winning now is even more motivating and I want to reach my ideal weight of 180 pounds,” said Hines.

Rodrick Boothe from Spanish Town was the top male winner, losing 12 pounds. The 44-year-old was the only member of his team to finish the season.

“It was five of us that entered and the other members gave up after three months. I was never absent and I improved in every activity — walking, sit-ups and I took inches off my waist. I enjoyed the programme, especially the dancing competition,” said Boothe.

Boothe said he got involved in the competition after a member of his team signed him up and encouraged him to lose some weight “I started at 200 pounds and I still go out every Saturday and exercise,” said Boothe.

The NHF Work-It-Out Challenge is a 24-week weight loss and fitness team competition that emphasises diet and physical activity as a way to reduce a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases. The competition features various exercise sessions, boot camps, dance exercises, and nutrition workshops with weigh-ins at intervals. Winners are determined based on the number of points received which are calculated based on body mass index, weight, fitness, waist measurement, and attendance at planned events.


~Jamaica Observer/All Women

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