Step on the scale, Shelby County

Published 9:59 am Thursday, January 15, 2009

Last Sunday, Shelby Countians, along with many other residents of our state, began their 10-week effort to lose weight. Their collective expedition for weight loss began with a step on the scale as they participate in the statewide Scale Back Alabama contest.

Now three years into the effort, Scale Back Alabama has set a statewide goal for Alabamians to lose 500,000 pounds this year. For some of us, a quick glance in the mirror is all it takes to realize the need for such an effort to curb obesity right here at home.

According to a recent report by the Trust For America’s Health, some 30 percent of Alabamians are obese, with the Alabama Obesity Task Force Strategic Plan suggesting that 22 percent of Shelby County’s population is in danger of obesity.

Some suggest lifetime medical costs for obese people are some $10,000 higher than their skinnier counterparts.

As further motivation, Scale Back Alabama is offering cash prizes to successful participants losing 10 or more pounds during the contest. This Friday is the deadline for your team’s first weigh-in, so there is still time to participate.

However, the greatest motivator for losing weight is no doubt the limitless health benefits it brings. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decreased risk of diabetes, and increased energy are all part of the laundry list of good excuses to lose weight. Fitting into smaller clothes is another nice bonus.

There are four official weigh-in sites in Shelby County: LadyWorks Fitness, Gold’s Gym in Pelham, the Pelham YMCA and the Alabama Power office in Columbiana.

For more information on Scale Back Alabama, call Lady Works Fitness at 664-1112, Gold’s Gym in Pelham at 358-1330, the Pelham YMCA at 664-9622 or Alabama Power in Columbiana at 226-1374.