Rhonda Yost of New Brighton, Penn., executive director of lease purchase for PGT Trucking of Monaca, Penn., took the top honor for individuals, while Erb Transport of New Hamburg, Ontario, won the company contest.
Trucking's Weight Loss Showdown is a competition managed by Lindora Clinic, a personalized weight management company. Teams of drivers and staff from six carriers began the challenge during National Truck Driver Appreciation & Wellness Week in September to determine which individual and which company could achieve the greatest percentages of weight loss.
Over a 10-week period, participants followed the Lean for Life program, which is based on a moderate-carbohydrate, low-fat, moderate-protein menu plan coupled with exercise, nutrition education, and lifestyle changes.
The competitors received weekly phone calls from Lindora's coaches, who educated them on nutrition and behavioral changes, helped boost their morale, supported them through their personal challenges, and recorded their weight loss.
Yost, the first place individual loser, said she has struggled with weight loss all her life. At one point, she managed to lose 120 pounds on her own, until she tore a muscle, which made exercising difficult. Half of the weight she had shed returned.
When she heard that her company, PGT Trucking, was entering a team in Trucking's Weight Loss Showdown, she decided to try again. In the end, her determination paid off, as she lost 22.8% of her starting body weight during the competition. To celebrate this achievement, she will receive $2,500 from the sponsor of the individual contest, Cline Wood Agency of Leawood, Kan.
"Once I began the program and started seeing results, it motivated me to keep it going," said Yost. "I pushed myself hard. Although difficult at times, I stayed the course and found that Lindora's program was easier than other things I've tried throughout my life. Not only does it teach you how to eat right, but more importantly, how to keep your mind right. The things I have learned about diet, exercise and myself through this process have been priceless."
On the company level, the team from Erb Transport lost a total collective weight of 315 pounds, going from 2,594 to 2,279. This represented a 12.1% drop in the team's combined weight. Because the team worked so hard, Erb will be receiving a $12,000 prize donated by TravelCenters of America/Petro.
Overall, 72 people participated in the second Showdown. Between all of them, 1,613.6 pounds were shed. On average, all teams lost about 9.5% of their collective weight, and 27 individuals-or 38%-lost about 10% of their starting body weight. In addition to the official team participants, 38 other people tried the weight loss techniques alongside their official counterparts, representing another 728 (unofficial) pounds lost.
TCA will recognize the achievements of the Showdown's winners at its upcoming Recruitment & Retention Conference at The Renaissance Nashville Hotel, Feb. 11-13.