MHLbannersmallRiverside Shore Memorial team takes home the $5,000 prize in weight loss competition

A hardworking team of five Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital (RSMH) employees received the 2nd place prize for their collective weight loss in a competition that matches up competitors from private companies as well as government and non-profit organizations. The competition was coordinated through HealthyWage, an organization that develops group challenges and contests in which the participants can win money for losing weight.  HealthyWage has been featured in the New York Times, Time magazine, Fox News, ABC News, The Washington Post and other media outlets for its role in promoting wellness and healthier lifestyles in the workplace.

The RSMH team, which members designated as Team 2 Trim, was awarded $5,000 for its efforts, and consists of Mike Canales, Plant Operations; Rodney Glover, Information Systems; Nicole Miller, Human Resources; Jade Vasquenza, Respiratory Care; and PJ Vasquenza, Vascular Echo Lab. Their second place finish in the contest was based on the team's percentage of weight loss – the average of each individual's weight loss – over the three-month course of the contest. A maximum qualifying limit of 1.5% team weight loss per week is built into the competition to help encourage slower, steady and healthy weight reduction.Shore Wt Loss - small

After securing 2nd place with a collective weight loss of 139 pounds, or about 15% of their total group weight, members of Team 2 Trim looked back on their successful effort as a time characterized by support, strong motivation and positive peer pressure.

Team member Nicole Miller was appreciative of the encouragement she received from the rest of the group. "There were times that were difficult and frustrating. Knowing fellow team members faced some of the same struggles (such as the scale not moving down when I was working so hard!) kept me focused and determined. I didn't want to let them down and that was a big motivator in helping me." Each member of Team 2 Trim admits that the cash prize also offered some motivation and excitement, but all plan to continue the healthier diet and exercise habits they gained in the competition. Team members like Mike Canales were also inspired to pursue further goals.

"Right now, I'm moving through a one-year journey to take part in my first Iron Man competition. I'm 60% of the way to that goal and I'm able to do things athletically that haven't been possible for some years. I have a better sense of the example that I can set, and have been setting, for my family and friends in reaching their own goals for better weight management and overall health. I believe the desire to be more fit and also be an example for other people will help motivate me to make the personal changes I need to make and stay as active as long as I can."

At a time when overweight and obesity in America have reached epidemic levels, initiatives like the HealthyWage competition are a good way to jump start people toward improved eating habits. Working together as a group has the added benefit of giving every member a stake in the other members' success. But ultimately, as the Team 2 Trim members believe as they look back on their time in the weight loss challenge, the goal of a healthier lifestyle is an ongoing and lifelong effort …though no one disagrees with the fact that gaining cash for losing weight is a great way to begin.