During the 12 week H-E-B Slim Down Showdown presented by Dole, 25 contestants from across Texas worked hard to adopt healthy habits and shed pounds. During the challenge, the contestants lost more than 700 pounds. In addition to weight loss, the contestants significantly improved their health biometrics and wrote 990 blogs, generating 38,636 comments and hundreds of thousands of page views.
Three winning contestants were awarded $18,000 for making the greatest gains in health improvement and fan engagement over a three-month period. H-E-B determined the grand prize winner using three metrics - overall health improvement, participation and fan engagement.
Grand Prize Winner
- Brittany Ward, San Antonio TX
Brittany Ward, an occupational therapy graduate student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, lost 34 pounds, dropped her cholesterol by 62 points and attracted 6,308 comments on her blog.
"This (contest) was more than I ever thought it would be," Brittany said in an emotional acceptance speech. "Change is possible when you commit. We've got to change the world. We've got to start putting our health first."
Fan Favorite Winner
- Brad Westmoreland, New Braunfels TX
Brad Westmoreland, a San Antonio police officer from New Braunfels, won the $5,000 "fan favorite" prize for generating the most online activity and chatter on his blog where he garnered 6,673 likes, shares and comments. Brad lost 47 pounds with support from his coworkers at SAPD. When they saw him bringing his lunch, they started bringing theirs as well.
"I'm going to keep paying it forward," Brad said. "I can't stop here."
- Juan Ramirez, San Antonio TX
This year's "healthy hero," Juan Ramirez, lost 38 pounds and decreased his body fat by 18 percent. Ramirez and his wife recently adopted two little boys, a powerful motivation for him to change his lifestyle.
"The physical changes and the personality changes that you go through in a journey like this are a reward in itself," Juan said. "This is just icing on the cake."