by Max Brantley
In an effort to help more Arkansans begin a healthy lifestyle, Rep. Bob Ballinger (District 97) is sharing his story of weight loss success.I congratulated Ballinger, 43, of Hindsville, earlier on his success. I observed, based on my own experience, that the really hard part lies ahead. Keeping off lost weight.
Rep. Ballinger has lost 112 pounds since July of 2016.
Once over 360 pounds, pre-diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure, Ballinger’s health was quickly deteriorating. “I have 7 kids and want to be around for a while. I knew I needed to do something.”
As a source of motivation, Rep. Ballinger’s brother invited him to participate in a $10,000 Team Challenge through HealthyWage.com. The website provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address obesity.
Alongside his brother, sister-in-law, wife, and mother, Ballinger competed against other teams in a contest to lose the most weight and win the top prize of $10,000. Within 12 weeks, Ballinger lost 60 pounds and helped his family win 1st place.
Rep. Ballinger then participated in a second $10,000 challenge with HealthyWage and lost an additional 51 pounds. In the second challenge Rep. Ballinger teamed up with friends including Rep. Jim Dotson (District 93). The team averaged a 16.59% weight loss and tied with two competing teams for 1st place.
“This provided the incentive and accountability I needed to be successful. In the end, it came down to diet and exercise. I know the struggle that 30% of Arkansans face when it comes to obesity. Whether it’s an online contest or just having a friend that can encourage you, I hope Arkansans who are struggling to live a healthier lifestyle find the motivation they need to take the first step.”