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Weight loss winner collects $750 for shedding 57 pounds
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The first- and second-place winners of the Southern Standard’s Better You weight loss contest won money and a healthier lifestyle while losing the most weight of all of the participants. 

The Southern Standard partnered with USA Gym to encourage the community to eat healthy, exercise, and improve their overall health by losing excess pounds. The incentive of first place receiving $750 and second place getting $250 brought in over 50 individuals to the Standard, the Smithville Review and USA Gym to document their starting weight during the week of Jan. 18-25. 

The contest lasted for three months and many people stuck to their weight loss goals. The final weigh-in week was April 22-29. 

The first-place winner of $750 was Josh Rigsby, who lost 57.4 pounds. Josh credits his weight loss to cutting out sodas and junk food, only drinking water, staying away from fast food and eating a low-carb diet. 

Josh and his family were both excited and surprised for his victory. Rigsby plans to use the money to treat his friends and family to a dinner at Paula Dean’s Family Kitchen when they go to Pigeon Forge in August. He also plans to continue to strive toward maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Rigsby says, “I do feel better after losing the extra weight. I work at Yorozu, and I can feel the difference in my feet and knees not hurting while standing at work.”

The winner of $250 for losing the second largest amount of weight was Benjamin Reed. He managed to lose 40.6 pounds. Ben and his wife, Talesha Reed, both signed up for the weight loss competition. Talesha was thrilled with Ben’s victory. 

They have been working together to lose weight since February 2018. He has lost 133 pounds thus far, and he is hoping to reach a healthy weight of 180. The two exercise five to six days a week, have cut out sugar and sodas, and eat a low-carb diet. Ben is hoping to participate in a 5K in the near future.

“Since we were already on a weight loss journey together, we figured we would take the opportunity to use this competition to hold ourselves accountable,” says Reed. 

Altogether, contestants lost a combined weight of 403.6 pounds. The goal was to entice those who start a New Year’s Resolution goal of losing weight into not giving up and continuing with the healthy habits they set at the beginning of the year.