Company sponsors weight-loss challenge for employees

"Some people might be wondering, 'What is a serving of something,' and we will show them, 'this is what a serving is,'" Myers said. The Get Fit Spot is complete with a scale, a blood pressure machine, reading materials and videos employees can take home to learn more about healthy habits and a computer that brings up a Web site designed by the Get Fit Committee with health topics, articles and tips on it.

The toughest thing about the challenge, according to local participant Manny Salorio, is finding the time to squeeze in an hour of exercise each day, as the Get Fit Committee recommended for the Losing to Win program. But soon, Salorio, a senior engineer, started coming up with unique ways to get in an hour's worth of exercise.

"I would park the next lot over, and that would count " or mowing my lawn," he said.

Salorio said the program raised his awareness about his health.

Paula Heller, director of Human Resources, said that having the support of the entire company helps a great deal when it comes to becoming more health-oriented and losing weight. She said the company sponsors many events throughout the year, including a Wellness Challenge which incorporates programs about healthy eating options into the work day during the Challenge's duration and encourages employees, also in teams, to compete to becoming the healthiest.

Another one of the Get Fit Committees other responsibilities include checking the vending machine to ensure there are healthy snacks available.

In order to participate in Losing to Win, the employees needed to contribute $10 each which was pooled together to create a prize of over $1,000. The winning team received the money in the end for losing the most weight.

Combined, all of the participants lost a total weight of 744 pounds. The winning team was "The Chunky Dunkers," from Syracuse, which was made up of members Chris Burns, Kristy Harris, Colleen Denniston and Katie Flood. The team lost 10.7 percent of their body weight total, equaling about 97 pounds.""

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