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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2007
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Athens Dy-ettes team competes to lose most weight in 8 weeks

The Daily is following the progress of The Dy-ettes, a team competing in a statewide weight loss challenge. This is part two of a periodic series.

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — Athens Middle School teachers, and even the principal, are encouraging peer pressure.

They actually appreciate people telling others what to eat and what to do.

"Principal Joe Jackson even watches what we're having for lunch," said world history teacher Allison Anderson.

She doesn't mind, however.

That's because 20 of the school's employees, including Anderson and Jackson, are losing weight as part of Scale Back Alabama, a statewide challenge to see if Alabamians can lose 10 million pounds in eight weeks.

One of the school's teams, The Dy-ettes, pronounced diets, agreed to let The Daily cover its progress.

Anderson, team captain, said after the first week, the Dy-ettes lost 37.2 pounds.

"It's good peer pressure that we're giving each other," Anderson said. "We're really needing it this week."

The school is preparing for the Alabama Writing Assessment, and teachers also are attending conferences this week.

"It's easy to get overwhelmed with work and try to put aside exercising or eating healthy, so we're helping each other," she said. "We're watching out for each other."

Others on team

In addition to Anderson and Jackson, team members are Nana Garner, eighth-grade science; Amanda Gibbs, eighth-grade technology; and Angie Esco, seventh-grade technology.

On Jan. 22, the group of five weighed in at the Athens-Limestone Hospital's kickoff at a total 928 pounds.

To lose nearly 40 of those pounds in seven days, the group has been walking, cutting back on meal portions and drinking water.

Members also are working out in the school's exercise room.

At the weekly briefing Monday, the Dy-ettes learned they finished second for most weight lost among all Athens Middle School teams.

The 2003 American Idol, Ruben Studdard, hospitals, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Barber Dairies are sponsoring Scale Back Alabama. There is a grand prize of $1,000 per person for the team that has the highest percentage weight loss.

The challenge comes at a time when Alabama ranks as the second most obese state in the nation.

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