When people ask what I do for a living, I rarely say I run a company that offers a medically-supervised weight loss program. Instead, I tell them I’m blessed to be in the business of helping people improve their lives. That’s true because the changes that result when people lose weight and improve their health are often nothing short of transformative.
Last Thursday, I spent time with two people who are living proof that the choices we make create the results we get. Pearl Cruz and Eli Celnik joined me on stage at the media kick-off event for the 2014 Battle of the Badges, a competition Lindora is sponsoring between four teams of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department employees.
Over the next ten weeks, the 44 competitors will be following our Lean for Life program. On November 13, the four teams—two teams comprised of sworn staff (sergeants, deputy sheriffs, detectives) and two teams comprised of professional staff—will weigh in to determine which team lost the greatest percentage of weight and also improved such health numbers as their blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index.
Eleven months ago, Pearl and Eli were each preparing to participate in the 2013 Battle of the Badges competition. Both were a little anxious about what the next 10 weeks would hold, but they were also optimistic. They proved to be true weight loss superstars, and today are healthy role models who are proving that anything is possible.
Pearl, a deputy sheriff, was the “biggest loser” among the female competitors, losing 36 pounds and 17 percent of her starting weight. She has continued following the program and is currently down 52 pounds. Eli lost 52 pounds during the 10-week competition, and since has lost another 53 pounds on the Lean for Life program. That’s right—he’s down a grand total of 105 pounds!
As Pearl and Eli shared their success stories with this year’s competitors, invited guests and a throng of media cameras and reporters, I was reminded why I love my work so much: what we do really matters.
While reviewing the 100+ applications we received from LASD employees who wanted to participate in this year’s Battle of the Badges, I was moved by the stories the applicants shared. One wrote that she is determined to “start a new chapter” in her life by losing 90 pounds. At 41, she is going through a divorce after 24 years of marriage. She wrote that her weight has stopped her from doing many things and that, if given an opportunity, she would make the most of her “chance to change.”
The chance to change is exactly what we offer every competitor participating in the Battle of the Badges. It’s also what we offer every person who walks through our clinic doors or does our online program. I can’t wait to see what the 44 competitors accomplish over the next 10 weeks. I know it won’t always be easy but, like Pearl and Eli, they will find the results they achieve to be well worth the effort.