In just over six months, 30 finalists in a weight loss program in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León lost a combined total of 350 kilograms. Leading the way was Alejandro Alejo López, who shed an impressive 75 kilos.
Alejo, a 36-year-old taxi driver, weighed in at 240 kilos when he entered the contest “Adiós Gordito!” (Goodbye, Chubby!). “… I want to have the life I had before,” he said at the contest’s outset, adding that the desire to be able to play with his two young daughters was a motivating factor.
During the award ceremony, Mayor Zeferino Salgado Almaguer commended the competitors for undertaking the challenge during the coronavirus lockdown, which would have made the temptation to open the cupboard or refrigerator especially difficult to resist.
“Today, more than rewarding an athlete, for endurance or otherwise, we are rewarding something intangible which is will power; they have shown the power they have when they say they will go forward,” the mayor said.
He added that those who participated are healthier people today, who have completely transformed their lives “and they have done it in the company of the only team that will always support them, which is their family.”
Adiós Gordito! was announced in January and was open to men and women aged 14 to 59 weighing more than 100 kilograms. A total of 134 people signed up but 30 made it through, accumulating points by regularly completing exercise routines prescribed by their trainers and following the advice of nutritionists.
Alejo received a prize of 5,000 pesos (US $235) and a six-month gym membership. Each of the 30 finalists also received cash prizes.
The program will continue with a new version beginning this week that more than 200 people have already signed up for, the mayor said.
Previously the municipal government had offered tax discounts to families who participated in a weight loss program.
More than 24 million Mexican adults are considered obese by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Source: El Universal (sp)