After sponsoring three highly successful weight-loss challenges within the trucking industry, with more than 7,600 pounds lost, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has now added a 30-week maintenance component. Combined with the initial 10 weeks of weight loss, the entire program will last for 10 months in 2014, and will be called the “Long-Haul Weight Loss Showdown.”
The expanded Showdown will bring together 12 teams of 12 people (a mix of professional truck drivers and staff) from TCA-member truckload carriers. Challengers will partake in a moderate-carbohydrate, low-fat, moderate-protein menu plan, coupled with exercise, nutrition education, and lifestyle behavior change.
The competition will be led by Lindora Clinic of Costa Mesa, California, a leading weight management provider that conducts the program for TCA. In addition to Lindora Clinic, Showdown sponsors include Cline Wood Agency of Leawood, Kansas, TravelCenters of America / Petro Stopping Centers of Westlake, Ohio, and HealthCheck360° of Dubuque, Iowa.
With several winners throughout the competition, the Showdown will determine which individual and which company can achieve the greatest percentages of weight loss – and then keep the weight off long term. To ensure the success of the initiative, support and guidance for each carrier’s team, as well as each participant, will be emphasized.
As with previous Showdowns, Lindora coaches will provide nutrition education, help boost morale, discuss obstacles, and record weight loss. They will personally call each participant at least 15 times throughout the 40-week program.
“Losing weight is only half the battle; afterward, additional support is needed to successfully transition to a higher calorie diet,” said Kathy Ayres, director of business development for Lindora Clinic. “After 42 years of coaching people, we’ve found that new lifestyle changes require 6-9 months of focus before becoming permanent habits.”
Besides maintenance, another new aspect of the Showdown will be the collection of blood samples from each participant, both before and after the 10-week weight-loss period. This will be coordinated by the experts from HealthCheck360°. The samples will be analyzed for differences in blood-sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure readings.
Lindora Clinic staff expect the numbers to lower quite a bit, which will provide “proof” that those who choose to incorporate positive changes to their daily routine will realize significant improvement to their medical situation—even those with a traditionally sedentary occupation. It will also show trucking companies that their health-and-wellness programs make a real difference in people’s lives, while also improving driver performance and retention for the betterment of the company.
“I encourage carriers to reach out and find ways to help their drivers and employees achieve happier, healthier lives. This Showdown can start the ball rolling,” said Tom Kretsinger, Jr., president of American Central Transport, Inc., Liberty, Missouri, and the chairman of TCA.
He continued, “The message has to start at the top, with the senior leadership, and be implemented by an internal team that is committed to the cause. To make it work, weight loss and long-term maintenance have to be a constant focus throughout the year. It requires a culture shift, but with the offering and execution that is suitable for your environment, you will see improvements in overall health and well-being.”
The application process begins Friday, November 29. Interested companies have until January 13, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. ET to submit their entry applications. The names of the contenders will be announced the next day, and after a ramp-up period, the Showdown will officially begin March 1.
To learn more about and apply for the Showdown, please visit www.truckload.org/Long-Haul-Weight-Loss-Showdown.