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Shed winter weight in Scale Back Alabama with the Wellness Center


This is the first in a series of stories chronicling the journey of some of our fellow students participating in an exciting weight loss challenge.

Over the next ten weeks, a transformation will be taking place on the campus of JSU.  For the seventh year in a row, our students and faculty are joining in the “Scale Back Alabama” weight loss challenge. Teams of four can register to participate and will have the chance to win money and other prizes for meeting certain weight loss goals.

From now until April 11, between 80 and 100 students will weigh in weekly at the JSU Wellness Center, charting both their individual and team progress toward the goal of weight loss. 

The winners will be announced April 25 during a live webcast.

Gina Mabrey, Physical Education and Recreation Instructor and Interim Department Head, is the JSU liaison for the state program.  She says the program is a great way for students to shed some of those extra holiday pounds while also developing a healthier lifestyle.  

The program has a 20 to 30 percent attrition rate, which is typical of most weight loss programs.  

Mabrey says JSU students who participate in the challenge have historically done well, because they’ve encouraged one another with positive peer pressure.

JSU student Diamond Ford is excited about the program.  While some participants set specific weight loss goals, she is simply looking for a new way to stay in shape.  “After being in class all day, it’s hard to force myself to work out, especially when I just want to go home and nap,” says Ford.   

Early-morning classes, combined with late-night study sessions and the occasional road trip to Taco Bell can make it more difficult for college students to stick with a healthy daily routine. 

The program teaches students how to make small, reasonable, lifestyle changes to increase their chances of achieving their weight loss goals.  

In addition to the obvious benefits of wearing a smaller size pair of jeans, participants are also entered in a random drawing for prizes. 

Teams in which every member loses at least 10 pounds will be eligible for the grand prize of $1,000 per member, or $4,000 per team. The second place team earns $500 per member, or $2,000 for the team, and the third place team receives $250 per member, or $1,000 for the team.  

Each participant who loses 10 pounds will also be eligible for a random drawing of $100 each, regardless of their team’s overall results.  

Even participants that lose just one pound have a chance to win a $50 cash prize.  

Both Mabrey and Ford think the prizes will help keep students motivated. 

To find out how you can take part in the “Scale Back Alabama” challenge, contact Gina Mabrey at 256-782-5059 or by email at

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