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South Texas Living

Healthy Living: H-E-B names winners in Slim Down Showdown competition

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April 24, 2013 | 2,717 views | Post a comment

SAN ANTONIO -- Now in its second year, the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown presented by Dole awarded $18,000 to three contestants who made the greatest gains in health improvement and fan engagement over a three-month period.

Brittany Ward of San Antonio won the grand prize of $10,000; Brad Westmoreland of New Braunfels won the $5,000 “fan favorite” prize; and Juan Ramirez of San Antonio won the $3,000 “healthy hero” award. Hailing from all over Texas, the 25 contestants in this year’s showdown lost more than 700 pounds and showed off their healthier frames to hundreds of cheering supporters in an emotional makeover reveal ceremony at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on April 6. In addition to weight loss, the contestants significantly improved their health biometrics and penned 990 blogs, generating 38,636 comments and hundreds of thousands of page views.

H-E-B determined the grand-prize winner using three metrics -- overall health improvement, participation, and fan engagement.

Brittany Ward, an occupational therapy graduate student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, lost 34 pounds, dropped her cholesterol by 62 points, and attracted 6,308 comments on her blog.

“This (contest) was more than I ever thought it would be,” Brittany said in an emotional acceptance speech. “Change is possible when you commit. We’ve got to change the world. We’ve got to start putting our health first.”

Brad Westmoreland, a San Antonio police officer from New Braunfels, won the $5,000 “fan favorite” prize for generating the most online activity and chatter on his blog at, where he garnered 6,673 likes, shares, and comments. Brad lost 47 pounds with support from his coworkers at SAPD. When they saw him bringing his lunch, they started bringing theirs as well.

“I’m going to keep paying it forward,” Brad said. “I can’t stop here.”

This year’s “healthy hero,” Juan Ramirez, lost 38 pounds and decreased his body fat by 18 percent. Ramirez and his wife recently adopted two little boys, a powerful motivation for him to change his lifestyle.

“The physical changes and the personality changes that you go through in a journey like this are a reward in itself,” Juan said. “This is just icing on the cake.”

“Their dedication to the contest and willingness to share their experiences is so inspiring,” said Craig Boyan, president and COO of H-E-B. “We are very proud of our contestants and know they have the potential to be health and wellness ambassadors for the state of Texas and H-E-B.”

H-E-B aims to inspire millions of Texans to adopt and stick to a healthy lifestyle through special offers on healthy food as well as fitness events and competitions organized around the three critical pillars of health -- food, body, and life.

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