By Michael Stewart / Executive Editor
The Meridian Star
Metro Ambulance paramedic Kevin Tindol shed 27 pounds in eight weeks to win the department's "Biggest Loser" challenge.
"I looked at some of the patients we pick up who have health problems because of their weight and felt like we should do something to promote health and fitness in our department," Tindol said.
Thursday afternoon Tindol was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by Anytime Fitness General Manager April Foley for his accomplishment.
Tindol put up $300 of his own money for the grand prize and approached Anytime Fitness, which offered to donate a year's membership to the first and second place winners, along with a gift basket for the third place winner.
"Since I won, I don't have to pay the $300," Tindol said laughing.
Twelve contestants entered the challenge, with all but three dropping out before the eight week period was up, Tindol said.
Paramedic Robby Richardson took second place in the contest after losing 21.8 pounds, and third place went to James Blackwell, who dropped 15.5 pounds, Foley said.
Tindol said he lost weight through a combination of diet and exercise.
"I eat six small meals and day, drink protein shakes and lift weights," Tindol said. "I plan to keep on going. My goal is to lose 100 pounds even, hopefully by the end of the summer."
Anytime Fitness is open 24/7 and is a popular workout spot for those like Tindol who do shift work, Foley said, adding that the main reason people join is to lose weight.
"The whole point in being in a fitness facility is that you are around like-minded people working towards the same goal," Foley said. "It really helps motivate you."