Weigh and Win's Katie Hamilton explains the components of a healthy diet.

Alamosa area residents lined up past the coffee stand and into the lobby of the San Luis Valley Health on Wednesday to register to "Weigh and Win."

The program, which promotes healthy eating and living kicked of Wednesday afternoon with an outstanding local response.

"It's not about dieting," explained Weigh and Win's Katie Hamilton. "We are just helping you achieve a healthy weight."

She explained that participants enroll and mark their initial weight by scale and photograph, receive regular tips and assistance on living healthier lives, weigh in at the kiosk by the coffee shop in the hospital lobby and receive prizes and monetary awards based on their success and progress.

Local musicians Rhonda Mouser, Morgan Velasquez, and Abe Rosenberg inspire event attendees with their original, "I'm on my way, one step at a time."

Participants must be 18 years old or older to sign up. They may come in to be weighed as often as they like but need to do so at least every 90 days to measure their progress for the quarterly cash rewards in the form of cash cards negotiable anywhere. Participants receive cash awards for maintaining healthy weights as well.

Mayor Kathy Rogers and Councilors Marcia Tuggle and Greg Gillaspie talk about the importance of having a healthy community.

The kiosk will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Hamilton was one of the speakers during the kickoff of the Weigh and Win program and the inauguration of the recently installed Weigh and Win kiosk. She said the program is about health foremost and stresses healthy eating and exercising.

She explained how participants may eat often, as much as five times a day, but the key is that they eat healthfully, and Weigh and Win offers a great deal of advice on how to do that.

Physical activity is also important, she said, and participants may choose levels of exercise ranging from foundational, for those unaccustomed to much exercise, to intermediate and advanced. A personal trainer is available to assist participants, she said. Weigh and Win will be in Alamosa for at least a year and hopefully longer, Hamilton said.

Even 5-7 percent weight improvement over a year's time (about 10-12 pounds for a 200-pound person) can offset diabetes, improve energy levels and improve overall health, Hamilton said.

For more information call 587-1034 or see www.weighandwin.com.

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