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Meet two of the ‘biggest losers’ in HISD’s ‘4 for $40’ weight-loss challenge

2014 June 18
by HISD Communications
Jeff Mulvihill poses with a pair of pants he could barely fit into four months ago.

Jeff Mulvihill poses with a pair of pants he could barely fit into four months ago.

Jeff Mulvihill didn’t join HISD’s “4 for $40” challenge in January because of any dire warnings from his doctor.

“I’ve been a fat person for most of my life,” explained the Special Education teacher from Braeburn Elementary School. “I weighed 90 pounds in the first grade. But I’ve always wanted to be slimmer. I just needed that little extra push to say, ‘Let’s do it.’”

And so he has. Over the past four months, Mulvihill has logged the most substantial weight loss among all participating district employees: 79 pounds. His secret? “Purely diet.”

“I work two jobs, so I don’t really have time to go to the gym,” he explained. “I just cut out most breads and cereals, and ate lots of fruits, vegetables, and salad.”

Now, said Mulvihill, “I can cross my legs easier. I can bend over and tie my shoe. I don’t really feel any different, but I had a sore knee for about a year. It doesn’t hurt anymore. My feet used to bother me, too, but those pains are gone.”

Francisca Rios before...

Francisca Rios before…

Another successful “4 for $40” participant is Francisca Rios, one of four women who dropped more than 40 pounds over that same time period.

“I have struggled with my weight for most of my life,” said the Student Information Specialist at Seguin Elementary School. “I just made a decision that this time things would be different.”

Rios began exercising daily in addition to changing her diet, and “now I am 47 pounds lighter. My health has improved tremendously. I am exercising daily and jogging three miles at a time.”

...and after

…and after

When asked what advice they would offer to others considering weight loss, the common thread was to make a commitment and stick with it. “For me, at least, it was purely mind over matter,” said Mulvihill. “That first week, it can feel like you’re starving. But you’re not, and it goes away after about a week. Try to get through that first initial shock of change. If you make up your mind you want it, you’ll get it.”

“I feel that these types of persuasions are sometimes what we need to begin a new, positive lifestyle,” added Rios. “I thank this program and the people who took the initiative to touch the lives of other people.”

HISD wrapped up its four-month-long “4 for $40” weight-loss challenge at the end of May, and collectively, participants shed more than 22,000 pounds—or the weight of a mature male orca.

Employees who met or exceeded a monthly weight-loss goal were eligible to receive an extra $40 incentive in their paychecks, for a possible payout of $160. Thousands of employees met that challenge, resulting in a total payout of $174,760 for the district. The final payout (for the month of May) should have appeared in eligible employees’ June 18 paychecks.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Justin Silhavy permalink
    June 19, 2014

    Great job!

  2. Tenia permalink
    June 19, 2014

    Congrats to both of you!!

  3. June 19, 2014

    Congratulations to both of you!

  4. Alexandra Avalos permalink
    June 19, 2014

    Congratulations! You both look great! 🙂

  5. Kenneth Huddleston permalink
    June 23, 2014

    Very nice; you are inspiring!

  6. Flor Kelly permalink
    June 26, 2014

    Way to go!! Fantastic job! You guys look great!

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