Arkansas Lawmaker Drops More than 100 Pounds

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - An Arkansas lawmaker is sharing his story of weight loss success after dropping more than 100 pounds.

Rep. Bob Ballinger (R-Berryville) started trimming down in July of 2016.

Rep. Ballinger says he did it in an effort to help more Arkansans begin a healthy lifestyle.

Once over 360 pounds, pre-diabetic and suffering from high blood pressure, Ballinger’s health was quickly deteriorating.

“I have 7 kids and want to be around for a while. I knew I needed to do something,” he says.

As a source of motivation, Rep. Ballinger’s brother invited him to participate in a $10,000 Team Challenge through The website provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address obesity.

Alongside his brother, sister-in-law, wife, and mother, Ballinger competed against other teams in a contest to lose the most weight and win the top prize of $10,000. Within 12 weeks, Ballinger lost 60 pounds and helped his family win 1st place.

Rep. Ballinger then participated in a second $10,000 challenge with HealthyWage and lost an additional 51 pounds. In the second challenge Rep. Ballinger teamed up with friends including Rep. Jim Dotson (R-Bentonville). The team averaged a 16.59% weight loss and tied with two competing teams for 1st place.

“This provided the incentive and accountability I needed to be successful. In the end, it came down to diet and exercise. I know the struggle that 30% of Arkansans face when it comes to obesity. Whether it’s an online contest or just having a friend that can encourage you, I hope Arkansans who are struggling to live a healthier lifestyle find the motivation they need to take the first step.”

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