The Results are in. Wow! It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone! For Soza Weight Loss, that means we have reached the end of another 60 Day Slim-Down Challenge.

The Challenge is held annually beginning in January and continues until March. It coincides perfectly with New Year’s and all the resolutions made to lose weight and get healthy. Our goal during these 60 days is not just to produce a winner, but to guide and teach all contestants the importance of making the necessary lifestyle changes to help them lose weight and keep it off.

Our goal is that they will discover what foods are right for their bodies. You cannot put all people in the same “diet” box; we all have different dietary and nutritional needs. We can however start with a general food outline and expand or narrow it from there based on an individual’s health and body needs.

Our passion is to bring our client’s back to the basics of cooking and eating fresh proteins, fruits and vegetables. We want to educate them on the hidden sugars, chemicals and GMO’s that are being added to today’s food sources and how to determine if they are in the food they are consuming and serving to their family.

In today’s fast-paced society, we want everything quick and easy – just drive through and pick it up! Unfortunately, your health is not something you can swing by and pick up after work. It requires some work from you!

This year’s contest began with 17 contestants, 14 women and 3 men, all vying for over $3600 worth of prizes to be awarded only to the Top-10. Our winners were determined by percentage of body weight lost over the 60 day period. I am excited to announce the top-10 winners (or should I say losers) for 2017:

Grand Prize Winner, Charlene Chiasson, who lost 13.17 percent of her body fat in just 60 days! 2nd place went to Carnell Vessel, losing 10.9 percent (he started a week later than everyone else). 3rd place was Ann Jackson, losing 8.57 percent, 4th Anthony Jackson losing 8 percent, 5th Shawanda Morris, losing 7.79 percent, 6th Latisha Garrett, losing 7.14 percent, 7th Georgia Grimes, losing 7.09 percent, 8th Theresa Bearden, losing 6.43 percent, 9th Mary Joseph, losing 5.90 percent, and 10th was Christy Jackson, losing 4.79 percent.

These 10 challengers lost a combined weight of 198.5 pounds and 137.65 inches – great job ladies and gents! The most rewarding part of my job at Soza Weight Loss is watching the transformations take place. It is such a joy to see depression and low self-esteem transform into smiles, happiness and self-confidence.

When the physical appearance becomes accepting to an individual, the entire psyche is affected. I have walked this road before all of my clients. I was at one time 50 pounds overweight trying every anti-depressant known to man. Unfortunately, they only caused me to gain more weight, leading to deeper depression and stronger meds. Five years ago, in March of 2012, I walked into this clinic as a client. I was beat down and worn out from trying every “diet program” out there. I really did not want to try something else, but for whatever reason I gave this clinic a shot.

Finally someone was teaching me how to eat, when to eat, what to eat, and what to stay away from. Within 3-and-a-half months, I had exceeded the weight loss goal I had set for myself and was now smaller and healthier than I was in high school. Was it easy? Not all the time. Was it work? Yes. Was I determined? Yes. Am I glad I stuck with it? Yes. That was five years ago and I have kept the weight off.

To top it off, I am now the owner of the clinic, in the driver’s seat, teaching, coaching and encouraging others that they too can be successful if they are willing to commit to the changes that must be made.

“When I started Soza I was unhappy with my weight," Charlene Chiasson said. "I have no gallbladder so my liver levels were off the charts. Soza showed me how to change my eating habits and kept me accountable throughout the entire process. Seeing the pounds coming off weekly encouraged me to keep going. My liver levels are normal now! I would recommend Soza to everyone – it works! Thank you Soza.”

On a final note, I must give thanks to the merchants who make our prize packages so amazing! Without their help and support our contest would not be the success that it is each year. So a great big thanks to: Dr. Gray Bailey, Absolute Quality Care Dentistry, Ronnie Trosclair, Ralph’s, Summer Perkins, Roussel’s, Tyler Terrebonne, Sunset Smoothie, Buddy deGeneres, Monogramming Unlimited, Jerri Breaux, Pampered Chef, Michelle Tranchina , St. Michel’s Day Spa, The Vintage Salon – Hair by Amber Leigh Mayers and of course, Soza Weight Loss!

Contributed Report