It pays to have your name (and weight) published in the newspaper so you can be accountable to the public for your weight-loss efforts.

Five of the eight winners in Ripon Medical Center’s (RMC) annual Lighten Your Load weight-loss program were among the 17 who reported their weights each week to be published in the Commonwealth.

That’s 17 of the approximately 150 people who conducted their final weigh-in Saturday at RMC.

Biggest winners (losers?) were Tim Dietzel, who shed 18.22 percent of his weight, followed closely by Dan Gabrielski (17.16).

Top female loser was Tracy Wegner (15.23) with Barbara Hoch (14.33) nipping at her heels.

Coming in third and fourth for the men and women, respectively, were Steve Olm (12.92) and Matt Storz (7.0), and Kristy Rothe (13.04) and Lynn Jones (12.32).

As first-place winners, Dietzel and Wegner will get their choice of either a Playstation 3 with Move Bundle or a new Trek bicycle.

After Saturday’s final weigh in, the 17 individuals who agreed to have their names and weights published in the Commonwealth have lost a total of 327.2 pounds.

Average weight loss of the 17 participants a week ago was 2.39 pounds, more than twice last week’s reported 1.02 pounds average.

The group, all participating in the annual Ripon Medical Center weight-loss program that began Jan. 8, lost a total of 40.6 pounds this week; that compares with 17.4 pounds last week and 17.5 the week before.

Obviously, some were losing weight during the final days in hopes of winning the contest. Two of the 17 did not attend the final weigh-in.

After week 13, the combined weight loss for the group — 17 self-reporters of the total 150 participants — is 327.2 pounds, climbing from last week’s 287.6 pounds. That means each has lost, on average, 19.24 pounds, compared with 16.9 last week and 16.7 after week 10. Participants’ weight loss after the final week ranges from a high of 18.2 percent to a low of 2.1 percent.

During registration Jan. 8, participants were given the opportunity to have their names and weights published weekly in the Commonwealth for the duration of the 13-week program.

Participants agreed to self-report their current weight every Sunday and to have their weight published in that week’s newspaper.

Those who didn’t submit a weight were not pressured to do so for a week or weeks; however, their names and prior weigh-ins continued to be published unless they requested to have them withdrawn.

Their names, weights before they started the program, weights after one week and percentage of loss (or gain) from their original weight are listed alphabetically in the chart below.

RMC’s Lighten Your Load program, now in its third year, included a series of seminars, classes, access to the RMC fitness center, web sites and other tools to help participants shed pounds before the final weigh-in last week Saturday.

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