Healthy Wage offers cash for losing weight

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - For the next three months, Floridians will be shedding pounds as part of a statewide contest that pays people to lose weight.

One team participating is a group of co-workers from Suncoast Hospice. The team of hospice workers make sure others are taken care of, which means they often neglect their own health.

"It's time for me now to start taking care of myself," Marilyn Moore said.

When Marilyn Moore, Michael Wells, Denise Singh, and Verlyn Forde-Drummond heard about Florida Matchup, they were ready to sign up.

In an effort to save on health care costs, many local companies, like Suncoast Hospice, are encouraging their employees to take part too.

"If we believe it, we can achieve it," Moore said.

For the next 90 days, the team will workout, eat better, and go to a local club for weigh-ins. Their first weigh-in is Friday.

"We really try to support eachother," Wells said.

The team with the highest average weight loss will win $10,000. Second and third place also win money.

"It's great motivation," Forde-Drummond said.

"That's a great incentive," Moore said.

There is no question money motivated the team to get moving, but their families and doctors did too.

"About two years ago, my doctor told me I was type-2 diabetic," Wells said.

"I have a six-year-old son who tells me all the time that I need to lose some weight," Forde-Drummond said.

The team plans to drop dozens of pounds during the challenge.

"I've already lost 40 pounds, and I'm excited to lose another 40," Singh said.

"My goal is 50 pounds," Moore said.

Regardless of how many pounds of fat the team loses during the challenge, they say they will keep losing weight even after the challenge is over.

"My goal is to be healthy and go into my 50's healthier than I am today," Wells said.

"I want to feel better about myself and I want to be healthy and I want to be fit," Forde-Drummond said.

To learn about how you can take the challenge, or sign up for challenges in the future, go to

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