Gym-pharmacy partnership gets results

Bundaberg Weight Loss Challenge participants. Image: G'Day Fitness, via Facebook
Bundaberg Weight Loss Challenge participants. Image: G'Day Fitness, via Facebook

A Bundaberg pharmacy has teamed up with a local gym to help locals lose weight – and so far they’ve lost over 200kg

A group of 55 people from the Bundaberg region have lost an average of nearly 4kg each over the past four weeks, after they joined the local Weight Loss Challenge.

Tarin Dobbie, co-owner of the Bundaberg Priceline Pharmacy, told the AJP that the ball was set rolling when gym owner Paul Timms got in touch with her business partner, Adam Harradine.

As well as being co-owner of the Priceline in town, Mr Harradine also owns a small independent pharmacy near the G’Day Fitness gym in Moore Park, a small satellite town of Bundaberg.

The group decided to use the larger, branded Priceline pharmacy as a springboard to get patients interested.

“We had a Science of Weight Loss seminar here, and Paul held talks at various locations to get people in – he’s an inspirational speaker,” Ms Dobbie says.

“He’s also looking to grow the program, and have people who’ve successfully gone through the first challenge become champions and sign up family and friends.

“Bundaberg has a massive problem with weight issues, so it was a bit of a pilot program to see how it would go.”

With the 55 participants having lost 210kg between them over four weeks, the organisers are hailing the challenge a success.

The pharmacy was involved through having challenge participants use the Priceline Health Stations to monitor their weight, as well as offering diet and nutrition options.

“There was also external advice,” Ms Dobbie says. “Paul has a yoga teacher on board as well as a wellness coach to talk about stress; there was myself talking about weight loss in general and Adam did a talk about medicines and weight loss – for example the effect of beta blockers.

“We encouraged people who lost weight to go back to their GP to see if they needed a reduction in their blood pressure medicine – having all those people in a team to support everybody is looking to be a very successful way to go about it.”

Challenge participants also had access to a Facebook page where they could post pictures of their meals or workouts, or seek help sticking to the program if they were having a bad day.

The organisers are about to host a presentation night with awards for challenge participants, with the awards based on Mr Timms’ algorithm.

“Every week they had to rate out of 10 how they’d stuck to the diet and fitness program – Paul was originally an environmental scientist and he’s a scientist at heart, so he likes his numbers,” Ms Dobbie says.

“He found that people who followed the program six out of 10 or better overall got the best results. He’s trying to get quantitative feedback.

“We’re getting the female winner into the pharmacy for a makeover, she’ll get a nice healthy breakfast at one of the local cafes and a voucher from a local fitness store to get a new outfit she chooses.

“We only took over this pharmacy in June last year, and this has been our first attempt to build connections with other programs or businesses,” Ms Dobbie says. “Everyone has been really positive about their experience.”

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