SAN ANTONIO -

The HEB Slimdown Showdown isn't just about losing weight, it's about better choices, healthy lifestyles and self-esteem.

At least that's the initial impression of the two contestants KSAT 12 will be following for the next four months.

With the help of a free Gold's Gym membership, personal coaching, nutritional training and lots of counseling, Daniel Garza and Heather Flanagan are hoping to take home the $10,000 prize.

Garza and Flanagan are two of the 25 contestants in South Texas who are trying to make big changes to their poor health.

Garza said he already feels like he won for himself and his 3-week-old baby.

The 37-year-old mortgage analyst doesn't know exactly how he went from an athletic 280 pounds to 355 pounds with a bad back, making it difficult to tie his shoes.

"I think it's a lot of things that a lot of people don't think about or choose to block out before we have that 'Aha' moment where we say, 'This is an everyday thing, why am I laboring to do this,'" Garza said.

Flanagan, 28, is trying to conquer lifelong food issues. She said she came from the clean-plate family and needs to learn how to push away from the table.

"Whenever we ate stuff it was the cheapest we could buy, so a bunch of potatoes mixed with hamburger meat, throw some gravy on it," said Flanagan. "That fills you up but we're not going to let this whole pan go to waste. You know, seconds, thirds."

The first week has been intense, with educational seminars and exercise classes. Garza and Flanagan will be documenting their progress on KSAT.com with blogs and videos, to keep us up to date and hopefully motivate others.

PHOTOS: HEB Slimdown Showdown

Published On: Jan 09 2014 04:34:48 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 09 2014 04:35:55 PM CST

The HEB Slimdown Showdown isn't just about losing weight, it's about better choices, healthy lifestyles and self-esteem.

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The kickoff for the Slimdown Showdown contestants… a group workout!

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