My name is Michael Mercado. I’m 29 and a caseworker at Haven for Hope in San Antonio.
I have been chosen as one of 25 contestants across the state in H-E-B’s Slim Down Showdown, a 16-week health contest with a grand prize of $10,000 and a “fan favorite” prize of $5,000.
We started the competition last week with a wellness program here in San Antonio. We worked out, learned about nutrition, got health screenings and a lot of encouragement from H-E-B staff and our fellow contestants.
Until now, I haven’t exactly been comfortable talking about my weight problem.
After these four days, I feel like reaching out is the best thing I have ever done.
The H-E-B staff members were so supportive and encouraging, and the other contestants understood what I was going through.
Every clap and every hug was motivating, and that’s something I haven’t had in a while. They listened. People never listened before.
I would have never said this stuff before, but on the inside, I was dying to release it.
The program also really challenged me to get in the driver’s seat and take control of my life, which starts with educating yourself and believing in yourself.
I got to know all the other contestants and we are going to build one of the greatest support networks I have ever had.
We made a Facebook group to keep in touch and we are already texting each other motivational quotes. The four local contestants are planning to get together and do group workouts.
We will all be blogging like crazy through the whole contest, so follow us at heb.com/slimdown and send us some words of encouragement. We will need it!