Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to participate?

Lighten Up East Texas is free!!  There is no cost to enter this challenge.

What prizes could I possibly win?

The Grand Prizes for Lighten Up East Texas 2016 will include large denominations of gift cards usable at any Brookshires or Super 1 Foods grocery store in East Texas, and a brand new 2016 vehicle, generously donated by Allen Samuels Tyler.  Winning teams will receive prizes that are awarded to all members of the winning teams.

What are the rules of being able to participate?

Every participant must be at least 18 years of age on the day of their registration.  Every participant should also be able to prove residence in one of these 36 East Texas counties:  Smith, Gregg, Rusk, Cherokee, Anderson, Henderson, Kaufman, Rains, Van Zandt, Wood, Upshur, Camp, Morris, Titus, Franklin, Hopkins, Delta, Lamar, Red River, Bowie, Cass, Marion, Harrison, Panola, Shelby, Nacogdoches, Angelina, Sabine, San Augustine, Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, or Houston.

If you are not a resident of any of these 36 counties, you may still register into Lighten Up East Texas!  You can still enter at any regional weighing location, register a starting weight, and return for a final weight.  However, you would not receive any entries into the Grand Prize drawings and your team would not be eligible to win any of the team prizes.

How do I register?

To enter, you will need to have a starting weight registered at one of our designated weighing locations, before Monday, February 29, 2016.  Every registered person will be contacted to return to an official entry location in order to have a final weight entered.  Every participant can earn an entry into the grand prize drawing for every 5% of weight that is lost from their starting weight. 

  • 5.0% – 9.9% = 1 entry
  • 10.0% – 14.99% = 2 entries
  • 15.0% – 19.99% = 3 entries
  • 20% or more = 4 entries

What happens if I do not lose 5% of my starting weight before the end of the “weigh-out” period?

All registered weights and all calculated percentages will not be rounded.  Therefore, persons who lose less than 5% of their starting weight will not receive an entry into the Grand Prize drawings.

Persons who lose less than 5% will be entered into separate prize drawings that are only available to individuals who have a final weight recorded.

Every participant that returns during the “Weigh-Out” weeks will have a chance to win a prize.

If I did not register at the KickOff event at the Broadway Square Mall in Tyler, then can I still participate?

Yes!  You can visit any of the listed public registration locations listed here.

Do I need to return to a weighing location every week or every month? 

For the purposes of this regional weight loss challenge, our staff is only collecting your starting weight and your final weight.  You may return to a location and have your weight loss checked, but the staff at each location is not required to maintain a record of your weight loss.

Our planning committee will contact every registered person in early April, to remind you to visit a weighing location during the “weigh-out” weeks.  If you provided an email address or a cell phone number, our staff will contact you electronically in April.  If you did not, then our staff will call one of your listed phone numbers in April.

How will you know when I have lost 5% or more of my weight?

Lighten Up East Texas will not know when you have lost 5% or more of your weight until you return to a weighing location and have your final weight recorded during the “weigh-out” weeks.

Your final weight will be subtracted from your starting weight, and the number of pounds that you will have lost will be divided by your starting weight.  This formula will calculate the percentage of pounds you have lost during the Lighten Up East Texas regional weight loss challenge.

What is 5% of my starting weight?

The Fit City Challenge Steering Committee agreed that all body shapes and sizes can receive improved health benefits from a 5% reduction in body weight.  This strategy can be applied to persons weighing 150 pounds, 250 pounds, 400 pounds, etc.

Also, the concept of Lighten Up East Texas encourages the participation of all East Texas residents to live healthier lifestyles that will promote a slow and a sustained weight loss.  These reasons motivated the rule of a 5% weight loss in order to receive an entry into the Grand Prize drawings.

There is a very easy way to determine 5% of your current weight.  Let’s use the example of someone who weighs 200 pounds.  First, you would take the first 2 numbers of your weight (20) and divide that number by 2.  So, 20 divided by 2 equals 10.  In this example, a 200 pound person would need to lose at least 10 pounds before they return to have a final weight recorded.  To make sure that you make your 5% mark, you should aim to lose one extra pounds. In other words, you should weigh less than 190 pounds before you return for your “weigh-out”.

Let’s try this again.  A person who weighs 382 pounds would need to lose 20 pounds.  How did I get that number?

Well, the first 2 numbers of their weight is 38, and dividing 38 by 2 equals 19.  Then, add 1 more pound to 19 and the weight loss goal should be 20 pounds.  If I subtract 20 pounds from 382 pounds, that would equal 362 pounds.  So, in this second example, if a person who weighs 382 pounds registers into Lighten Up East Texas before Monday, February 29, 2016, then they would need to weigh less than 363 pounds in order to receive an entry into our Grand Prize drawings.

Now, calculate your 5%.

Why are teams being registered?

Data from previous years have shown a significant amount of success is achieved by persons who register on a team.  Team registration allows friendly weight loss competitions between friends, family members, coworkers, departments within companies, or even companies in different cities!

If you are preparing to register, you can join an existing team, but you will have to contact the captain of the team so that you can write the exact team name on your entry card.  Or, you can create a new team. If you are preparing to register with friends who have also not registered, a team captain will need to register your team.

How many people can be on a team?

It only takes 2 to tango and it only takes 2 to form a team in Lighten Up East Texas.  You can partner with your spouse, your significant other, a family member, a coworker, or with a friend.

The maximum number of members per team is 8.  Encourage up to 7 people to join you on a weight loss team and compete against teams in other East Texas cities and communities.  You can also choose to form teams within your company and compete against teams in different departments, at different worksites, and in different cities.  Friendly competition is also an excellent motivator for achieving success.

Am I allowed to participate as a member of more than one team?

No.  Entrants into Lighten Up East Texas will only be allowed to be registered as a member of one team.  If a person is registered as a member of multiple teams, then that person will need to select on which team they intend to remain a member.

The captain of every registered team should make sure that their team members, and the team captain him/herself, is only listed as being a member of one team.  Failure to comply with this request will disqualify the entire team of its eligibility to win any team prizes.

How are the winning teams selected?

Teams that achieve a combined average percentage of weight loss of at least 5% among all of the team’s members will become entered into random prize drawings that will award the same prize to all members of the randomly selected winning team.  Each member of a team will be required to be registered into Lighten Up East Texas, and return to a weighing location for their final weight to be obtained.

Only the weight loss of the members who return for a final weight will be calculated.

What are the prizes for the winning teams?

Our planning committee collects prizes that will be awarded to every member of each winning team.

Do I have to be on a team in order to participate?

No, you do not. You can register only as an individual, and not join as a member of any team. The grand prizes will be awarded to any eligible East Texas that has a baseline weight and a final weight recorded.

Any person can be a member of a winning team AND one of the grand prize winners!

What is the reward for entering the Lighten Up East Texas weight loss challenge?

You have to be at least 18 years of age and lose at least 5% of your weight, so that you will be entered into the random grand prize drawings.  The mental and physical changes that you will enjoy include safely losing body fat, increasing your lean muscle mass, and becoming a better version of yourself.

This challenge is open to anyone over the age of 18 that lives in any of the 35 counties that have been labeled as an East Texas county.  Everyone can win the prize of improved health, which can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Can pregnant women enter?

The final date for entry is Monday, March 31, 2014.  If the mother is due before March 31, 2014, she could register before she gives birth or she can wait until after she delivers her child.  Her ability to visit a weighing location should be considered based upon her expected due date and upon the guidance of her doctor.

What about persons in a wheelchair?

Individuals who are in a wheelchair may register at weighing locations that can accommodate the person’s desire to be weighed.  If the weight scale is not wide enough to fit a wheelchair, then the person will need to become weighed while not in their wheelchair, and this process will need to be performed when the person returns to “weigh-out”.

How about persons who may have a prosthetic leg and/or a prosthetic arm – are they able to register?

Yes.  The person would need to decide if they would like to become weighed wearing their prosthesis, and this decision should be followed when they “weigh-out”.

If someone has gastric bypass, lap band surgery or any medical procedure that allows them to lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, then does that give them an unfair advantage?

They may have a mathematical advantage toward earning a ticket into the prize drawings, but there is not guarantee that they will become randomly selected to win any of the prizes.


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