Everyone who participates in a company fitness program is a winner, but some go the extra mile.
Cherie Cordner, who works at Smith's MarketPlace in Bountiful, was already planning to start a new weight-loss diet when she heard about the Smith'sFit program.
She waited until the start of the company's program, then jumped right in and tackled the challenge.
"I lost 51 pounds in 16 weeks," Cordner said.
More than 4,200 employees lost a combined 18,624 pounds, or 9 tons, over 16 weeks through the Smith's Food & Drug wellness program, said Mike Dale, a Smith's spokesman.
"Workplace wellness programs are gaining in popularity because they reduce health care costs, improve productivity, decrease absenteeism and engender employee loyalty," he said.
Cordner said she received many of her tips for weight loss from Dr. Oz on TV, as well as from reading magazine articles on the subject.
"I ate right and exercised," she said. "You need really good willpower. You have to figure out new habits to keep it (the weight) off."
Cordner admitted she gained a few pounds back once the program was complete, but when the program began again, she signed up again.
"They just rolled out another Smith'sFit. I actually rejoined and lost what I had gained. I need to figure out new habits to keep it off," she said.
Brigham City Smith's employee Valyn Sorensen joined the Smith'sFit program after she had begun her own weight-loss program.
"I actually lost weight previously. I joined to keep me accountable," she explained.
Sorensen began her journey to a healthier lifestyle because of a promise she made to her father. Two and a half years ago, he was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.
"I knew that part of his problem was due to his excess weight. He was worried about my weight," she said.
"I started eating healthy, cutting out refined sugar and (began) exercising. It was hard at first, but I stuck with it and lost 30 pounds in three months. It was amazing how much better I felt mentally and physically."
When she heard about the Smith'sFit program, she joined it and was on a winning team in that program.
Sorensen said she works out nearly every day and loves it.
"A year has passed, and the results are great. I lowered my cholesterol 50 points, dropped three sizes and have lost a total of 85 pounds," she said.
Molly Bitton also participated in the Smith'sFit challenge at the Brigham City store. She started her weight-loss journey after giving birth to her second child and began to run seriously about six years ago.
"When I combined running with eating healthy, the weight really melted off," she said.
"I weighed 169 pounds when Smith'sFit started. It gave me an opportunity to have team support. I lost 15 pounds and five sizes in clothes. I kind of trimmed up.
"I love what this program has done for my health and for the encouragement and team spirit it has given my employees to eat healthy and be active. We are constantly talking about recipes, workouts, healthy snacks and nutrition facts."