BIRMINGHAM | It’s a bit hard to picture Roger Shultz — a star center for the 1987-1990 University of Alabama football team — as a cheerleader.
But the 6-foot, 3-inch ‘Biggest Loser’ finalist plans to be the ‘coach and biggest cheerleader’ to participants in this year’s Scale Back Alabama — a free contest to encourage Alabamians to get healthier by losing weight and exercising.
‘A lot of lessons I learned on ‘Biggest Loser,’ I can bring back to residents of Alabama,’ says the ebullient 41-year-old husband and father of one who calls Enterprise his home.
The goal for Scale Back Alabama this year is for participants to lose at least 500,000 pounds, which is almost 300,000 more than the previous year, says Rosemary Blackmon, spokeswoman for the Alabama Hospital Association, which is collaborating with the Alabama Department of Public Health for the event.
During the 10-week contest, participants are encouraged to lose at least 1 pound per week each. Prizes range from $100 to $1,000.
Shultz was a natural choice to lead the third-annual event, Blackmon says.
‘He’s an Alabamian who’s lost a good deal of weight, and he knows how important it is to have a proper diet and exercise,’ she says.
True, Shultz says. There’s no ‘magic pill.’ There’s no getting around eating less, either.
‘I believe in calories,’ he says — as in counting them. ‘I think that’s the key.’
Not just any calories, though.
‘I eat real healthy,’ he says.
A typical breakfast, for instance, is oatmeal and yogurt. For lunch or dinner, he eats lean protein, vegetables, salads and whole grains. As for snacks, he relies on fruit, yogurt and hummus.
He knows he must consistently exercise, too, he says. He works out six days a week.
These lessons learned helped Shultz lose 164 pounds from his 363-pound frame on the ‘Biggest Loser’ last year.
‘I got down to 199,’ he says. ‘Now I’m between 220 and 230, and I’m very comfortable.’
‘Some buddies of mine said, ‘You’d be good for that program,’ ‘ Shultz says. ‘I said, ‘Well, absolutely. I need to be a part of that.’ ‘
His role on Scale Back Alabama will include video clips and tips on their Web site, www.scalebackalabama.com. He wants to get involved with other events, too, he says, such as 5K walks, where he can share his knowledge face-to-face.
‘I’m not an online person,’ he says.
And on second thought, he wouldn’t exactly consider himself a cheerleader, either.
‘Cheerleaders make people happy,’ Shultz says. ‘I want you to hate me but love me in the end.’
(source: The Birmingham Times)