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RANGELY I When former Rangely resident and H-E-B Slimdown Show Down contestant Debi Pearson Tade attended the competition’s red carpet reveal event on Oct. 7, she was 50 pounds lighter than when the Show Down kicked off at the end of June.
Being a different weight, though, is just part of how the 1989 Rangely High School graduate feels she has changed.
“This contest has given me so much more than a jump start at weight loss,” Tade said in an email message. “Today, I have a passion for health and fitness and enjoy sharing my journey to healthy living with others. If one person makes just one change inspired by my journey, I have won.”
Tade was one of 25 H-E-B customers chosen to compete in the Texas-based grocery chain’s annual competition, which aims to “highlight the value of making healthier lifestyle choices,” according to the company website. Contestants were challenged to improve their health parameters by changing their eating habits, exercise routines, and mindsets.
Tade says that’s just what happened. But with all that came other benefits not so easily measured.
“I have gained lifelong friends and supporters through this contest,” Tade said. “I have a couple of chances to speak about my journey and about self-image in the future. I am really excited for the doors this contest has opened.”
The contestant whose parameters changed the most brought home $10,000 from the finale event. This year’s winner was Alison Spangler, a teacher from San Antonio. Spangler was also Tade’s accountability partner, which made the Slim Down’s conclusion even more meaningful for Tade.
“I could not be more excited had I won myself,” Tade said.
Tade said that physical activity is the norm now for herself and her family. On the day of the finale, VIP guests made up of family and friends wielded flying pig boutonnieres and ran a 5K with Tade at the famous Texas Alamo. Participants ranged from 3 to 68 years old.
Now approximately halfway to her goal, Tade plans to lose another 45 to 50 pounds by the end of February. When she looks in the mirror, though, she still sees the same Debi as before she lost the weight.
“I have been assured that the mind self-image thing will catch up,” Pearson said. “Until then, I believe God is assuring me that my appearance does not make me who I am.”