Leander native seeks grand prize in H-E-B weight loss competition

Leander native Casey Finn decided that enough was enough when she saw a flier for the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown competition. Before having children, she weighed 160 pounds. Now a mother of three, Finn checks in at 5-foot-8-inches and 300 pounds.

Embarrassment as well as her new job as a home health aide helped drive Finn to change her lifestyle habits.

"When someone sees an overweight person, it speaks of weakness and a lack of self-discipline," Finn said in a news release. "I really want to stand out in my company and show that I have the self-discipline to do this. I am in it to win it."

Finn was among 25 contestants chosen to participate in the competition out of a group of 550 that applied throughout Texas.

On June 14, she attended a 4 1/2-day wellness program in San Antonio that taught the necessities to losing weight and living a healthy life. Finn left with meal plans and fitness goals based off of workouts, a medical screening, cooking demonstrations and fitness and nutrition counseling.

On June 21, after she threw out all of her unhealthy food, Finn attended a "pantry makeover" with other Austin contestants in which she went grocery shopping with an H-E-B dietitian on a $200 gift card and learned how to read labels and make healthy choices.

Contestants are judged on weight loss as well as community involvement. The contest will run for 16 weeks as Finn strives to win the $10,000 grand prize. There is also a $5,000 "fan favorite" prize.

"I am so ready for this," she said.

Finn's progress, as well as that of the other contestants, can be followed in the blogs at www.heb.com/slimdown.