NEW YORK - Jan. 2, 2013 // PRNewswire // - As Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) welcomes 2013 and celebrates 50 years of success, the world's leading provider of weight management services announces three grand prize winners of the Weight Watchers Celebrate Success Contest: Pete Fintak of Manga, Utah; Michaela Martin of Jacksonville, Florida; and Robin Wahl of Sicklerville, New Jersey. Together this inspirational trio, along with 100 first prize winners, lost more than 8,600 pounds. Winners were selected by Weight Watchers from a record-number of more than 4,500 entries, nationwide. One of the three grand prize winners was chosen from 10 finalists by Weight Watchers Facebook community.
The three grand prize winners enjoyed a $2,500 shopping spree and a trip for two to New York City to celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square and appear on Dick Clark 's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC. Weight Watchers Ambassador Jennifer Hudson also surprised the winners with a special one-on-one styling session with her Creative Director Eric Archibald on the set of her newest Weight Watchers commercial where they swapped stories about how the program and their weight losses have changed their lives.
The 100 first-prize winners each received a gift card. Seven of the contest winners were also cast in Weight Watchers TV commercials that will be featured in the "Expect Amazing" Campaign.
The three grand prize winners speak passionately about their Weight Watchers experience, noting how their lives "switched on" as the weight came off, and how they each have newfound confidence in themselves, pride in their appearance, energy to do what they love, and commitment to helping others transform their lives.
"I'm in better shape than I've been in 16 years," says 37 year old Peter Fintak of Manga, Utah, an IT manager and National Guard musician, who lost 69 pounds as a Weight Watchers Online subscriber. After seeing a photo of himself on the beach playing with his son, he wondered "Who is that fat guy?" and immediately decided it was time to develop a healthier lifestyle, giving him more energy to play with his son, and rock on stage.
Robin Wahl , a 40 year old paramedic from Sicklerville, New Jersey, used to stay alert through her graveyard shift with frequent stops for candy, chips and cigarettes at the convenience store, which she says lead to her weight gain and taking five cholesterol medications a day. After attending Weight Watchers meetings and losing 70 pounds, Robin says her blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, she's stopped smoking, and is now an avid runner currently training for an Ironman Triathlon.
Selected as a grand prize winner by Weight Watchers Facebook fans, 26 year old Michaela Martin, a medical student from Jacksonville, Florida, signed up for Weight Watchers Online after being diagnosed with hypertension and Type 2 diabetes when she was just 22 years old. Committed to revamping her lifestyle, and becoming a role model for her future patients, Michaela lost 35 pounds on the plan while making smarter eating choices and developing healthier habits and routines. Today, the future doctor says her blood pressure is within a normal range and she is free of all diabetes medication.
"We hear inspiring stories from our members and Weight Watchers Online subscribers every day, and the achievements of our contest winners are nothing short of amazing," said Cheryl Callan , Senior Vice President, Marketing, Weight Watchers North America. "Each of these individuals has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to changing their lifestyles for the better – in turn, they've achieved incredible results and inspired others to make a change – something we're very proud to celebrate."
To share their incredible success and continue to inspire others, the grand prize winners will be featured on WeightWatchers.com with personal profiles and before and after photos. Several contest winners, including grand prize winners Pete Fintak and Robin Wahl will be featured in national TV advertising, as well as an intimate social media campaign, the "I'm Only Human and I Did It Project," a series of moving accounts of Weight Watchers members and Online Subscribers conquering fear, never giving up, and finding a new belief in themselves.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds over 45,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. WeightWatchers.com provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.
SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.