Counselor challenges schools, city to weight-loss contest

Bob Pullings, school counselor at Gattis Junior High School, has issued a weight-loss challenge via email to faculty and staff of Clovis schools.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

It began with Bob Pullings pondered New Year’s resolutions.

“It’s just on everybody’s mind to lose weight” said Pullings, in his ninth year as school counselor at Gattis Junior High.
As faculty and staff returned to school for the spring semester, he issued his challenge district wide via e-mail — the school with the greatest weight loss average gets their vehicles washed and detailed by employees of the losing schools.

The challenge caught on and teachers, administrators and numerous staff members have enthusiastically jumped on the scales for their schools. Pullings feels a friendly competition and the support of a team will help many keep their resolutions.

“It is a team, we’re all in this together and we will help each other. It’s a motivator. What a positive deal” he said.

“It’s always just been me verses the scales and you get tired and it starts to feel like it’s not worth it — now you’re part of a team and you don’t want to let them down.”

The rules are pretty simple, he said. Teams need to have at least five members, participants must be weighed by the school nurse, and their weights along with a head count for each team is submitted to Pullings. The weights for the team are then averaged and will be used to judge the final result in May.

The self-named “Fat Cats” from the Clovis Municipal Schools administrative offices have approached the competition with gusto, according to Pullings.

“One of their team mates is an expecting mother. It’s a ringer, it just shows the level of competition and spirit,” Pullings said. “You just had to laugh.

“I never even thought about it when we were making the rules.”

Rhonda Seidenwurm, superintendent of Clovis schools is in full support of the competition and has joined her coworkers on the “Fat Cats,” which currently has approximately 15 members.

“I really appreciate Bob starting all this. New Year’s resolutions wear off; we thought it would be a fun way to actually keep a New Year’s resolution” she said.

Although the deadline for entries isn’t until next Friday, the competition is already heating up, according to Debbie Ulibarri, administrative assistant to the deputy superintendent.

“(Wednesday) we had our monthly staff meeting and Dr. Rhonda told us to stay away from the desert table,” Ulibarri said with a laugh. “We’re gonna win, it’s just a given.”

Pullings believes the competition will be a success no matter who wins.

“Even if you lose, your still gonna lose some weight, you’re still going to feel good. We are going to have fun and be a lighter faculty than we started out this year” Pullings said.

His faith is so strong in the school’s ability to succeed, Pullings has expanded his challenge to include the whole town.

“I issue the challenge to any organization, private business, national chain, city employees, the police department, anyone who wants to accept” he stated Thursday. The prize — bragging rights for a year he said.