Local Man Competes in HEB's Slim Down-Showdown Challenge

It is called a once in a life time opportunity. HEB is holding a 12-week competition called the Slim Down-Showdown Challenge. It's a contest aimed at losing weight.

A total of 25 contestants from around the state are competing in the weight loss competition, and one of those contestants lives right here in Corpus Christi.

Jonathan Saenz is a 23-year old college student and full-time medical administrator. Those who know him say he is on the right track when it comes to school and his career. However, he knows that he is on the wrong track of life. He tips the scales at nearly 400 pounds.

"I was eating fast food three times a day, going out to eat all the time, not caring at all what I was doing to my body," Saenz said.

Wanting to change the direction of his life, Saenz signed up for the Slim Down-Showdown Challenge back in October. After filling out a questionnaire and waiting patiently for almost two months, he got the call just before Christmas Day and was told that he was selected to become a contestant.

"He's very young, and he has so much life ahead of him, and I can just tell when he is successful at this competition, which he will be, he is just going to blossom," said HEB Dietician Marcie Perez, who is helping Saenz in his campaign.

Perez has been assigned to give him the tools that he needs to jump start his weight-loss journey. By teaching him to read labels and to make healthier choices, she hopes it will improve his chances of winning the competition and maintaining a  healthier lifestyle.

"The weight loss is gradual," Perez said. "It's safe, and you don't do extreme things, like no taking pills or undergoing some radical change, and so we teach small steps, and that's key to something that you want to make long term."

"It's not something that you get to do so often, and I was very blessed to do something like that because I have learned so much, and I am just ready to share it with my family and the community," Saenz said. "It's just something that everyone should know about."

After getting a few tips on how to cook healthier, Saenz said he is ready to conquer his weight challenges to reach the bright future he dreams about.

"You have to try new things, and you have to change your taste palate," Saenz said. "You've got to be willing to try new things to get your body and lifestyle to change."

If Saenz is successful in winning the contest, he will not only lose weight, but he will also claim the top prize of $10,000.


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