Manassas city resident Carrie Mossman was named one of three individual Walgreens winners in the recent Step Up Manassas Health Challenge.
More than 820 local residents signed up for the challenge that encouraged them to incorporate healthy activities like walking and exercise into their lives. Three teams competed for the most points. Mossman’s Red Team - led by News & Messenger ‘Mom on the Run’ columnist Lianne Wilkens – won a $5,000 community grant from Walgreens for a neighborhood revitalization project of the team’s choosing. The award was made Oct. 20 after Mayor Harry J. Parrish II and Walgreens District Manager Rick Conner led a mile-long walk from the Harris Pavilion to the Walgreens store at 10213 Dumfries Road in Manassas.
Carrie Mossman’s personal weight loss won her the points she needed for an individual prize. The 37-year-old won a free six-month membership to Gold’s Gym from Walgreens for losing 14 lbs in 90 days – however, her journey began almost a year ago. Mossman shares her personal “step up” for better health here:
“When you grow up large, it’s not easy. I was teased in school. I turned to comfort food instead of coping with negative feelings. As an adult, I was already on Metformin, a pre-diabetic medication. I tried pills, shakes, gym workouts and exercise DVDs. I understand there is no magic pill, but I couldn’t sustain my efforts toward better health.
By the time I gave birth to my son Frankie in 2009, I weighed 307 lbs. I dropped some weight going to the gym, but I didn’t change my eating habits. Being a new mom, working full time and facing a separation, I struggled with depression. When I separated from my husband I was even more stressed. In one year I had to figure out how to raise a child on my own and deal with all the changes divorce brings. Finally, I simply said, ‘THAT’s it!’ On January 1, 2012, I decided to change.
I found a nutrition program that I truly enjoy (Beachbody Team Impact/Shakeology) and commit to walking with my son. He enjoys the fresh air and now that he’s a little older he likes to run with Mommy.
In August we were at Walgreens and I saw the sign announcing the Step Up Manassas Health Challenge. As I was exiting the store, something told me to stop. I talked with one of the staff about my journey so far and how excited I am to have more energy. They were so encouraging, I signed up that day.
Now, three months later, I’m 14 lbs lighter and I weigh 215 lbs. In less than one year, I have lost a total of 67 lbs. No longer am I taking any medications for diabetes. I shop at the Manassas Farmers Market every weekend as well as Harris Teeter to ensure I am getting fresh, natural foods to help my body make this journey. I would like to lose 35 more pounds to reach my goal. Thank you, Walgreens and thank you, city of Manassas, for the prize and the encouragement. I’m learning to live well…not large!”
The Oct. 20 event included free health screenings on the Walgreens "Way to Well" Health Bus, free flu shot vouchers for those with no health insurance, prize raffles, music and local health vendors. A gallery of photos from the event is available for viewing on the city’s photostream.
Other individual Walgreens winners included Gary Holt - Blue Team - 21 pounds and Martin Chazes - White Team - 9 pounds.
The city of Manassas is the first locality to pilot this Health Challenge with Walgreens to help encourage healthier lifestyles. For more information about this project or the upcoming City of Manassas Neighborhood Conference on Nov. 17, contact Christen Zenich, Neighborhood Services Coordinator, at 703-257-8315.