Scales have been as essential as calculators at Queenstown’s WHK accountancy firm this year.
Fifteen female staff have undertaken a weight challenge based on American TV reality game show The Biggest Loser.
Every week for six months, the women weighed themselves in front of each other – whoever lost the greatest percentage of weight won $30.
At last Thursday’s final weigh-in, senior accountant Melissa Read, 40, won the overall $800 for a new wardrobe from a prize pool everyone contributed to.
In six months, Read went from 74.7kg to 61.9kg – a 17 per cent drop.
Organiser Vicky O’Neill says five other contestants also broke the 10 per cent barrier.
The 12 women present for the weigh-in lost a combined 107.6kg.
O’Neill attributes Read’s win to her “competitive nature”.
“Melissa stood up to the challenge whereas most people went, ‘it’s winter now’.”
Read says she benefited early-on from a six-week boot camp at a local gym before dieting in the latter stages.
The women are keen to keep their weight down.
“Over the next six months, they will have to put money into a drinking pot if they put some weight on,” O’Neill says.
She pays tribute to the firm’s bosses for shouting them a hairstyling session to help them glam up last Thursday.
“I think they’re sold on the fact they’ll have fewer sick days and staff who want to be here from a team point of view.”