Big slim-down at local accountancy firm

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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.”