The winner of Dr. Oz's Million Dollar Challenge as part of his Transformation Nation is a school teacher from Georgia who lost weight to become a good candidate to donate a kidney to his wife.
Dr. Mehmet Oz's nine-month long Million Dollar Challenge attracted more than one million entrants who Oz claims lost more than three million pounds. But winner Michael Lamb, 55 of Athens, GA won America's heart and the most votes as he topped the other nine finalists to win the $1,000,000 prize.
Mr. Lamb, a high school teacher became more than a millionaire on Wednesday. He became someone who demonstrated to Dr. Oz fans that while he lost 48 lbs. during the contest and a total of 55 lbs. in total, reason for becoming healthy was to support his wife.
Lamb's wife was diagnosed with late-stage kidney disease and he had to stand by helplessly as he was informed that his physical healthy could not support his attempt to donate one of his kidneys.
As a husband it disturbed him that he couldn't provide what was now the most important thing to him, his own wife's health. As he found his way to Weight Watchers, the proud partner of Dr. Oz in the Million Dollar Challenge, his habits became different and were noticed by his students.
"At age 54, 5' 10" tall and 300 pounds, I knew it was time," Lamb wrote as part of his personal bio that was required in the Challenge. "I stopped wolfing food down in the hallways and cafeteria and began grazing in my classroom. I brought a lunch box packed with fruit, vegetables, granola and yogurt. My students saw me eating these items and asked, 'Why are you eating like a rabbit?' Thus began a little classroom nutrition transformation.
With the nation becoming increasingly aware of the overall obesity surge in both adults and children, a role model like Michael Lamb might just make a difference to one or more of the children who need it. Read: Dr. Oz's Million Dollar Challenge, what's it all about?
Dr. Oz has taken the time between the announcement of the Challenge in September 2011 and the announcement of Michael Lamb's good fortune to line up with Weight Watchers on other projects. Read: Weight Watchers and Dr. Oz make 2012 "Year to Believe"
He has featured the weight-loss company's spokesperson, singer/actress Jennifer Hudson in multiple shows as she shared her own journey from fat to healthy, including meal suggestions and recipes for her new favorite foods. Read: Jennifer Hudson's recipes shared with Dr. Oz
Transformation Nation is aptly named because as Michael Lamb discovered, this is a new life as well as a lifestyle. Living as a healthy adult means taking time and energy from other things and focusing on your overall health. In Lamb's case it was a surprise that he was not only willing to do what was necessary but also to stick to the plan.
"I started walking a short loop and worked up to a 5K. By the time I was down 35 pounds, I noticed loose skin and lack of muscle tone. I was told of a workout challenge at a gym, so I joined. The first day was the worst; I was scared to go in. Once inside, I found the trainers genuinely cared, and I was nicknamed 'Big Mike.'
No longer called Big Mike, he realized that he wanted to live a long life with his wife and that no one was impeding him except himself. "I started out wanting to help my wife, but at some point I suddenly realized that I needed to do this for my own health, and that I was worth it and that I could never be of help to anybody if I didn't fix my own health and change the course of my life."
Image: Wikimedia Commons