A resident of the South Padre Island neighborhood of Laguna Vista has won $10,000, by winning the annual HEB Slim Down Showdown, kind of the Texas version of 'The Biggest Loser,' 1200 WOAI news reports.


  Marie Pechachek, who is a teacher, lost 53 pounds and dropped four dress sizes in 14 weeks.


  "I feel like I won the moment I stepped on the scale for my final weigh in," Pechachek said.  "The money is great of course, but it's about feeling good for life."


  The Showdown is an attempt by HEB to get customers fired up about healthy eating and improving their lifestyles.


  "Every year, HEB does more to create a positive impact on the health of all Texans," HEB president Craig Boyan said.  "We know this year's Slim Down Showdown contestants will be terrific ambassadors for health in their communities, and we are extremely proud of everyone who took the initiative to follow along from home and make positive changes in their lifestyle."


  The HEB employee who won the 'Partner' portion of the competition is Ashley Trimble, Assistant Store Director at an HEB in Belton, who lost 59 pounds.  She also wins $10,000


  The thirty contestants collectively lost 1,123 pounds during the 14 week program, in which they are introduced to healthier diets and accessible workout programs.