By Ashley Conroy
JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's state legislature is participating in a program called "Fit for Change" created by former NFL football player Paul Lacoste.
This is the first year this type of training has taken place and more than 140 state senators, representatives, and Capitol staff members have chosen to participate.
"In 21 workouts they've lost a total of 469 pounds," Paul Lacoste said. "That's truly remarkable and the numbers are only going to get bigger."
Lacoste said he and some colleagues have been trying to get this program started for five years. He's hoping to create a movement in Mississippi.
"We're educating them not only in the training side, but also the nutritional side of what we do."
As for those participating, they say they've seen a difference in the way they do business at the Capitol.
"I notice a big difference," said Sen. Terry Burton of Newton. "We have a different attitude, a different feel about things. We get along, we're getting to know each other on a different level."
Representative Brandon Jones of Pascagoula agrees.
"I think it's really helped to focus our work here at the capitol," Jones said. "You get started really early, you get to spend time doing things away from the Capitol working together as a unit."
Jones was named this week's overall winner and was awarded $500 to donate to Pascagoula High School in his hometown.
Members have another eight weeks to go. At the end of their training, they'll run a 5k race which starts and ends at the Capitol.