"Biggest Loser" Challenge participants!

“Biggest Loser” Challenge participants!

Betsey Wesson, LPN, is a nurse at Aesculapius Medical Center.

Betsey Wesson, LPN, is a nurse at Aesculapius Medical Center.

New Year’s resolutions are the opportunity to give ourselves a fresh start, and they often spur us to strive for a healthier lifestyle.  At the Aesculapius Medical Center, our New Year’s resolution is to be a healthier team. So, with that goal in mind, a group of 15 of us decided to organize in a Biggest Loser-style challenge to inspire us to lose weight and encourage positive health habits.

Research shows that people stick to their weight loss goals more when they are part of a group. (In fact, it’s well-known that the Weight Watchers premise is based on this!). Simply put, in a group setting, we motivate and encourage each other. We are also accountable to one another. At Aesculapius, we keep each other energized through a group email list. We  send positive messages and communicate so that no one feels like they’re alone on this journey. We also have a group incentive: we each put $25 in the pot so that our “Biggest Loser” walks away with $375 – ideal for the new wardrobe he or she may need!

We are all tackling weight loss in a different way – it’s not one-size-fits-all. Some are counting calories, using applications like MyFitnessPal.com to log food, and focusing on portion control. Others are trying new exercises regimens or going to the gym, participating in detox challenges or following well-known weight loss programs to help them focus and get on track. We’ve even thrown out the idea of doing a Pilates class together after office hours to get in some group activity. No matter what each participant is doing, we all have the same goal: to be healthier in 2014.

We had our first weigh in last Monday and so far the results are awesome!

We’re keeping track by percentage of weight lost: our average loss is 1.94% of each person’s original body weight. I think that’s a great start! I can’t wait to get to the end of our challenge to see how we’ve all changed, who lost the most weight, and what healthy habits we’ve all adapted as a part of our everyday lives. I’m glad we’re doing this together; I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to be working with!

What types of wellness challenges do you do at work? Please share in the comments section below.

Betsey Wesson, LPN, is a nurse at Aesculapius Medical Center.

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