But for Scott & White Information Technology employee Candie Garrett, this is not a time for over-indulging. It is time for a workout.
These lunchtime sweat sessions are part of the reason Ms. Garrett won the Scott & White Biggest Loser Challenge, shedding over 100 pounds.
“I feel great,” she said. “I have tons of energy.”
In January, Ms. Garrett and three of her colleagues put together a team for the Biggest Loser Challenge, created by the Scott & White Wellness Team. The person and the team who lost the highest percentage of body fat were in the running for prizes and cash incentives.
“I had the biggest weight loss percentage,” she said. “And my team won first place overall.”
And being a part of a team helped Ms. Garrett stay motivated.
“If you cheated, it wasn’t just affecting you,” she said. “It was affecting the whole team.”
Not only has Ms. Garrett reaped the rewards of winning the contest, she has also experienced the benefits of making a profound life change.
“I had a history of high blood pressure and diabetes in my family. And before the challenge I was starting to notice that my blood pressure was staying elevated,” Ms. Garrett said. “But now my blood pressure is perfect. It’s almost on the low side.”
For the Scott & White employee, beginning her weight loss journey wasn’t easy. But following the Suzanne Somers’ diet plan and participating in the START Wellness exercise program created by the Scott & White Wellness Team, made her journey a little easier.
“I’m so glad I had the support from the wellness team,” she said. “I had no clue how to go about creating workouts. I would have gotten hurt and quit if I had tried to do it myself.”
The program begins slowly and works up to more difficult cardio and aerobic exercises, Ms. Garrett said. She never felt tired or sore the entire length of the three-month exercise program.
And even though the challenge and exercise program ended in May, Ms. Garrett has continued to use the tools she’s learned to continue to lose weight and maintain her strength.
“I started playing softball last year, but I only lasted until the second inning of the first game in one tournament,” she said. “But this year I’ve already played in four tournaments and I’m playing in a league every Sunday.”
She credits her success to the wellness team’s exercise program and the support of family and co-workers. Ms. Garrett challenges others who are struggling with weight or unhealthy lifestyles to take a chance on improving themselves.
“Don’t give up,” she said. “Find somebody to do it with you. Go on the journey together.”
Scott & White Director of Health and Wellness Lisa Reeve said anyone can see weight loss results if they follow Candie’s exercise regimen of cardio and core exercises.
“Just start slowly with walking a minimum amount,” she said. “Then slowly increase the distance and add push-ups, lunges, crunches and squats.”
Reeve said to maintain a healthy weight you should get an hour of exercise a day.
“The key is variety,” she said. “If you like what you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick with it.”