Monday, January 14, 2013

Calendar Girl

For the past two years, the health care organization I work for holds a contest for employees to show case their health success story in the upcoming year's calendar. To enter you write a short story about how the organization helped you become healthier. Twelve winning stories are selected and those selected have a calendar photo shoot and receive a $100 Visa gift card.

So last year I submitted my story and...I was one of the stories selected! I was excited to be selected because I truly feel that the changes I made and the success I had, was because of the resources provided by my employer. I started working for the organization a little over two years ago. It was in February 2011 when I decided to make a change. My first step was participating in a "Biggest Loser" type competition at work. I didn't win, but it was a start to get me going. Next I joined Weight Watchers at work series. It was easy to attend meetings since they were located on campus and during lunch hours. Then I started going to the group exercise classes like Body Pump and Pilates. These were also offered during lunch hours. It was also in the summer of 2011 when I joined the Women's Running School which was the start of me becoming a runner. My employer plays a big part in the running school since the race the school trains for is the Women's Only Run.
The caption reads "Losing weight used to pose a problem. Now I'm in better shape than ever".
My story
 Before joining this organization I was in public accounting for six years. As an auditor, you are typically working out of the office. That means a lot of eating out for lunch and definitely not exercising. It was also much more stressful and especially during tax season working 55+ hours a week! For me, it wasn't the ideal environment to make healthy choices.

Whether or not I would have made the healthy lifestyle changes if I would have stayed in my old job, I guess I can't say for sure. But I really feel that changing jobs to an employer that provided the resources and support, was the turning point. Of course, it was up to me to keep the determination and do all the work. I'm very grateful to my employer and I hope my calendar success story will inspire other employees at my organization to take advantage of the resources provided. Oh did I mention this calendar was sent to all 8,500+ employees?!?

The photo shoot was fun although it was on a hot, humid August day! The theme was chosen for me and even though I'm more of a Pilates girl...I think the Yoga pose turned out nice! Another girl who ran her first Marathon got the running photo shoot. All of the calendar stories were great and they weren't all about weight loss. One man quit smoking after smoking for the majority of his life!

Oh and I used the $100 gift card to buy a new pair of running shoes! Yeah, keep it going Mrs. March!

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