Category Archives: Motivation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Free Health and Wellness Program Pays Coloradans To Adopt Healthy Behaviors and Achieve Weight Loss Resolutions

Ring in the New You Press Release Header

MEDIA CONTACT: Kaytee Long | Health Promotion Manager |        O: 303-694-8012 | C: 303-619-8571 | [email protected]

DENVER, Dec. 30, 2014 ­­– ‘Ring in the New You’ with Kaiser Permanente supported program, Weigh and Win. The free community platform is helping Coloradans achieve New Year’s resolution weight-loss goals by providing technology-based coaching, fitness plans, weekly grocery lists and meal plans. Those who begin the program at an unhealthy weight (BMI ≥ 25) qualify for cash rewards. Additional prizes are awarded for adopting healthy behaviors. ‘Ring in the New You’ is designed to keep participants engaged after the initial New Year’s resolution hype fades.

According to a study done at the University of Scranton, the number one New Year’s resolution of 2014 was to “lose weight.” “Staying fit and healthy” followed at number five. Of the 47 percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 64 percent maintain them past one month and 46 percent past six months. According to the same university study, only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving New Year’s resolution goals.

“When I started the Weigh and Win program, I weighed 390 pounds. Getting paid to lose weight was a real motivator for me,” said Carletta Alber, Weigh and Win success story. “I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel, both physically and emotionally. I have lost 180 pounds and earned $565 in cash rewards.”

The Weigh and Win semi-annual  Team Challenge begins February 1, 2015. Participants put together teams of four to eight and compete with other teams across Colorado over a three month period. Prizes are awarded for average weight improvement (percentage) and average HEALTHpoints. HEALTHpoints are accumulated through opening Weigh and Win emails, receiving text message weight loss reminders, Facebook “Brags,” taking health quizzes, linking a Fitbit and journal entries. The top three teams in both categories receive prizes and a $1,000 charitable donation, in addition to normal incentives for weight loss. Last year, 121 teams participated in the challenge.

The average weight improvement for successful Weigh and Win participants after one year in the program is 17.7 pounds or an 8 percent weight loss. For those who simply participate in the Team Challenge, the average is 20.5 pounds lost, while Challenge team captains lose an average of 22.3 pounds (over a one year period).

“The New Year is an ideal time to make a lifestyle change,” said Lia Schoepke, Weigh and Win Program Manager. “Weigh and Win is a unique resource that provides the tools needed to change habits and begin living a healthy lifestyle.”

To date, more than 54,500 Coloradans have signed up for Weigh and Win as a commitment to health improvement, earning a total of $300,000 in cash rewards.

Ring in the New You Tips

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About Weigh and Win: As a free, first-of-its-kind community program, Weigh and Win utilizes verified weight loss data through patented photographed weigh-ins and provides Colorado adults with access to an effective weight management platform. The program engages participants with rewards tied to measured results and is aimed at decreasing obesity rates. Weigh and Win is primarily funded by Kaiser Permanente to complement the organization’s other efforts to increase healthy eating and physical activity throughout the state.  Colorado residents 18 and over can sign up for free and will receive daily coaching on healthy eating and active living by email or text message. The coaching includes tips for weight loss, daily exercise and meal plans, weekly grocery shopping lists and more. Progress is tracked through quarterly weigh-ins at one of 56 community kiosk locations throughout the state. Success is rewarded with quarterly cash rewards for weight loss and maintenance, as well as monthly prize drawings for participating. Those who begin the program at an unhealthy weight (BMI ≥ 25) qualify for cash rewards.  Sign up for free at www.weighandwin.com. Follow Weigh and Win on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Ring in the New You!

FINAL Main VisualRing in the New Year with a healthy beginning! There is no time like New Year’s resolution time to make your goals a reality. Follow our tips to help you stay on track and make 2015 YOUR year!

Five Steps for (Actually) Keeping Your Weight-Loss Resolution! Sign up for Weigh and Win to receive more helpful healthy tips. It’s free!

1. Tell Your Friends and Family About Your Goals: It’s much easier to stick to your goals when others are holding you accountable. Share your objectives with loved ones to keep yourself motivated.

2. Make it a Team Effort: Studies show that groups of 2 or more often produce stronger weight-loss results. Put together a small, or large, team to help keep you motivated. Sign up for the Weigh and Win Team Challenge (Feb.1-April 30) for extra motivation, tips and teamwork!

3. Write Everything Down: Write down your goals, food intake and fitness plan. Track progress with quarterly weigh-ins at your local Weigh and Win kiosk.

4. Plan Ahead: Plan your meals for the day to stay on track. Office goodies can be enticing, but if you have a snack or meal on hand, it will be easier to keep your goals in mind.

5. Reward Your Progress: Reward yourself for progress! Maybe it is a healthy food option or a small treat, a trip to your favorite store for a pair of ‘skinny’ jeans, or an outdoor activity. Stay away from high calorie rewards. We don’t want to be counter-productive!

Weight Loss Success Story: Heather

Heather lost 50 pounds or a 19% weight improvement. Listen to her success story and the great advice she has for others just starting their weight loss journey.

What do you like about the Weigh and Win program?

What I like about the Weigh and Win program is the way the program is designed. I’ve tried many different programs in the past and have been unsuccessful.  I like the quarterly weigh-ins. It really helped keep me accountable for my weight loss. I get to see my progress through data and pictures and it really keeps me motivated. I also enjoy the daily email reminders that I receive from Weigh and Win every morning.

How has your life changed?

Working in retail keeps me on my feet for several hours a day and I use to get really bad knee and lower back pains but since I’ve lost the additional weight these are no longer issues for me. I also have much higher self-esteem and feel proud of myself. If I can accomplish this, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and I can reach my goals.

What was your biggest motivation?

My biggest motivation would be my children and my husband. We are a very active family. I enjoy going for bike rides, going for walks, going to the park – anything that keeps us active, we enjoy. But being overweight made it very difficult. I would tire out very easily and would have to stop whatever activity we were doing and I would kind of let down my children. I also enjoy my family telling me how good I look and that they’re proud of me. They really keep me motivated, because I really do want to be here for my children as long as I possibly can and be around for my grandchildren.

What advice for others would you have?

Start out with baby steps such as cutting out your daily soda or sugar intake. To get into the routine of exercise maybe setting 10 extra minutes a day to exercise and gradually moving yourself up. I would also say that a good balanced diet and exercise are important for successful weight loss. Lastly, this is a total lifestyle change that takes time and effort. Slow and steady wins the race. You will have plateaus but don’t give up. With time, patience, and effort your goals will be attainable.

Three Ways to Get out of an Exercise Rut

Do you currently enjoy your workouts? Is it a challenge to be active during the day? It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week. This statistic really isn’t surprising if you think about all the perceived barriers to engaging in exercise. If we already do weekly tasks that aren’t particularly enjoyable, then why would we add on another to our week? Let’s consider making a few changes so that our workout time naturally becomes more of a treat and less of a task.

Let’s define a workout as the amount of time you spend per week in the gym or at home with your strength and cardio exercises. Daily activity would be the time you spend moving your body throughout the day (walking, taking the stairs, playing with your kids). Both are important for overall health, but we are going to focus on purely improving your workouts so they become habit.

Three Ways to Get Out of an Exercise Rut

1. Choose Exercises That Give You Results

It is extremely frustrating to focus on improving your physique week after week without noticing physical benefits. You might even begin to doubt if the time you are dedicating to your workouts matter. There are exercises that are scientifically proven to help individuals lose body fat and preserve lean muscle tissue: safe resistance training, cardio intervals, restorative yoga.

  • Resistance Training
    Once you have proper form for body weight exercises, start safely adding and increasing resistance. Start off with lighter weight and once you reach 15-20 repetitions with solid form, bump up the weight to challenge your body.
  • Cardio Intervals
    Once you can sustain 30 minutes of steady state cardio, start adding your intervals. You can safely do this by increasing the intensity (resistance and/or speed) for 30 seconds to a minute then lower the intensity and recover for a few minutes.You can add intervals to almost any form of cardio exercise! These short bursts of anaerobic activity will stimulate your body to release human growth hormone, which helps to burn fat while maintaining lean muscle.
  • Restorative Yoga
    Any form of restorative mind and body exercises are going to be beneficial to weight improvement by relieving stress and promoting muscle relaxation.

 

2. Personalize Aspects of Your Workout

We all have different goals, schedules, personalities and interests. The type of exercises that one individual deems satisfying might not have the same effect for you. It is important that you get “outside your comfort zone” to reach a higher fitness level, but make sure it is through your own free will. For example, if you are more social then try taking a group exercise class where you can exercise with a group of friends. If you look forward to alone time then charge up the iPod and go for a walk or run. Instead of reinventing the wheel, ask yourself what exercise do you already enjoy doing that can become a weekly habit.

 

3. Change Up Your Routine Every Six Weeks

They say variety is the spice of life! Make sure that this holds true when it comes to your workouts. Without change you might find yourself dreading the boredom of your workouts, which might lead to loss of motivation. Additionally, your body can adapt to the same caloric burn and muscle exertion as it becomes more efficient at finishing the exercises. If you always run three miles, eventually your body will become very good at running three miles and the weight improvement will plateau. Mark on your calendar and make sure after six to eight weeks you increase the intensity, add a variation or change the exercise all together.

 

Keep in mind that the majority of your body composition is a result of your diet. The rest is determined by how you effectively manage your sleeping patterns and stress levels, how you exercise and other lifestyle factors. Improving your workout is one of the many ways to boost your weight improvement plan.

 Written By: Mallory McCormick, Weigh and Win Health Coach

How the Team Challenge Can Help You Succeed

Participants who join the team challenge are more successful in weight loss than participants who do not join. Read this blog post for more interesting statistics on how competition can help you achieve your health goals.

Our next team challenge is starting in just two weeks on August 1. Learn how Weigh and Win and the Team Challenge helped ‘The Freedom Fat Fighters’ take control of their health, losing 117 lbs or a 12.15% weight improvement in the Winter 2014 Team Challenge.

Are you up for the challenge this year?

Healthy Summer Goals

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Summer is a great time to commit to healthy behaviors. The weather is nice and fresh fruit and vegetables are in-season. Let’s all commit to being the healthiest versions of ourselves this summer. A great way to get and stay healthy is to set goals. Together, let’s set four healthy summer goals.

Four Healthy Summer Goals to Set:

  1. Get Outside & Move More 

    Soak up every minute of the nice weather by getting outside and moving more. Fit in outdoor workouts like riding bike, jogging or swimming laps in the neighborhood outdoor pool. Also, try adding more activity into your daily routine: go for a walk at lunch, park farther away in the parking lot or mow your lawn.

  2. Set a Personal Goal Outside Your Comfort Zone 

    The key to lifelong fitness is to continue to push yourself and try new things. Set a goal outside your comfort zone: join a running group, hike a 14er, bike commute, try a new exercise class like kickboxing or yoga, train for a 5k or half-marathon, complete the Manitou Incline, try five new Colorado hikes, go for a walk after dinner every day– the options are endless! Just pick a goal and push yourself to achieve it.

  3. Green Grilling 

    Summer and grilling go hand-in-hand. Think outside the box this year and add more vegetables to your summer cook-outs. Ditch unhealthy potato salads and chips and try grilled vegetable kabobs, grilled portabella mushrooms, grilled zucchini spears and more!

  4. Make Time for Relaxation 

    Chronic stress can cause a multitude of health issues like overeating, headaches, digestive problems, increased heart risk and more. Don’t let work and busy summer schedules stress you out. Commit to taking time to relax this summer. Run around outside with the kids, read a book in the shade of a tree, or dine al fresco with friends.

Have your own healthy summer goal in mind? Stay tuned! We will be offering a Healthy Summer Goals Photo Contest on Facebook starting June 9, 2014.

Written by: Jillian Tongate, Marketing Manager

Does being social help you lose more weight?

One of the questions we often receive here at Weigh and Win is “What’s the secret to losing weight, and keeping it off?”

Of course the simple answer is HEAL: Healthy Eating and Active Living!  If you can find ways to eat better (my most effective thing is to remember to control my portion sizes) and move  your body more (take the stairs!) you should start to see changes in your energy level and your health.  But if you’re looking for additional ways to stack the odds in your favor, then read on.

After analyzing the performance of thousands of participants in the Weigh and Win program, we recently noticed that people using our team challenges tend to lose more weight.  And those that decide to be the captain of a team have even more success.

People who join the team challenge lose more weight
People who join the team challenge lose more weight

Why is this happening?  One theory is that the very act of promising to your friends that you’re going to try to get in shape increases your commitment to change.  This “social contract” with your family and friends provides a bit more motivation to put down that donut and pick up an apple.  And if you take on the role of team captain and organizer, then you’re given an extra helping of social accountability.  Everyone is watching!

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Team challenges aren’t for everyone.  But if you don’t mind a little fun and competition with your weight loss journey, then you might want to give one of our team challenges a try! Our next team challenge starts August 2014.

Good luck!

Written by: Todd McGuire, CTO incentaHEALTH

Success Story: Tawnya

What were your goals when you started Weigh and Win?

My initial goal when I signed up, was to get back down to my wedding weight.  I lost about 27 lbs before my wedding, only to gain 35 lbs in the year that followed.  So, I gained it all back, plus 8 lbs.  That was the pattern in a decade of weight loss let downs.  I would lose 10 and gain 15. Lose 15 and gain 25. Lose 20 and gain 30. Lose 30 and gain 40.  I had reached 199.9 lbs before I lost the 27 lbs for the wedding.  I told myself I’d never let myself get to 200 lbs.  In late 2012 when I did my FitZero weigh in at work I was 208 lbs.  Reality sunk in, and I couldn’t bear to let it get worse.  I didn’t want to feel any more uncomfortable, defeated, or discouraged than I already did.  Once I lost some weight, rather than just having maintained it, I found the motivation to try and work at getting back down to my wedding weight, because I knew I could get there, since I had done it just a year before.  It was an achievable goal.  I am happy to report that I lost 25 more pounds than I had initially hoped to. 

Why has Weigh and Win worked for you?

One of the things I like most about Weigh and Win, (aside from the cash rewards, of course) is that it is a one year program.  It gives you time to lose the weight without feeling pressured, to lose it in a healthy way, and settle into the lifestyle change that comes with it all.  It’s not some sort of fad or “miracle” diet.  It’s not some sort of pre-packaged meals program.  It’s not a “lose 20 lbs in 3 wks” program.  Those are the kinds of weight loss programs that are rarely sustainable.  Those are the kinds of programs that can lead to a weight loss history like mine, meaning, lose some, and gain back even more than you lost.  Weigh and Win makes the reality known that you are indeed going to have to work for what you want, but that it is so worth it, and that it is sustainable weight loss, and a manageable lifestyle. 

I was already very aware of what I needed to be doing, intellectually and conceptually, to yield healthy weight loss. I’ve known it for years.  My roadblock, though, has always been finding and keeping the motivation to actually eat well and exercise.  I love food…the flavor, color, texture, variety.  I made very little sacrifice this year in terms of food.  I still enjoyed it, a lot.  And, I’m starting to get better at not feeling guilty if I indulge a little from time to time, because, I have found the balance.  I know that I may need to work out a little harder, or eat a little bit lighter the rest of the day or week, but that there is no food that is off limits.  For me personally, nothing is forbidden. There are no restrictions… Just balance, moderation, smarter choices, smaller portions, and personal awareness.  I have found what works for me. 

Additionally, I truly appreciate that the program goes into a second year.  It allows you to keep moving forward if you still have goals to reach, and if you are where you want to be, it helps you to be mindful of maintaining all the hard work you put into the first year.  My real celebration will be in another year, when I have maintained my weight loss.  I’ve lost weight many times.  I’ve never kept it off.  I can’t let my guard down. I can’t get complacent.  And I don’t want to ever have to do this again.  It is really easy to gain weight.  It is not so easy to lose.  I am confident that this is it for me.  That I’ve finally got it in the bag.  It is really cool that Weigh and Win is willing to see you through your maintenance phase instead of just cutting you loose. 

Do you have any tips or advice for new Weigh and Win participants?

I highly recommend that new participants take waist/hip measurements etc.  I failed to take measurements in the beginning and found myself getting discouraged at times when I plateaued, or even gained weight.  Muscle weighs more than fat, and as you build muscle, you may actually gain weight from time to time.  There were times that I plateaued for over a month, but during that month my clothes were fitting looser.  I was trading fat for muscle, so my body composition was changing, but the scale wasn’t moving.  If I had been keeping track of my measurements, I would have had the satisfaction of seeing the results in numbers.  Also, there does get to be a point in your journey where the pounds on the scale don’t matter as much as how you feel.  It can be easy to obsess about the pounds, especially in the end, when the weight loss slows down.  I found myself at the end of my journey obsessing so much that the stress it caused me was working against me.  I was only 3 lbs away from my 30% goal at one point, and I was initially bummed that I didn’t make that last mark.  I had to continually remind myself to look at how far I had come, rather than focusing on that last 3lbs that just didn’t want to come off by a certain date. 

I’d also like to share that there was one other thing that I really had to hone in on this year.  It was that I was doing this for my health and wellbeing, and that physical appearance was just an added bonus.  The majority of people embarking on a weight loss journey have issues with body image to begin with.  I know it may be easier said than done, but try not to focus so much on how you look, but rather, how you feel.  How’s your energy? How’s your mood?  How are your clothes fitting?  What kinds of things have gotten easier for you to do?  Our society puts so much emphasis on looks.  I didn’t “love” myself anymore when I was 130 lbs, than I did at 208 lbs.  Self-love comes from within.  I still have stretch marks, I still have cellulite, I have flabby skin.  Sure, people tell me I “look” great. And, I appreciate it so very much. But, for me, it’s about feeling great that matters.  I strongly encourage anyone struggling with poor body image and self-esteem,  to seek support.  There can be much deeper reasons for your struggles to lose weight and keep it off, that go above and beyond eating too much and moving too little.  There is a very mental piece to this journey, and if that is neglected, it may only be that much harder of one.  

Hunting for a Healthier Easter

The best approach for a healthier Easter:  shift your focus to the meaning of Easter and the nonfood traditions behind the holiday. Then, once you’re looking at the bigger picture — not just candy-filled Easter baskets — you can figure out how to get the best out of your “Easter Eggs.”

Plan for Sweets

Make smarter choices elsewhere in the day to allow for a small splurge later. Remember, Easter is only one day so try to only indulge on those chocolate eggs on Sunday and not ruin the rest of the week! Some chocolate can be good for you but try buying small, individually wrapped chocolate eggs and avoid the giant chocolate bunnies, no matter how cute they are.

Break an Egg

One of the big heart myths is that eggs contain harmful cholesterol. However, eggs aren’t a problem unless they are fried in oil or loaded  up with cheese. For a filling and healthy start to your day try a boiled, poached or scrambled egg loaded with fresh vegetables.

Don’t Come to Dinner Hungry

Try snacking on some of those colorful hard-boiled eggs you may have made earlier — one large egg has around 76 calories. It’s a filling and nutritious option before the big meal.

Slow Down

When has there ever been a shortage of food or drinks at holiday events? Eat and drink slowly and allow your brain to catch up to your stomach.

Be Active

Plan fun activities with your family and friends to stay active and motivated over the weekend: go for a walk, run, swim, bike ride, kick a ball around, whatever you like… just move that body and enjoy the time spent together!

Rethink the Easter Basket

Nontraditional gifts such as jewelry, books, and clothing are even more appreciated than those sugary little peeps.  Who wouldn’t love seeing a Fitbit in their Easter basket?!

Consider Making Healthy Meal Substitutions

Try serving chocolate covered strawberries instead of a carrot cake or even steamed carrots instead of honey glazed carrots.  Add in more vegetables and make sure to savor every bite!

Written by: Rachel Corcoran, Weigh and Win Health Coach

Public Health Awareness Week: Get Out Ahead!

Did you know that 7 out of 10 deaths in the US are directly related to preventable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer? Specifically, 9 out of every 10 cases of type 2 diabetes are directly related to lifestyle choices.

There are countless ways we can reduce our risk and it starts with the simple choices we make every day in regards to our activity & eating patterns. Think about what has worked for you in the past & use those successes to set a goal for today and the future. Here are a couple of suggestions on how to get going…

1)      Find a partner

Whether it be your spouse, children, parents, grandkids, neighbor or puppy dog, exercise with them. You can create your own culture of health by making fitness something you do together regularly. Don’t forget, children are recommended to get 60 minutes of exercise each and every day. Adults are recommended to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days per week. Help those you care about meet (or beat) those guidelines.

2)      Schedule time for movement

Sitting all day is unhealthy and at the same time, most of us spend our workdays slouched in front of a computer screen. Pencil exercise breaks into your calendar (think stretches, arm circles, tricep dips or, gulp, lunges and even squats). Try to stand instead of sit at work or host walking meetings/breaks during the day. And don’t forget about those beloved stairs – they add built-in workouts to your day.

3)      Find your joy

If you don’t like running like your marathon-addict friend, it’s simple: find an activity or hobby that brings YOU happiness. It’s the key to long-term success! Gardening in your backyard or a stroll through the park? Team kickball or fitness classes? Favor the activities that bring you the most enjoyment.

4)      Get outdoors and walk

Yes, walking is enough! Putting one foot in front of the other will lead to improvements in mental and physical health. Pump those arms and pick up the pace. In Colorado, we are lucky to have over 300 days a year of sunny, blue sky days. So step outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your skin. Plus, being outside is an instant, 100% all-natural pick-me-up. Give it a try!

5)      Everything in moderation including moderation

If you miss a day of exercise, don’t worry about it and hop back on the bandwagon. But be sure to check yourself for excuses too. Unmotivated after a long, hard day? Challenge yourself to only 5 minutes of exercise…I bet after you reach 5 minutes, you’ll be glad you started.

Remember: something is always better than nothing. What are you waiting for? Get up, get moving, get ahead!

 

Written by: Kayla Harris, MS
Workforce Health Consultant, Kaiser Permanente