No Gain Just Maintain - Holiday Health Challenge
In November 2016, we at Southwest District Health (SWDH) in Caldwell decided we would have our first ever Maintain the Weight challenge. It was all about encouraging employees not to gain weight over the holiday season, extending from just prior to Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Quite the challenge! I think we all know that feeling of doom and gloom that starts with Halloween and just keeps rolling along with our weight through the season. We named our challenge No Gain Just Maintain Holiday Health Challenge. 31 employees participated and all but one person completed the Challenge, which ran for 8 weeks from November 15th to January 10th.
No Gain Just Maintain started in mid-November, just before Thanksgiving, with every participant paying $10 at weigh-in. Healthy reminders and tips were emailed to participants over the 8 weeks to keep them motivated. People who maintained or lost weight got to keep their $10 weigh-in fee and they split the money pot evenly (from those who gained weight.) Participants who lost or maintained were also entered into a drawing for a FitBit Zip. Throughout the challenge participants leaned on each other for support and encouragement and we received some great resources from Health Matters in the form of handouts and giveaways. Employees really enjoyed them.
Here are some quotes from participants….
- Herlinda - I had an “aha” moment and figured I should not eat after 5:30 pm or 6 pm. I also got lots of good advice from co-workers, C.J., Sandy, Virginia, Cecilia, Esther. And shoveling snow has been a good exercise giving me more power to exercise; I also lift weights.
- Lan - said he was grateful to SWDH for encouraging all to participate in the No Gain Just Maintain program through the holiday season and for all of the health promotion activities provided. “We, as a society, seem to focus on long term financial fitness to ensure a comfortable lifestyle in our retirement years. In reality, physical fitness, is a far more critical factor in having a satisfying and fulfilling retirement. Let’s make the investment needed and commit to making healthier choices so that we can enjoy each day more fully.” Well said!
The Challenge was such a success, we have had requests to keep doing it year round and for sure next year during the holidays. It’s all about motivation and accountability! The bottom line? Employees enjoyed the Challenge and appreciated the opportunity to work on maintaining their health. It was all about them. Among 31 participants, 23 people lost weight over the holiday season! Only 6 people gained weight. That is such a success.
The Challenge was pretty easy to manage. It requires at least one person to be committed and in charge to spearhead the event. But once things get rolling, people help with the weigh-ins and with the motivational emails. I would strongly encourage other agencies to give it a try. It was a great way to build camaraderie and encourage healthy behaviors.
Southwest District Health
Are you a State of Idaho Employee, Retiree, or spouse with a Success Story to share? Email Health Matters.
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