I have struggled with being overweight for most of my adult life. I managed to shrug off the sobering truth about my condition by telling myself I carry the extra weight because I am tall, or because I am big-boned, and by simply laughing it off. Deep down inside, however, I was suffering emotionally.
When I turned 43 I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, but even that blow was not enough for me to make a decision to change the dangerous road I was on.
This non-compliant attitude began to change two years ago, when I was hired by Apex Benefits to serve as an advisor. As an advisor, I help employers assemble health plans and benefits that are competitive, yet affordable. I frequently talk to prospects about how Apex Benefits helps our clients get their employees healthier through our platform of tools and services called the “Apex Better Health Advantage.” This platform works by engaging individuals to take care of their own health. Eventually, I painfully realized that I was not walking the walk, but rather talking the talk about wellness. I realized that in order to effectively help my clients, I had to address my weight issue.
I finally decided to participate in the wellness program at Apex Benefits (what a concept!) It has now been three weeks and I have lost twelve pounds, and I feel encouraged about my chances to overcome this personal demon. I was referred by the Apex Wellness Team to a unique program administered by a local wellness provider called On Target Health. Much like some other weight reduction programs, On Target Health helps their participants through the tough road of decreasing caloric intake by encouraging them to journal their food intake daily. Additionally, they encourage one-on-one coaching and for participants to set goals and support each other in weekly team meetings.
The biggest differentiator for On Target Health is that they measure your unique personal metabolic rate with the same technology used by professional athletes. Through their patented process, they give participants the exact number of calories they need to consume each day to lose only fat and ensure that they are not losing any lean body mass (muscle and bone). They have had incredible success in Batesville, Indiana, where they work with the employees of Hillenbrand Industry. The initial group of 125 participants not only lost a large percentage of their body fat, but many of them decreased or completely got off the medications they took for their chronic conditions. Two years later, 70% of the employees participating in the On Target Health program have maintained their weight loss.
In 2010, Duke University released research that showed that full-time workers who are obese cost US employers an annual extra 73.1 billion dollars in RX and medical claims. The comorbid conditions caused by obesity cost big dollars to manage. Employers who want to stay well below the trend of rising health care costs need to help motivate their employees to take charge and get healthier, in order to prevent major claims.
I can heartily recommend Apex Benefits as a partner in this endeavor. The wellness program here at our own office is exciting and easy to stay engaged in. I will follow up in a few months with another blog post to update my health progress, but for now, be well.
Since 2003, Apex Benefits has built a reputation on providing customized, calculated solutions that aid our clients in making effective benefits decisions for their employees. We believe that a company is only as good as its employees, which is why our team works with you personally to find employee benefits plans that truly benefit your company. We’ll provide the tools, resources and expertise to aid in benefits decisions, creating a continuous conversation about strengthening your workforce and making your business better.