Co-Workers Bet On Themselves to Shed Pounds

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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – Losing weight can be a challenge, but a group of co-workers found the motivation to do it together.

You won't find five ladies in Environmental Services at Central Iowa Healthcare sitting around very often.

"We're on the go all day long. We have different departments we work in at the hospital," Sherry Vanzee said.

They've started a new team to keep moving:  The Go Getters.

The five Go Getters joined forces to lose weight and bet on themselves.

"We all wanted to lose weight and the thought of getting money back at the end was pretty appealing," said Julie Taylor.

They signed up for a 12-week challenge through the wellness website Healthy Wage. Each individual pays $70 to join, and they'll get that back if they lose a percentage of weight and maintain it.

"I lost a little, well, 13 pounds since we started," Naida Abernathy said.

Taylor said, "I lost 7 pounds, but then I gained back."

“I've lost 15 pounds. That was really plus for me. I've still got a ways to go," said Vanzee.

Member Julie Jarrell said, "I've lost a total of 29, but only like 4 or 5, 4 and a half with the weight challenge."

They also have a chance to win a prize of $10,000 and six teams at the hospital participated.

"Healthy Wage was nice because it was a way for us to still provide a wellness program that was already planned. All we really had to do was facilitate it and it was encouraging to us that it was team based," said Lauren Hemken, a dietetic technician at Central Iowa Healthcare.

For Team Go Getters, it was really a bunch of small changes that made a big difference in not only the number on the scale but their lifestyle.

Deb Fisher said, "I've changed my eating habits. I've done more exercise."

"Pops are out, very seldom do I have a pop anymore, sugar stuff. Cut down on portions. I bought a treadmill to exercise," said Vanzee.

The ladies motivated each other to move with by doing a 5k in the fall and even met on Sundays to dance.

The goal is to keep going.

"For me, losing the weight is a bigger prize. I mean, the money, yeah, is great. But, I like to lose the weight," said Vanzee.

Jarrell said, "It made me want to cry because I'm proud of myself."

The ladies plan to sign up for another weight loss challenge. You can find a variety of challenges on HealthyWage's website.