DPH Employee Is Winning the Weight Loss Battle One Pound at a Time

November 2, 2015

One of American’s favorite times of year has arrived again. The winter months filled with warm, delicious foods are a staple way to celebrate the holidays, but often lead to unwanted weight gain.

Lynn Brock, contract specialist, is keeping the end-of-year pounds off through the Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) annual Holiday Survivor Competition.

DPH’s Holiday Survivor Competition offers employees a fun and supportive environment where they can lose weight with colleagues and learn how to make mindful food choices during the annual holiday season. The competition’s goal is to inspire employees to eat well and exercise regularly all year round.

Brock’s steady weight loss started four years ago when DPH launched the Holiday Survivor Competition. She is now gearing up for the competition’s fourth year with renewed inspiration.

“I lost weight in the previous three Holiday Survivor Competitions and my waistline decreased by inches,” said Brock. “I became more active in fitness activities and even participated in a 5K race in 22 degree weather!”

Brock’s story is proof that losing weight is possible for anyone, even when you face health conditions that make it challenging to exercise.

“Last year during the challenge my legs were extremely swollen,” said Brock. “I was diagnosed with lymphedema and had to keep my feet and legs wrapped in gauze and ace bandages while going to lymphedema therapy three times a week.”

Brock didn’t let her diagnosis stop her. In fact, she kicked her health regime up a notch by joining the Weight Watchers program at DPH, which helped her lose 27 pounds and 9 percent of her body weight in six months.

Between the Holiday Survivor Competition and Weight Watchers program, Brock receives daily motivation to eat well, move at least 30 minutes a day and track her progress. She’s even taking these important lessons out of the office into her life at home.

“This past summer I cut my grass with a push mower every two weeks,” Brock said. “Both sides of my front yard are on a hill, and combined with the back yard is one acre of land. I also walk in the neighborhood with my husband and our two dogs, Oscar and Jake.”

Brock shared some advice for anyone who is ready to take control of their health and lose weight.

“Set realistic goals and take it one day at a time,” she said. “Reward yourself for hitting those goals and then set a new one. Most of all, enjoy the journey to transforming into a healthier you!”

The Holiday Survivor competition has shown excellent results in helping DPH employees implement positive health behaviors. According to Worksite Wellness Coordinator, Susanne Koch, MS, ACSM-HFS, PES, last year’s participants lost an average of four pounds each. 

“While the Holiday Survivor competition happens at the end of each year, we’re really trying to inspire people to survive everyday life while keeping their health in focus,” Koch said. “Life is always going to be busy and may even throw you a curve ball sometimes. Having important skills in your routine – like moving more or selecting healthier snack options – can play a major role in helping you manage stress, attain your weight goals and have a healthy, positive outlook at all times.”

Each year, about 80 employees participate in the Holiday Survivor Competition. In addition to cash and other prizes given away to the competition winners, the Worksite Wellness team will be giving away bi-weekly prizes to leading team at each weigh-in.

To sign up for the Holiday Survivor Competition or learn more about DPH’s wellness program, contact Susanne Koch at Susanne.Koch@dph.ga.gov.  

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