MHLbannersmallA healthy way to keep the scale from
moving up during the holidays

The 2013 Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's holiday season is in the rear view mirror now, but many of us continue to have the concern – one that may occur year after year – of how difficult it can be to avoid seasonal weight gain. That's why some My Healthy Lifestyle team members, with coordination by Tyvelle Williams, came up with an effective tool in the form of the Maintain Don't Gain Challenge.

Mr. Williams, a Compensation Analyst in the Riverside Total Rewards Department, noted that the Maintain Don't Gain program was first used in 2010 and that the same or similar challenges will likely be put into place again in the future as a way to promote healthier behaviors.

scalesAs the name infers, the challenge centers on maintaining pre-holiday weight within one pound rather than losing it. Of course, losing weight was fine, too, but the program's objective takes into account that most of us indulge a bit during the holidays, so avoiding weight gain was a worthy goal in and of itself.

Participants in the Challenge simply had their weight checked at approved weigh-in locations prior to the holiday season, then repeated the process during a designated time period after the first week of the New Year.

And the results are in:

  • A total of 97 team members participated in the Challenge.
  • Participants came from 20 different organizational process levels with Riverside Hospital Services leading the way, followed by PACE (MacTavish), Riverside Regional Medical Center, the Accounting Department and the Human Resources Department (tied), Transcription and Materials Management.
  • 75 team members either "maintained" or lost for a total of 236.9 pounds.

Congratulations to all of the participants who made a positive effort toward a healthier 2014. Each participant received a Technical t-shirt (with both a My Healthy Lifestyle and a Riverside logo). Watch for more information on the next Maintain Don't Gain Challenge or similar upcoming program.

Update on Biggest Loser Competition at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg

The RiverPride Employee Committee at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg began its first Biggest Loser (BL) Competition on January 15 with 54 participants. The competition will run through March 26.

RDHW RiverPrideRDHW RiverPride Committee
Pictured, bottom from left:
Melissa Black, Elizabeth Knox, Heather Flaherty (Chairperson), Carrie Karnes, Brittany Burrell.
Pictured, top from left:
Kathleen Curran, Elizabeth Hagginbothom, Cynthia Shirey, Nhi Nguyen, Bryan Ongoco, Donna Duerson, Steve Burnette.

To assist the competitors with their weight loss goals, RiverPride offered pedometers and online weight loss tracking tools for participants to use. In addition, every Wednesday the group holds a Salad Lunch Club, where those who can participate each bring a salad fixing and they all eat a healthy lunch together while listening to a different presentation each week on healthy eating and exercise. Every Wednesday before lunch, the participants weigh in and if they have lost five pounds or more since the previous week, they receive a special star.

Biggest Loser weigh inWeekly Weigh-In
Pictured on the scale is Nicole Russell, Med Tech at RDHW. On the left is Kathleen Curran, the Staff Educator at RDHW and co-leader with Heather Flaherty for the Biggest Loser Competition.

Every other week, one of RDHW's employees leads the BL group in a low impact aerobics class for an hour in one of the conference rooms, and participants can join in and stop whenever they want to. The committee even set up a Walking Club for employees to get their exercise on a two-mile stretch of road that runs parallel to the hospital, complete with "glitterized" quarter-mile markers on stakes in the ground that each holds a different hole puncher to mark how far they walked on their Walking Card.

The employees are really enjoying losing weight together and they help keep each other in check when it comes to eating healthier (except on Valentines Day!)

Editor's Note: Appreciation is extended to Tyvelle Williams of the Total Rewards team for the Challenge update and to Heather Flaherty of the Human Resources team at RDHW for providing the Biggest Loser update and photographs.