When Pamela Green started her weight loss journey on Sept. 10, 2016, she weighed 251 pounds. Two months in, she was sticking to her plan but started to worry when the holiday season rolled around with family gatherings and an influx of treats in the office.
Green has since lost 80 pounds and feels healthier than ever with help from LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program. She credits part of her success to her participation in “Maintain Don’t Gain,” an annual self-directed program that helps employees maintain or lose weight over the winter holidays.
“Maintain Don't Gain kept me accountable by keeping me on track," said Green, a pediatric nurse at Lenox Baker Children's Hospital.
Registration is now open for this season’s Maintain Don’t Gain, which runs Nov. 13 to Jan. 7.
As part of the program, LIVE FOR LIFE sends an email every week with healthy recipes, stress management tools, workout suggestions and money-saving tips. Also, individuals can get weighed in the LIVE FOR LIFE office in the Duke Clinic’s Orange Zone sub-basement and log their results online each week to stay accountable.
Last season, nearly 700 faculty and staff participated and lost a combined 952 pounds.
"Getting to the end of the year can be stressful for some," said Katie MacEachern, LIVE FOR LIFE fitness program manager. "Your health is important every season of the year."
By participating, staff and faculty earn up to 140 LIVE FOR LIFE dollars to spend on workout equipment, clothes and massages. Employees can earn another 10 LIVE FOR LIFE dollars by having their body fat measured early in the program at the LIVE FOR LIFE office.
For Green, high blood pressure motivated her to get on a healthier track with Maintain Don’t Gain. Instead of going out to eat, she used recipes provided by LIVE FOR LIFE, including a yogurt-based dressing for salads. She also kept track of how often she ate out and walked on a treadmill near her office during 15-minute breaks and exercised three times a week.
She said the weekly weigh-ins and emails she got from LIVE FOR LIFE kept Green motivated. She no longer takes medicine for acid reflux or high blood pressure and sleeps through the night. She plans to participate in Maintain Don’t Gain again.
“I feel an emotional and physical difference,” Green said. “LIVE FOR LIFE gave me the tools. They’ve been a big part of this journey.”