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Rex Employees Lose More Than 1,400 Pounds In Weight Loss Program

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RALEIGH, N.C. — If you are constantly fighting the battle of the bulge, take heart. Even health care workers struggle with eating right and getting exercise, but at Rex Hospital, employees set a big weight loss goal.

In January, 317 Rex workers set a combined goal of losing 2,005 pounds in 12 weeks. Each employee had their own personal goal of living healthier, so they can continue being part of the hospital staff rather than hospital patients.

Many employees attended regular classes on exercise and nutrition. They also used a free, on-site exercise facility.

Registered nurse Cheryl Fields hoped a healthier lifestyle would help her feel better about dealing with diabetes. Since she started the program, she has lost 9 pounds.

"I feel a lot better and my back feels a lot better than what it did, and actually, my blood sugars are much better, too," Fields said.

There are many ingredients in successful weight loss. One is cutting back on calories and getting some regular exercise, but the group found help in support and not going it alone.

"We would meet and we walked and every day we talked. We would admit when we had a little slip and stuff, but we've done really well," said Rex employee Valerie Theuner.

Unfortunately, a few people gained weight in the program.

"They didn't make changes in their eating habits and never really quite got motivated," said Ashlea Waters, director of Rex Wellness Works.

Last year, the Rex employees lost 1,100 pounds. This year, their goal was 2,005 pounds. More than 300 people came to the final weigh-in and topped last year's total with 1,423 pounds.


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