Gaining on Good Health

The pounds started dropping in April 2106 when a group of TECO employees stepped up to the Texas Medical Center’s TMC O2 (obesity and overweight) Challenge.

And now the TECO group has ramped up its commitment and even adopted its own name: “Who ya gonna call? Weight Busters”! An average of six TECO employees continues to meet weekly to encourage each other’s healthy choices, learn tips on food and fitness, and sneak in some quick exercise before heading back to work.

“What’s beautiful about the TMC O2 Challenge is that it gave TECO an opportunity to increase awareness of health and fitness,” says Katie Swinson, TECO’s human resources assistant and recruiter, who leads the group. “That’s really important. Everyone in the group is so much more cognizant now about eating right and keeping themselves moving.

Katie points out that it can be a struggle to remain healthy in an office environment. “TECO is like a lot of companies,” she says. “People bring in treats, or we hold special events where there’s plenty of food available. We help each other eat in moderation or avoid food that’s just too tempting. We support each other.”

During each weekly half-hour session, Katie presents a timely topic for discussion and provides handouts that participants keep in their Challenge notebooks. “We don’t always focus on losing weight,” says Katie. “There’s much more to it than that. We have talked about meditation and how that can help each of us better focus on our goals. Plus we’ve even done yoga and some stretching. We don’t have a lot of time, but it shows the group how you can grab even five or ten minutes of exercise throughout the day to stay fresh and keep healthy.”

TECO recently updated its Health and Fitness Center, which makes it even easier for all employees to fit in their workouts.

The TMC O2 Challenge kicked off in January and “aims to reduce obesity rates in the Texas Medical Center by encouraging healthy eating and the option to participate in a diet program.”

Although there are health benefits to employees losing weight, there are financial benefits as well. According to the Texas Medical Center, obese and overweight workers reduce productivity and increase medical expenses, so bringing employees back to better health could bring financial benefits to campus institutions.

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