Healthy County Spotlight: South Plains Association of Government's Weigh Watchers Success Story

 SPAG Loses More Than 300 Pounds

 

A single employee at the South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG) joined Weight Watchers on their own in the fall of 2016. By early 2017, this employee had lost over 35 pounds and inspired Tim Pierce, the SPAG Executive Director, to try and offer a Weight Watchers group for SPAG employees. 

Weight Watchers requires 15 members in order to hold a meeting at a single location, so once the 15 members were secured (18 of SPAG’s 39 employees confirmed for the first 12-week session) a weekly SPAG Weight Watchers group was formed that meets every Thursday during their lunch hour. 

While the initial group of participants varied greatly in motivation and goals, an unexpected and sincere support system began to form among the participants that has since spread to other SPAG employees, even to those that are not participating directly in this program, but who are on their own healthy living journey. 

Working together 40 hours a week brought a closeness to the group, and SPAG employees have been very dedicated to encouraging one another in positive ways. For example, if an employee shares that they are having difficulty with starting to exercise or coming up with healthy eating options, there are always several employees lined up with tips and enthusiasm to help them. 

When the SPAG Weight Watchers group meets each week, a variety of topics, ranging from eating and cooking tips to exercise and self-control, are discussed. The sharing of struggles and successes has made a huge impact on the success of this group. While 18 SPAG employees began this journey, additional employees signed up for the next 12-week session, and even those not participating in Weight Watchers are beginning, implementing and sharing their own programs of success throughout the office. At one meeting, an employee even shared how being on this Weight Watchers journey had led to their spouse controlling their diabetes better. 

Walking challenges between siblings and co-workers, tips on new exercises and recipes to try, and having co-workers encourage and compliment each other on their progress are just a few of the new and exciting things taking place at SPAG as almost two-thirds of the entire staff embarked on this healthy journey either through Weight Watchers (with more than half of the employees) or their own program. 

The SPAG Weight Watchers group lost a total of 301.9 pounds in the first 12-week session. Several members have reported improved lab results at their annual checkups and a couple have even reduced or been taken off of prescription medicines. SPAG started their second 12-week session in May and looks forward to continuing these new, healthier habits!

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