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How Our Employee Wellness Program Changed My Life

Ged Maguire

IWCO Direct’s “Better U” Wellness initiative was designed specifically for IWCO Direct to help improve the well-being of employees. With March being National Nutrition Month, I wanted to share my personal account of how I transformed from being extremely skeptical of the program to being one of its leading champions. Prior to enrolling in the program I had no idea about HDL, LDL and total cholesterol levels. But thanks to the Better U program, I not only know what they mean and what my levels are, I can describe my plan for managing them.

The following is the story I recently shared with my colleagues at IWCO Direct:

I am probably your typical middle-aged male, except for the superior intellect, who views himself as just fine, no health issues, who didn’t see a need for doctors and annual checkups and all of that nonsense. You know the type of man I am referring to.

It’s no secret I was skeptical about the Better U program.  “Why do I have to give all of this information to these people and waste my time when I am absolutely fine? What right does the company have to make me do this – and now they even tie it to my healthcare premiums?” This is so bogus.”  Sound familiar?

Well that was me until last October when I went to get the physical that was required to receive the healthcare premium discount. After all, every dollar counts when you are trying to keep up with three teenage daughters and a wife whose philosophy is “it’s not what you spend it’s what you save,” so I had to get the annual done. Within an hour of returning to work after the doctor visit I received the call stating my cholesterol was way out of line, borderline dangerous, and I needed to take immediate steps to remedy this. Talk about the proverbial wake up call.

This is where I refer back to the “superior intellect” in the opening statement. At this point I am now reclassified as typical middle aged moron. How dumb was it to ignore the potential consequences a sedentary lifestyle and the stress of day-to-day business can have? How dumb was it to ignore the effects that this lifestyle could have on those precious teenage daughters, and how it could severely restrict the wife’s shopping habits? So, I sat back, reviewed everything, accepted the doctor’s advice (and medication), and deliberately set out to change everything I could control.

Fast forward three months. Thirty pounds lighter, exercising daily, eating sensible portions of fruits and nuts, cutting out 99% of candy and pop (and yes that was a big part of my day) and the latest results showing huge improvements in HDL, LDL and total cholesterol levels that are now back in the normal ranges. Oh, and I am feeling markedly superior intellectually again.

I am feeling great about the changes I have made, but more importantly, I am thankful that I was pushed into doing what I should have been controlling myself, and that the Better U program and philosophy was there to give me a kick in the ***. That is what this article is really about. It is a thank you to a company that actually cares about our well-being and an apology for my past disregard for the Better U program.

It is also, hopefully, a message that we should embrace these opportunities to manage our health and take the time to evaluate what is important to us in life and make the right and informed choices to ensure that we can enjoy what means most to us for the longest time possible.

If you’re reading this, and your company offers health and wellness programs, hopefully my story and National Nutrition Month encourage you to embrace the opportunities that are available to you.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2013/03/15/employee-wellness-programs/
Ged Maguire

Author

Ged Maguire

Director of Scheduling/QA and graduate of the University of Manchester, England. “Nothing is impossible” has described his personal business philosophy at IWCO Direct for more than 13 years. Minneapolis Rugby Club MVP award winner who enjoys the challenge his job presents on a daily basis. Also enjoys cheering for the Providence Academy soccer team and the College of St. Benedict swim team where his daughters compete.

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