Our Members' Stories
Lucia, a CareFirst employee and member, is an active marketing professional and grandmother. Lucia struggled with her weight for a few years but hadn’t really noticed the pounds adding up until her employer’s biometric screening event. When she stepped on the scale that day, she couldn’t believe what it read and even asked them to weigh her again. “It was the most I’d ever weighed in my entire life,” she recalls, “and it put my BMI over 30.”
That startling weigh-in, plus an unflattering photo spurred Lucia to seek a new approach to losing weight. She had tried Weight Watchers® and even worked with a nutritionist for some time. Although both tactics worked for a while, she says, “They were expensive and I would get frustrated because I’d eat right and not lose much weight. Or, I’d gain it all back.”
Lucia’s Coaching Experience
Lucia heard that Innergy® was offered at no cost through her employer’s wellness program and was immediately interested. A long-term weight loss program incorporating one-on-one coaching with tracking tools, Innergy was developed in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine to help individuals achieve lasting and healthy weight change. Lucia recounts, “One thing that attracted me to the program was the individual counseling. I don’t like to be in a group sharing with everyone. I like the one-on-one attention.” After she completed the simple online registration, she received an email from her personal coach to schedule their first call. Lucia notes, “The health coach always works around my schedule, even when I’m away on vacation or have a last minute meeting at work.”
To supplement the weekly coaching calls, Innergy requires homework – such as a daily food and exercise log and reading assignments. The program determines the number of calories to eat daily along with the number of minutes to exercise weekly. Once you hit the initial milestone, new goals are established.
Lucia remembers the initial goal being something attainable. She says, “It seemed doable and that was a big deal.” In addition to teaching her nutrition tips, tracking shortcuts and how to use all the available online tools, her coach put Lucia in charge of setting a weekly goal for herself—from drinking more water to learning a new, healthy recipe.
Through the program, Lucia says she’s learned how to offset food choices with exercise. She’s quick to point out, “I still have my piece of cake or adult beverage from time to time. I’m not depriving myself and that makes it easier to stay on the path.” She is up to 50 minutes of exercise a day, seven days a week, and has chosen a routine that works for her; 30 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night.
Putting everything she’s learned into practice, Lucia has lost 17 pounds in six months. She recognizes that some may want to lose more quickly but says, “I didn’t want to change my life so much I wasn’t having fun anymore. I love to eat. I love to go out to eat. This is a lifestyle change and I wanted to do something I could keep up the rest of my life. So I decided that even if I lose .3 pounds in a week, then that’s a success because I’m still losing. That’s my mindset.”
From Lucia’s perspective, what sets Innergy apart from other weight loss programs is the personal support from her personal coach. She says, “You don’t want to disappoint your coach. You want to make sure you stay on track to show her and yourself that you’ve learned what you need to do.”
Lucia also admits, “The hardest thing when you’re trying to lose weight is hitting a plateau. In the past I’ve said, ‘This isn’t working, I’m going to go back and do my old thing.’ This time, my coach encouraged me to continue and reminded me of my past successes. She will also have me look at what I’ve been eating to see what I could swap or change. That kind of encouragement is important.”
Some added bonuses have come with her weight loss. Lucia notes, “People started noticing I’m losing weight. Before, I was buying new clothes because I was too heavy. Now those clothes are too big and I can wear the clothes in the back of my closet! I also feel much healthier and more energetic.” Also, during her last doctor visit, Lucia discovered her BMI was down three points to 27!
Throughout the remainder of the two-year program, Lucia and her coach will continue to set new goals together and maintain a call schedule. When asked what she would say to someone considering the Innergy program, Lucia says, “It is definitely a commitment. But, if you do everything suggested by your coach and if you’re truthful and honest about your eating and exercise logs, you will lose weight. There is no doubt in my mind.”