Geni Evans’ decision to focus on her health in 2019 was an easy one.

“I always struggle at the end of the year with the holidays and all the treats I love,” she said. “I knew I needed to lose weight and get in shape.”

So, Evans, a medical policy and special project clinical analyst at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), explored her company’s wellness offerings, including the healthy weight wellness challenge.

BCBSNE’s wellness team hosts the 12-week challenge annually, Carrie Kahnk, BCBSNE wellness coordinator, said. Employees can choose from two challenge options: Weight loss or weight maintenance.

Those who choose the weight loss option form a team of four and compete against other teams to collectively lose the greatest percentage of weight.

With the weight maintenance option, participants aim to gain no more than three pounds during the challenge, though they can’t join a team.

“We provide both options to encourage employees to participate, no matter what their personal wellness goals are,” Kahnk said. “That way, everyone has the opportunity to start the new year off on the right foot with resources and support.”

Losing weight with the support of others increases success, according to the Mayo Clinic. This proved true for Evans.

“I most definitely recommend BCBSNE wellness challenges,” she said. “I know I need additional motivation when it comes to weight loss and exercise.”

By participating in the challenge and other BCBSNE wellness programs, including WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) and onsite group exercise classes, Evans lost 30 pounds in 2019.

“The exercise classes are great,” she said. “My eating habits are much better, and I really think about my food choices.”

Evans continues to focus on her health and recently registered for 2020 in 12, this year’s version of the healthy weight challenge. She encourages others to see their well-being goals to the finish line.

“Don’t give up,” Evans said. “As with everything, some days and weeks are better than others. Think of what your goal is and keep striving for it.”

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