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Jun 3, 201402:43 PMOpen Mic

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Drake’s Get Fit team aims to prevent the inevitable backslide

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Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2014 Get Fit Challenge, a spinoff of IB’s popular Fittest Executive Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 22. This week, IB checks in with Melissa Ripp, marketing coordinator for Drake & Co. Staffing Specialists, which is competing in the team challenge. Ripp’s co-workers Lynette Peck, Kim Starr, and Ryan Tiffany round out the team.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight — whether it’s five pounds or 50 — has been through it. Yep, you guessed it — the inevitable backslide.

When our Drake & Co. team met with the other participants in the In Business Get Fit Challenge in mid-March, we were excited to get started. We walked out of the meeting at Meriter with our awesome lunchbox kits from 5Nines, ready to get started with the challenge. We were coming off the hardest winter any of us had seen in recent history, and we were ready to lose the weight that went along with it. Nothing was going to get in our way.

The only problem is that life gets in the way. In the weeks that followed, going to Panera down the stairs seemed a lot easier than taking the extra 10 minutes to pack a healthy lunch in the morning. It was still too cold to walk consistently at lunch, and fairly quickly we all found ourselves in the same place as we were beforehand — giving in to our own vices (Cheetos for lunch? A Coca-Cola in the morning? What Get Fit Challenge?) and making a bunch of excuses (“I’ve had a bad week. I’ll start next week” was uttered more than once).

Kim, one of Drake & Co.’s partners as well as the head of our Legal Division, saw this happening and piped up. “We need something else to motivate all of us,” she said, “and we need to be more of a team, too. It feels like we’re going at all of this alone, and that’s not what the challenge was designed to do.” She was absolutely right, and we all knew it.

So on a Friday morning in late April, Kim and I met and devised a plan to jump-start our team’s morale as well as our weight loss. We’re not sure what motivates you readers, but we certainly know what motivates our group — cold hard cash.

The reward system we devised is based on two outcomes — losing weight and staying active. For the weight-loss piece, the Drake team agreed to weigh in every Thursday before our weekly meeting. Our weights are recorded into a spreadsheet, and at the end of each month through the end of August, the person who loses the highest percentage of his or her weight will be awarded $10 cash. For the staying active portion of the reward system, we’ve put up charts in our break room along with several sheets of gold star stickers. Each gold star represents 30 minutes of workout time (as we’re a very exact group, we even cut stars in half for 15-minute increments!), and at the end of every month, the person who has worked out the most hours will be awarded $10 as well.


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