Employer Group president gets off the weight-loss seesaw

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 Angie Heim of The Employer Group, which is competing in the team challenge. Heim’s co-workers Luke Anderson, Eric Lowry, and Marcus Neumaier round out the team.

I am the poster child for yo-yoing weight. No, I never really got into all of those fad diets. Instead, I tried pretty much every weight-loss program you can think of. Step aerobics (flashback to the 90s!)? Did it. Jillian Michaels’ Workout Program (from The Biggest Loser)? Did those videos, too. I even tried P90X — no idea what I was thinking on that one.

Don’t get me wrong, I tried some of the tried-and-true exercise plans, too. Someone once told me running burns the most calories of any exercise, so I ran. And ran. And ran. And ran. I hate running to this day.

My pattern was always the same: I would exercise myself silly — and I would lose weight in the process — but it would get to the point where I hated what I was doing so much that I would rather gain back the weight than continue working out. So that’s exactly what I’d do. I’d gain back the weight, ignore it for a while, and then a year later the vicious cycle would start all over again, with some new exercise routine that I was convinced was going to work “this time.”

In late 2011, I went in for a routine physical and my primary doctor told me I needed to lose weight. She said I was pre-diabetic (only 41 years old and pre-diabetic! @!%@#$!). So, like I always did, I dropped 25 pounds in the first six months of the year, only to gain most of it back by the end of 2012. Again, it seemed like nothing was going to work.

So what changed for me? At the beginning of 2013, I was chosen to participate in an exercise/eating healthy program my insurance company was piloting. Right up my alley — another “program” to try … and fail. But to my surprise, it worked, and it changed my life. I really did just change my lifestyle. It’s not another “program” — it’s my life.



I work out with a trainer five mornings a week, and I walk for additional exercise (not run — remember how much I hate running?). Hybrid Fitness is my second home and I LOVE it. I love my trainer, and I love the people I work out with. I count on them, and they count on me. For once, I don’t hate exercise!

I think it’s fair to say that I did this for my husband and daughters, but really, in the end, I did it for me. And that’s what has really helped me stay focused. Know your strengths, your weaknesses, and learn about yourself. Figure out what works for you and what you need to do to get there. It’s different for everyone, and it may change along the way. That’s some advice from the once — but no longer — poster child of yo-yoing weight.

Right now, I’m working on the final 15 pounds I would like to lose. In the end, though, we’ll see what the August assessment holds for me. It’ll be okay either way, because I know I’ve changed my lifestyle and my journey doesn’t stop in August when this competition ends.

But I don’t want to kid anyone, or myself. I participated in the 2012 IB Fittest Executive Challenge in the Individual Most Improved Category. I did not win. And I like to win. So there it is. I said it. Watch out, fellow team competitors. I am a fierce competitor and would love to see The Employer Group win this one!

Meet all of the competitors here, and see who wins at the In Business Expo & Conference

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