By Citizens Union Bank | June 14, 2018 7:30 pm
Cassie Fairfax has always been the kind of person who succeeds when she sets her mind to it. For 12 weeks she got up every morning at 5:00 and lifted weights, ran and did cardio for an hour before arriving at her job at Citizens Union Bank in Simpsonville. Because of her hard work, Fairfax lost 20.48 percent of her body weight in three months and won CUB’s Biggest Loser 2018 competition. CUB gave her $290 cash as the winner.
“I did it all at home on my own,” says Fairfax, a loan processing specialist, who didn’t join a commercial weight-loss program. “I counted calories and I worked out every day. Usually, when I have my mind set on something, I do it.”
The support Fairfax did receive was from her fellow Biggest Loser team members at CUB who encouraged each other and weighed in weekly together. The Simpsonville Loan Ops team won the overall competition by losing 7.65 percent of the team’s combined weight. CUB awarded the team a catered lunch.
“Definitely the competition helped,” Fairfax says. “It’s awesome having CUB as an employer. They care about us enough to help us stay healthy.”
In all, 51 CUB employees completed the 2018 Biggest Loser competition, and they lost a total of 426.9 pounds!
“We had outstanding participation,” says Melissa Banta, Vice President of Human Resources at CUB. “Our employees really look forward to the Biggest Loser competition every year, and we have many individual success stories.”
One of Fairfax’s teammates in the Simpsonville office, Karla Skow, came in 2nd in the Biggest Loser contest by losing 14.55 percent of her body weight. CUB awarded her $190. Skow and Fairfax walked together on their lunch hours to get more exercise.
“Going up and down stairs is a lot easier now,” says Skow, also a loan processing specialist. “It’s great being able to wear stuff again. And shopping is fun, being able to buy clothes a couple of sizes smaller.”
CUB’s Wellness Programs
CUB sets an outstanding example when it comes to company-wide Wellness Programs.
CUB provides $200 annually for each employee to spend as they want to on personal fitness – gym memberships, Weight Watchers, entry fees for 5Ks or marathons and home fitness equipment among other things. CUB also provides convenient on-site annual wellness checkups where employees can have their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other vitals measured and then speak to a physician within minutes to explore the numbers and ask questions.
CUB employees can also earn an additional 20 “wellness hours” of time off per year by scheduling preventative screening appointments, getting their annual checkup with a family doctor, and pursuing other healthy lifestyle choices. These 20 hours of time off are in addition to vacation, holidays and personal days, Banta says.
And CUB provides healthy office snacks at deeply discounted prices to help employees make good food choices. Yogurt, nuts, fruit and granola bars all cost 50 cents or less.
“Our executive leadership participate in our Wellness Program right along with employees and make it clear that they care about every employee’s health and family.” Says Jessica Dobner, Assistant Vice President of Marketing.
Additional benefits of weight loss
Jessica Weathers, CUB’s Middletown branch manager, came in 3rd in the Biggest Loser competition and won $90. She shed 11.78 percent of her body weight in 12 weeks.
“I had quit smoking in November and was already on a path of making healthy lifestyle changes,” says Weathers, who joined Weight Watchers as part of CUB’s Biggest Loser competition. “I took a look at what food does for me and what my relationship with food was.”
Weathers changed her eating habits and also started taking 30-minute walks with her teenage daughters, which gave them time to talk and catch up on daily events. In addition, she lifted weights and exercised.
“I like weight training because it makes me feel strong and powerful,” says Weathers, adding that she loves feeling lighter. “I now sleep better, don’t feel lethargic after lunch and this changes my whole approach to doing things.”
Weathers says that losing weight has enhanced her relationship with her daughters, who play team softball in summertime every year.
“With kids, you want to be able to participate, not spectate,” Weathers says. “I let myself sit on the sidelines for so many years when they played softball, and now I plan to be a parent volunteer with the team.”