Jinger’s Journey to Healthy Living
For decades, Jinger Robinson wanted to lose weight and get healthy. It finally happened in 2018 when she got a new job with UnitedHealthcare.
When Jinger was hired in March 2018 as a senior quality clinical admin coordinator at UHC Community Plan of Iowa, the 56-year-old was overweight and battling health issues. But scrolling through her new benefits, she came across Rally for Health, the program that rewards employees up to $600 for meeting certain health goals. So she joined – for the cash.
"No lie here, originally it was the money," Jinger said.
Jinger also discovered Real Appeal, a weight-loss program that provides eligible employees with a variety of weight-loss resources. She quickly started shedding pounds and feeling healthier and realized these programs were about much more than a few hundred bucks.
"I went way past the point that I needed to get the money," Jinger said. "I was feeling better every day; I was more motivated every day. I could feel and see changes every day."
The timeline below is a snapshot of Jinger's transformation. Rally and Real Appeal can help you, too – check them out today and start your own timeline and journey to better health.
March 19, 2018
Started at UnitedHealthcare.
April 24, 2018
Discovered Rally for Health.
Her goals: Complete the health survey and biometric screening, and meet criteria such as blood pressure of less than 140/90; fasting glucose of less than 100; BMI less than or equal to 27.5 or achieving a reduction of at least 2 points since the prior year; LDL cholesterol less than 90. Starting with a BMI of 31.5, her goal would have to be 29.5 BMI (she’d need to lose 9 pounds) to achieve the Rally for Health BMI reward the following year. (The BMI reduction reward is year over year, so reward eligibility would be in 2019.)
May 10, 2018
Reached her Rally for Health BMI goal of 29.5.
“I felt better already and that gave me the motivation to set myself a goal: to be below a 22 BMI for the first time since my daughter was born 30 years ago on December 10,” she said.
July 28, 2018
Reached an A1C of 4.8, normal.
Had a biometric screening, met her Rally goals, and earned her Rally reward money.
Visited her 25-year-old son that she hadn’t seen since Christmas 2017. “His first words to me as he threw his arms around me, ‘Wow, mom look at you!’ I knew in that very moment I was going to reach that goal,” she said. “He was 25 and had only known his mother to be overweight.”
Nearing her goal weight, Jinger says of her grandchildren: “Yes, there is one more of them, but a third less of me.”
December 3, 2018
Jinger reached her goal a week early!
December 10, 2018
Celebrated and enjoyed her daughter’s 30th birthday to the fullest.
“For the first time in my daughter’s 30 years and my 25-year-old son’s life, I am not overweight.”
December 13, 2018
Shopped with her girls.
“It was the first time in a very long time I have enjoyed shopping for new clothes,” Jinger said.
Lose Weight - Set Goals
After meeting her Rally for Health goals, Jinger set a personal goal that meant something to her: to reach her pre-pregnancy weight before her daughter was born 30 years ago.
Next up: Jinger is planning to learn yoga and complete a 5K in May. "The new goal is to maintain this weight and level of fitness as I age," Jinger said. "At 56-plus, I am back to where I was in my 20s. This is where I want to be in my 80s."
Move More - Steps Add Up
Jinger starts her mornings with 10,000 steps before work. "From there, it is simple things that really add up," she said. She shoots for 250 steps every hour for 14 hours a day, adding up to 8-12 miles a day.
At work: "I have a bathroom eight steps from my telecommuter office, but I started using the bathroom the farthest from my office getting me 82 steps and a flight of stairs. I started pacing or walking in place when on phone calls, meetings or trainings when possible. I dedicated 30 minutes of my 60-minute lunch to walking. One particular file I work on is large enough that the load time lets me do 400 to 600 steps while I watch my computer."
The Stride to Move More Challenge Starts April 15. Join thousands of your colleagues in their commitment to take a step toward healthier together by joining the Stride to Move More Challenge. The goal is for each participant to reach at least 10,000 steps each day. If you're not there yet, that's ok – start where you can and work your way up to a new step goal every day. Use invite code: Stride2019 (case sensitive).
Eat Healthy - Planning is Key
Eating healthy is all about planning for Jinger. To remain loyal to her sugar-free diet, she has a few meal-planning tips:
Groceries: "I make a weekly meal/snack plan before going shopping with a detailed shopping list, and I don't make purchases that are not on the list. I read every label before purchasing the item for the first time, looking for hidden sugar."
Stress Less - Put Yourself First
Being a social person, Jinger has come to realize that focusing on her health goals instead of the thoughts or expectations of others has relieved pressure on herself.
Be true to you: "Real Appeal talks about sabotage. It's real! Others that see you as 'too skinny' or not what they are used to seeing will make negative comments or suggest you make unhealthy choices 'just this once or for today.' When I finally put myself and my health first, I was met with resistance to change."