The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


May 5, 2013

FitInc.: Incorporating fitness into the daily grind

Wake up.

Grab coffee. Maybe a doughnut. Paint the barn (face). Start the car. Drop off kids at school. Make it to office. Stay hungry till lunch. Lunch! Find takeout menus. Work, work, candy bar, energy drink, work. More takeout, more kids, home. Lather, rinse, carby snack, sleep, repeat.

Daily grind? Meet Shirley Adkins.

When Advanced Urology’s Dr. Faith Payne decided she liked her employees (hand-picked them, she calls it) enough to keep them, she

began looking at their daily lives beyond what they could do just for her and for business, desiring to keep them very well.

She called on Adkins, a civil engineer and certified Crossfit trainer, to partner with her to help make it fun and worthwhile to get the entire office into shape, brimming with energy and more enthusiastic about the average day than the average American.

What resulted was Adkins’ grassroots wellness program, offering up financial incentives to AU employees to lose weight, however safely and effectively they could on their own at first, then coaching them in a stepwise approach to reveal their inner athletes.

Six employees from within the small group chose to participate.

 “I had to teach them not to focus on the scale,” says Adkins of initial obstacles to abdominals. “I wanted them to lose weight, but to be wowed by the results of eating better and exercising, which also means losing inches.”

The team together lost a total of 100 pounds from January to April and nearly 75 inches, the most exciting aspect to Adkins.

“Our receptionist lost 133/4 inches. Think of it: The diagonal of a television screen is 13 inches. That’s just incredible.”

Dr. Payne was a captain who literally went down with her ship — tossing 14 pounds and 10 inches overboard. At the final April weigh-in, it was LPN Jeff Cameron who was deemed the biggest winner for eradicating 151/2 inches and 35 pounds.  

“My goal was to lose weight and get off of my blood pressure medications,” he revealed, indicating he was able to indeed cut his dosage following his success.

“I focused on portion control, I cut out sodas completely and started eating a lot of vegetables. I was up to four to six sodas a day.” Cameron admits it was easier getting motivated because “everybody in the office was doing it.”

Adkins, who had also gained weight from a busy move to Beckley from St. Albans, trimmed down by re-adhering to her faithful tenets of fitness. She said her secrets to staying in shape include the metabolic conditioning and weight training she gets as a Crossfit trainer and shopping the perimeter of the grocery store only (where the veggies, fruits, meats and whole grains are versus scads of processed foods).

She also recommends subscribing to the 80/20 Rule: Eat and do what you ought to 80 percent of the time, but give yourself a break with the other 20.

The next step to a totally fit office will be preparing the employees for weight training and exercise. Adkins plans on getting baseline fitness levels for each participant, then on hopefully obtaining permission for on-site after-work workouts (outside the Raleigh General Hospital Medical Complex) during the warmer months.

 “Advanced Urology took on good health as our future direction. The goal is a lifetime of wellness. With Obamacare and changing mandates, what better way to address them than to be a forerunner?” she commented.

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