How the health club credit program helped one of our members lose weight

A year ago Ken Sisk was looking through photos with family members during the holidays when he was struck by how much weight he had gained since changing jobs and altering his workout routine.

“At that point it really hit me that I had gained a lot of weight and needed to do something about it,” Sisk said. “I had a treadmill at home, but it was too easy just to say, ‘I will work out tomorrow.’”

Sisk, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota member who lives in Minot, joined the local YMCA and is taking advantage of BCBSND’s health club credit program. The health club credit program allows BCBSND members who work out at participating health clubs 12 days or more per month to receive up to $20 off their next month’s club membership. Sisk said the health club credit program reduces his monthly membership costs from about $53 per month to $33 a month — a significant savings — and a major motivating factor that has helped him get off the couch.

“I’m the kind of person that if I’m paying for something, I’m going to use it,” he said. Sisk said he plans to use the money he saves from his monthly $20 health club credit discount to set up a savings account to help him buy new clothes in smaller sizes.

Sisk, 40, a deputy state fire marshal, has lost 23 pounds in the 10 months since he began working out and adopting healthier eating habits in January 2013. He said he has also been motivated to get healthy by the fear that if he didn’t make changes in his life soon, he might not be able to walk his 12-year-old daughter down the aisle at her wedding when she gets older. “I have a little bit of time, but when you’re 40, the older you get the harder it is to lose weight and stay in shape if you’re not taking care of yourself,” Sisk said.

In addition to exercising regularly, Sisk has quit drinking soda, a big change for someone who used to consume a six pack of Diet Mountain Dew a day. He is also eating a more healthy diet and is taking better care of himself. “My biggest thing was portion control,” Sisk said. “Instead of having three or four slices of pizza at a sitting, now I have two.”

The changes have been working, giving him more energy. “I feel much better,” Sisk said. “Even if I only exercise for 30 minutes, I feel so much better and my day even seems to go better.”

Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

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