Thousands of city workers in Irving are losing weight and gaining cash thanks to the I Win program started four years ago. I Win stands for Irving Wellness Incentive Now.
Employees can earn points through testing, by keeping their biometric numbers -- blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride level, body fat, hip to waist ratio, fasting glucose levels -- positive and by maintaining preventative health care as well as attending health care classes offered through the city.
Sharon Shepherd joined the program when it began and said she lost 22 pounds while training for her first fitness test.
"It's benefitted me in a lot of ways," Shepherd said. "[It] helped me lose weight, dropped my blood pressure, cholesterol, some things I was having trouble with before, so it's definitely helped."
Participants who qualify are also rewarded with monthly cash bonuses.
"The bottom line, it means up to $150 for our employees [per month] and it saved us $25 million on our liability for our health care costs," said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.
Gonzalez also said more than half of its 1800 full-time employees are in the program, and so far they've collectively lost more than 4000 pounds.
Gonzalez also said the program has gotten national recognitions from organizations like the American Heart Association.
Anthony Medcalf started working for the city about one year ago. He said he joined the I Win program after a co-worker told him about the its cash incentive.
"I want to stay healthy, and then getting paid for it… It's a piece of cake," Medcalf said. "You know it's icing on the cake. You know? Even know I don't eat cake. You gotta stay healthy."
Medcalf and others hope their efforts to stay in shape will continue filling their wallets and giving them positive health results.