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Take the Corporate Challenge: Becky's Story

by Becky Willis
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Photos courtesy of Ashley Ljesevic

How “Work Hard, Have Fun” Changed My Life

It’s not that often that you get a new lease on life, let alone a second one. My first weight loss journey – and that first chance to change my life – came before I joined Excel4apps

Over the course of three years, I found a love of running. With the help of a dietitian and encouragement from my husband, I trained for my first half marathon (the 2013 UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon) and dropped over 100 pounds. But not long into my maintenance plan, I found out I was pregnant with twins and had to put my wellness journey on the back burner. 

After having the twins in 2015, I was still sidelined from physical activity and returned to work. The pressure of trying to keep their nutrition top notch, be present for my family, and give my 40+ hours to my job sunk in and I ended up putting nearly 75 pounds back on. 

Enter Excel4apps for my second shot at living a happy and healthy life! 

When a job opportunity came up and I heard that “Work Hard, Have Fun” was one of their core values, I knew it was the right place for me. My manager, Conrad, is committed to ensuring our organization is healthy and effective in not just our systems but also our personal wellness. That’s why the wellness bug has bit our office, with nearly every employee engaged in some form of a wellness journey. 

Being part of an office that stocks our kitchen with healthy snacks and encourages staff to step away from their desks at lunch for exercise, I was encouraged to get back to running. Within ten months of joining the company, I was running my second half marathon and had dropped almost thirty pounds. 

In 2018, I was thrilled when Conrad asked me to help with the logistics of our participation in the FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Corporate Challenge. As co-captain of our team, I wanted to step up my fitness game, shed a few more pounds and earn that PR – and the team at Excel4apps was a huge part of my success in achieving those goals! Through conversations about our eating regimens, tracking training on our wellness calendar and enjoying lunch-time group runs, my support system helped me drop another 30 pounds and crush that PR by more than 14 minutes. 

The Excel4apps team and the Corporate Challenge program helped me to get back out on the pavement and make changes in my life, which has in turn inspired my family. My kids ran in their first Pittsburgh Kids Marathon this past May, and my husband has reignited his passion for running. As a running family – both blood and at work – we sweat together and it makes the tough miles just a bit easier. 

Thanks to my colleagues and these programs, I’ve turned my fears of failure into a focused fitness routine and got that new lease on life. What can I say? Working amongst such health-dedicated individuals is contagious!

Becky Willis works as a Salesforce Administrator at Excel4Apps and is blessed by the balance of raising four kids with her husband, managing two blogs (lilburghers.com and mrsgregwillis.com), and living a healthy life. She has gone through two weight loss journeys, losing almost 200 pounds total over the course of five years, and went from only running after the ice cream truck to running four half marathons. She believes there is no way we can do it all on our own and attributes her success to her faith and her fit-fam.

Looking for a way to create a culture of health and wellness in your workplace? Join the FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Corporate Challenge today! Whether it’s by running the DICK'S Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon or competing in their first 5K, the Challenge will encourage your employees to reach their wellness goals – one run at a time. Contact Caroline Fitzgerald at caroline.fitzgerald@p3r.org for more information. 

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