" The Wellness Program has been a wonderful catalyst for me to incorporate a steady regiment of exercise into my daily routine. Its been a huge compliment and improvement to my discipline, patience, work and family life.  I want to also say that people such as Lisa Thrasher, who throughout my training, consistently encouraged and motivated me (spiritually as well), made this milestone a memorable one."

James Shukis

SVP Commercial Banking-Plano 

When I was asked to write something about my experience with the Wellness program, and my weight loss journey, I didn’t quite know how to explain it.    I’ve been in the Wellness program for several years now, and my health and my weight have been up and down over the  years.  I’ve gone through a major disease, breast cancer, and came out feeling blessed that I’ve survived, and thankful for everyone and everything in my life.  I’ve logged in over 6000 wellness points, and earned a lot of perks along the way.  It’s an awesome program and it certainly provides enough incentives to make you want to exercise.  But for me, losing weight has been a “teeter-totter” journey.  It’s always been up and down.  I’ll be good for a couple months, lose a few pounds, then revert back, and gain it back, plus more. But in the summer of 2014, I went to the doctor for my annual checkup.  When I saw how much weight I had gained, I knew I had to do something. The following year I would be turning 50 years old, and I wanted to be healthy.  I wanted to be able to feel good physically, but also mentally.  So that’s when I just decided that I had to change my habits permanently.   I had to start eating better, and start moving.  I joined a gym here in town, and started going early, about 5:00 a.m. , walking on a treadmill.  I’m not a runner, but walking at a steady pace, and gradually increasing the incline  has worked for me.  I started out not even being able to walk a mile.  But now I walk at least three miles, a minimum of three days a week, progressively moving the speed and incline up on the treadmill, while also combining a few weights, abs, and  other miscellaneous exercises along the way.   A big part of losing weight and keeping it off, I think, is changing the way you eat.  I decided to not eat  fried foods, sweets or breads. I concentrated mostly on veggies, fruits, fish and chicken, and some lean meat.  When I started I didn’t eat anything processed.  I stopped going out to eat,  unless I could get some type of baked fish or chicken along with veggies.  But I had to have something that was a little sweet, so I also started eating a lot of yogurt.   And whenever I needed a boost, I’d get  a spoonful of low-fat peanut butter… I just kept on moving, and eating better, and the weight just started coming off.   After losing over 50 pounds, I still don’t eat fried foods,  sweets or a lot of bread, but they are not something that I can’t treat myself to every now and then, but never in excess.  I’m still going to the gym at least 3 times a week.   I also started riding bikes with my husband, and now can go 10-12 miles per ride, which is pretty good for me, as I have never been a bike rider, even in my younger days.  I keep logging in my points, and keep earning days off and cash awards, so that is great!!  But the best part about it is that I feel so much better,  and have so much more energy.  When I turned 50 last year, I felt great, and I still do!!    I keep telling people that there really isn’t a secret or a shortcut to how I lost my weight.  I do tell them that it is not a diet, though, it is changing your lifestyle, which will ultimately change you for the better.  

Mary Elsbecker
VP-Lending-Forney branch

In May of 2013 I began a long journey with health issues. I wouldn’t find out until September that it was called Interstitial Cystitis (an inflammation of the lining of the bladder and may never completely heal), and the months between May and September were really difficult. I gained 25 lbs in less than 3 weeks in water retention and no matter what I tried, nothing helped. After seeing many doctors, one figured out what the issue was and put me on a very strict diet. Hank and I cleaned out the refrigerator of frozen and processed foods, the pantry of canned foods, and stayed on a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, very little meat, sugars, no caffeine (ugh!!!), and lots of walking. It was very hard with the bladder issue to walk long distances, it was painful. We started with just 15 minutes, a few blocks, as that was all I could walk. But with God’s help and the encouragement and willingness of my wonderful husband, Hank, we now walk an hour every afternoon after work, twice on Saturday, and once on Sunday – about 8 hours a week, Lubbock weather permitting. Hank loves fresh fruits and veggies so it was not a problem with him. I started losing the weight in October and as of December 25, 2014, I have lost a total of 40 lbs. Hank has lost 25 lbs. We both feel better and have stayed pretty much on the diet. We splurge now and then, ice cream is a favorite, but for the most part, we eat fresh foods and what I prepare at home. With the incentive program that City Bank offers employee and spouses, I love going to the login site and putting in the time we walked knowing that we are healthier and my little piggy bank is gaining the weight not me!! Thank you, City Bank, for the concern you have for your employees.


Linda Wagner

(spouse of Hank Wagner-Courier)


I remember waking up one morning and thinking “how did this happen? How did I gain all of this weight without doing something about it?”

About two years ago, I got diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. They put me on all kinds of medicine. I had an emergency room visit somewhere in the middle of it, and as they continued to do more research, and give me different medicine it seemed as if each pill I took made me gain more and more weight. In close to a two month span I had gained around 30 pounds! Yes, 30! Now I knew I didn’t eat right, and I definitely did not get enough exercise. The medicine was not all to blame in this case. I went on diet after diet, but nothing seemed to be working for me. I then came down with a different issue…I was getting strep every month or month and a half. They put me on antibiotic after antibiotic. Nothing seemed to work. Since I already wasn’t being active this made it worse. I didn’t want to do anything. Months went by and they weren’t able to get it under control…soon my strep developed into staph. I had more and more antibiotics added to the list. I just wanted to sleep all day. I continued to get reoccurring staph in different spots each time. As I continued to gain more weight, I became completely discouraged. None of my clothes were fitting. I had no energy. That is when that one morning arrived. As I looked in my closet for something to wear…I realized, “something has got to change!” I called my cousin who had been losing weight for the past couple months, and talked to her about a program called the 21 Day Fix. It is a program that teaches you portion control and exercise! They send you workout DVD’s and little containers for your food. You calculate how much food intake (round about) that you intake to be the weight you are. It then gives you a simple equation to figure out what you need to do in order to lose weight. Let me tell you, it has worked. It tells you what each container is for (veggies, fruit, proteins, healthy fats, starches,) and how many times a day you can fill that one container up. I have so many days where I can’t even finish the food that I pack! I just finished my first round of 21 day fix, and I have lost 18.6 pounds and 18 inches all over in my first 21 days. See, the problem I had before with all the past diets I did was the doctor would tell me “strict 1200 calorie diet!” It was so easy to get burnt out when you feel hungry all day, not anymore though!!! I am so excited to continue this program. It has taught me that strength does not come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t! I tell myself every day… “it’s a slow process. Don’t make it slower by quitting!” You can do it, and hey, with a program as great as we have at the bank...you get to make some money or get some time off while doing it! It is a win/win situation!

Courtney Casteel
Verifying-Main Bank

I have continued to cut down on soft drinks.  I havenot cut them out totally. I may have one. once a week.  I always lived foreasiest thing to eat or drink.  I have learned it is just as easy to drinkwater as it is to drink a coke, it’s just as easy to have fruit than candy orsome other sweet.  I drink a lot more water.  I do not snack all daylong.  I do not keep snacks that I like in my house or in my office. I found it is ok to leave food on the plate you do not have to eat itall.  This weight loss did not happen intentionally. It just started happeningand once I realized what I was doing different and realized my clothes weregetting too big I stopped to think what was I doing and realized I had cut downon soft drinks, snacking  and leaving food on the plate. It has now becomea habit that I hope continues into the future.

It is all a change of eating habits.

Kay George

Branch Manager - Monahans Branch

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