Program lets people earn money by losing weight

How would you like to earn money to lose weight? Thousands of Coloradans are getting with a new program that pays them to get fit.

“I’ve tried other programs that would have you go to meetings or eliminate major foods out of your diet and it never worked well for me,” said Desiree Vigil.

Vigil is a medical assistant at Kaiser Permanente in Denver, which is where she recently noticed a new kiosk for a program called Weigh and Win. You sign up and the weight loss advice pours in.

“It gives you a daily meal plan for 6 days a week,” Vigil said. “I take in a lot of healthy proteins, fish, and healthy carbs.”

Jessica Lenhardt started Weigh and Win more than a year ago. She hit a max of 265 lbs. and her young daughter inspired her to make a change.

“I was supposed to teach her how to be a woman and how to have a good self-esteem, and I just really didn’t about myself,” she said.

Since starting Weigh and Win, the Lenhardts have changed their habits by eating fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. And that healthy eating isn’t just for mom and dad.

“My son was at a birthday party and they were having cupcakes and he asked for a banana,” she laughed.

So how about the results?

“When I started Weigh and Win I was 196 lbs.,” Lenhardt said. “Now I’m 129.”

She’s gone from a size 22 to a size 4. It’s great inspiration for people like Vigil, who are just starting out but already seeing results.

“I’m down 13.5 lbs in 4 weeks,” Vigil said.

If the results aren’t enough to convince you to try Weigh and Win, how about a cash incentive?

“Cash rewards are available to participants who start the program with a BMI of 25 or greater,” said program manager, Katie Haas. “A 5% weight improvement, they’d receive $15 or a 10% improvement would be $30, and so on.”

Lenhardt lost 33% of her body weight and earned more than $450.

“It definitely came in handy when I needed new clothes because they were falling off of me,” she said.

People using weigh and win don’t consider it a diet.

“It’s been a month and I don’t feel like I’ve sacrificed anything,” said Vigil. “This has just become a way of life for me now.”

And they’re doing things they never thought possible.

“I can do a pull up, and I can do regular pushups and I can do all these crazy things that I could never do,” said Lenhardt. “And I can almost keep up with my kids.”

Weigh and Win is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. In the two years since it started, the program has given out about $100 thousand in rewards. You can sign up and find the kiosk nearest you at www.weighandwin.com.