Workforce Health + Benefits

Participant Testimonial: Bravo Saved My Life

Written by Jason Eliopulos, Employee at Insurance Offices of America (IOA)

"I remember hearing whispers in the office on that summer afternoon. After checking my inbox, I realized what everybody was silently griping about to each other. IOA was implementing a Bravo program that could end up costing us higher health insurance premiums.

I thought to myself no big deal. I don’t have anything to hide. I’m 32 years old. I’ve been working out every day since New Year’s. I don’t smoke any more. I may be a little heavy, since I quit smoking.

A few months later, the results came back from Bravo. Everybody in the office was talking again, but this time in a positive way. Everybody was comparing their numbers. They were all shocked at my results. I missed three of the five goals: BMI, glucose, and LDL cholesterol. The BMI and glucose were slightly above IOA’s goals. However, the LDL result came in as inconclusive due to my triglycerides being 1,171. One hundred and fifty or less is considered normal.

Much like vegetables, I had no idea what triglycerides were. After googling “Guinness Book of World Records: triglycerides,” I called my doctor and scheduled an appointment. He verified the results were accurate and coached me up on how to eat properly. He put me on a strict diet for 90 days. The goal was to establish a baseline cholesterol reading before putting me on medication.

I changed my diet and continued my same workout routine. I lost five pounds the first week. The immediate results kept me motivated. I continued the routine. Every week, I lost two or three pounds. It began to make sense. I had been working out, but not losing any weight. I had been ignoring a whole side of the equation. I began to actually enjoy apples, green beans, asparagus and oatmeal. Who knew?!!! I used to only eat apples in pie form.

After losing 27 pounds in 85 days, I went back to the doctor to retest my cholesterol with a swagger. My LDL went from inconclusive to 56. The target was 100 or less. My total cholesterol went from 256 to 111. My triglycerides went from 1,171 to 136. I told my wife she could return the black dress she bought for my funeral. Bravo saved my life."

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