Healthy Directions

Garry Luterek's Success Story

Never underestimate the power of a little healthy competition. It was just the spark Garry Luterek, a 48-year-old engineer with John Deere Power Systems Group in Waterloo, Iowa, needed to pursue his wellness goals.

Luterek joined the three-month "Lighten Up Deere" competition for employees at the Product Engineering Center (PEC). Participating teams tracked weight loss from healthy diets and physical activity by miles. About halfway through the program, Garry decided to get serious. "You know engineers," says Garry. "Once we decide to do something, we do it."

Garry watched his diet and increased his physical activity, walking between 90 and 140 miles per month, or about three to six miles daily. "It's not real hard to do 90 miles," he says, adding, "The contest was the little bit of incentive we needed to get started. It was something we all knew we should be doing. My belief is that God calls us to be good stewards of our bodies."

By April 30, Garry had lost 20 pounds, and improved his blood pressure, cholesterol levels and heart rate. "It's the same story we all know, the more you work at it, the better off you're going to be," adds Garry. "There's no magic pill. This is something you have to do for yourself."