Less Cake for Drake: Our Get Fit Challenge Begins!

By Melissa Ripp, Marketing Coordinator, Drake & Company Staffing Specialists

At Drake & Company, we’re always working hard to find the right fit for both job applicants and companies in the Madison area—and this hard work often has us sitting at our desks for most of the day. Our sedentary office life leads to a fair amount of lunches at our desks, and although we try our hardest, we often order out—a Panera bread is less than twenty steps from our door (if you take the elevator, which we often do), and within a few blocks, there’s Fraboni’s on Regent, Qdoba, and a new place, OSS Madison, that serves the most amazing sausages and hand-cut fries.

So, when we heard about the Get Fit Challenge through Madison’s InBusiness magazine, we jumped at the opportunity—not only to engage in a bit of friendly competition with other Madison companies, but also to curb some behaviors that became a bit too habitual over this extremely cold and snowy winter. A few weeks ago, the four of us sputtered through our initial assessments at Meriter Health (and, all four of us were sore for days), and that was when we knew this Get Fit Challenge was exactly what we needed.

Below is a bit more about the Drake Get Fit team—who we are, what our fitness levels are, and our goals for this Challenge:


The Drake Get Fit team, from left to right: Ryan, Melissa, Lynette, and Kim

Ryan, Placement Consultant

My three goals for the challenge are to knock off about 15 pounds, create a healthier diet and lifestyle, and work out six days a week. To shed the pounds, I will continue to work out and really make sure I get into the gym six days a week. I also need to concentrate on eating more fruits and veggies, and I’m going to give up meat during Lent.

Melissa, Marketing Coordinator

I’ve always been the girl that reaches for a croissant before fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and I was a long-distance runner for many years for the express purpose of getting to eat a TON of food afterwards. Needless to say, I learned the hard way that isn’t how running works. I always felt marginally healthy until last fall, when the combination of an unexpected move to Madison, getting married, and navigating a new job search proved to be a dream made in stress-eating heaven. I gained 12 pounds in five months.

My goals for the Get Fit Challenge are to lose 15 pounds (so I can fit comfortably into my work clothes again!), to get back into running by training for and running a half-marathon in June, and to try one new food a week, specifically in the vegetable arena (When it comes to food, I’m still a 32-year-old picky kid).

Lynette, Placement Consultant

Right now, my biggest goal for the challenge is to cut soda out of my life. It’s very challenging, because I get migraine headaches pretty often, and soda is the one thing that seems to help—darn caffeine! However, I’ve already been drinking a bit more tea and that’s been going pretty well. Another goal is to eat more salads for lunch, and eat those salads with less dressing—maybe just dipping the lettuce in the dressing and sticking to oil-based vinaigrettes instead of the creamier dressings.

Another goal is to work out three times a week, which is hard with three kids, a husband, and our busy schedules. But, when I can’t be at the gym I’m going to commit to being more active at home—even something as simple and silly as running up and down the stairs for five minutes could really make a difference, or doing push-ups and sit-ups during TV time.

Kim, Partner/Vice President of Legal Division

My goals are pretty simple (well, not simple—but you get the idea). I’d like to lose 20+ pounds, increase my muscle mass, and eliminate meat from one meal per day.

I sit on a balance ball here at the Drake office. One day, it absolutely exploded, and I wound up on my keester. Shortly after that, I was reading InBusiness magazine and noticed the IB Get Fit Challenge. I figured it was a bit of a wake-up call, so…let’s do this!

Now that you’ve met all of us, I bet you’re wondering how we’re going to make this happen, especially at a place where it’s often difficult to get out and get moving? Well, one of our solutions was to bring the healthy solutions to us. Kelly, our CEO, led the charge to “healthify” our kitchen by purchasing a brand-new salad spinner and a blender for morning smoothies. “If the four of you are getting healthy, the rest of us can do it right along with you,” she said. Hooray for having employers that are also committed to the cause! We’re also planning walks during our lunch hour once the weather improves, and we’ll be making over our breakfast for our weekly Thursday morning meetings.

We’ll be blogging about tips, tricks, and our progress in future blogs—especially as they relate to staying active in an office setting. We hope you’ll follow our journey!

Melissa RippMelissa Ripp is the Marketing Coordinator at Drake & Company, a staffing firm based in Madison, Wisconsin. Drake & Company specializes in temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire administrative, clerical, and legal placements. For 36 years, Drake has reached beyond skills and qualifications to match candidate personalities with a company’s culture. You can find Melissa on Google+, and you can find Drake & Company on FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+, and Pinterest.