TRAVERSE CITY — Chad Rickman knows how difficult it can be to lose weight, then keep it off.
Rickman is a website developer at Hagerty Insurance in Traverse City and weighed more than 400 pounds in fall 2010.
“At my worst, I was severely overweight,” Rickman, 27, said. “I went to a doctor who sort of gave me an ultimatum, and that was when reality set in for me. I had to do something.”
Rickman committed to living a healthier lifestyle and found assistance from his employer. Changes in his eating habits and exercise, combined with a workplace culture at Hagerty that encourages healthy living, made a huge difference in Rickman’s life.
He’s dropped more than 150 pounds in the last two years.
“My wife was involved too, and when you are doing it together, it makes it much easier,” Rickman said.
Hagerty installed a comprehensive fitness gym at its headquarters off Cass Street in winter 2012. The gym features an array of treadmills, fitness equipment, weights and classes that feature on-site fitness trainers. Employees are encouraged to join the gym or any other fitness facility of their choice through bonus incentives.
Hagerty Chief Executive Officer McKeel Hagerty said the gym is part of the company’s commitment to making sure employees have an opportunity “for a healthy lifestyle, balancing both work and good health.”
“The gym was a leap of faith … that’s come full circle,” Hagerty said. “You really want people to recognize it’s okay to do well in business, but it’s more important to do good.”
Rickman said the on-site gym is a huge asset for him. He previously was a member of a gym "that was all the way across town" from his residence and offered him "all kinds of excuses to not go."