He lost 60 pounds in six months. "The guys saw that, and they quit teasing me," he said. "Some of them started coming too. They said, if George can go to Weight Watchers, we can too."
More important, Farley's blood pressure and cholesterol fell into normal range. He dropped his triglycerides from 179 to 81. So he figures the city saves money on him. "I don't take those two pills anymore, so Dave Molgaard doesn't have to pay for that anymore, and my knee trouble disappeared after I lost weight."
Farley gets a 24 percent discount on his insurance because he goes to the clinic at least once a year. Employees with one to three risk factors must visit the clinic twice a year. If they have 4 or more factors, they visit four times a year.
He pays $168.83 a month for family insurance. If he wasn't betting health risk assessments, he'd pay about $40 a month more.
As construction supervisor, he knows the clinic saves down time. "I have about 20 people working under me. Instead of taking off half a day for a doctor's appointment, they go to the clinic, and they're back in maybe an hour. There's a lot less absenteeism since we started this."
Over the summer, the city's Weight Watcher group took a break. Farley gained back some pounds. In November, when he got his color-coded report, he had a red bar: his weight. "So there's that wakeup call again," he said. "What I've learned is, you can't say, well, I took off the weight, so now I can go back to my old ways."
He went to the clinic and got a pep talk from Miller. "So now I'm bringing meat and fruit for lunch again, no bread, no doughnuts," he said. "Going to take the weight back off."
His daughter's working small jobs with him in the evenings now. "Life's good," he said. "No way am I going back to the shape I was in before."
Reach Kate Long at 304-348-1798 or katel...@wvgazette.com.
Tips from David Miller: "I like to keep it simple."
"A patient can get overwhelmed if you make a bunch of suggestions at once, so I like to keep it simple. There are five things that help people, no matter what's going on with them, whether they have diabetes, heart disease, arthritis or what.
• Try to eat three to five smaller meals a day instead of three big ones. Don't skip breakfast.
• Increase your exercise. Walk, swim, whatever.
• Quit smoking.
• Reduce stress.
• Have a positive mental outlook on your goals.
"You tailor it to the person. We talk about what kind of exercise they like and how they can fit it into their lives. We discuss their food preferences and portion size and what they like to eat. We talk about ways the person can weave stress reduction into their life."
"We concentrate on one or two of those things at first. Then when they come back, we take on about another one."
Physician's assistant David Miller, who staffs the City of Charleston's health clinic, run by HealthStat