Watch Jesse’s story, who made dramatic changes to his life through wellness activities.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I would describe myself as a semi small-town guy. I’ve lived near Yosemite National Park for about two years. My fiancé and I own the house. It's a small town, but I think we like it that way.
What do you do at Blue Shield?
I started in a retail pharmacy in about 2003. I was there for 5 years, and I got my pharmacy technician's license. Then my sister started working for Blue Shield. She liked it so much and wanted me to join. I interviewed, and I've been here more than 10 years.
I’m an operations supervisor in Pharmacy Services. Essentially, our team works with your provider if he or she writes a member a prescription for a medication that’s not covered. We go over the information with the provider and ensure it’s right for the member and won’t cause any harm to them and try to get it approved.
How have you developed – physically and emotionally?
When I started working in a retail pharmacy, I stopped playing sports, started eating unhealthy, and I put on a lot of weight. It affected me wanting to go out and just be with other people outside of the house. Through that time, I didn't realize depression was there until years later.
But once Blue Shield introduced their wellness program and I started eating healthier options in the cafe, that’s when things changed. Instead of a burger, I would get a salad. Then I realized that eating healthy is actually doing something for me. That's what really jump-started me in my weight loss journey. It was tough; you have to realize it’s a lifestyle change. But with work and determination, I lost about 85 pounds.
What are you most proud of?
In 2016, I decided I wanted to do an Ironman competition. My whole family was there cheering me on and being able to cross that finish line was a big day for me. Blue Shield was a huge part of putting me on this journey. I’ve inspired other coworkers to get in shape and do competitions, so it’s nice to have other people count on you and you count on them. That's a big part of our culture here.
What’s next for you?
Before this journey, it was "I can't, and I won't." But now I know it's "I can," because I know I can do it if I put my mind to it. You just have to never stop!
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