Herbalife personal wellness coach Jessica Heimrich is inviting people to get motivated to lose weight during a 12-week Weight Loss Challenge starting in early April.
"We educate them on proper nutrition and eating habits," she said. "And it's really cool because the top three weight losers also win cash prizes."
Cost of the program is $39, of which $10 is donated to the Foundation for the Prevention of Childhood Obesity (gofitkids.org) and $29 goes into the pot. The winners of the challenge - the biggest losers - get the money. There are four winners - the top three weight losers and the top inch loser.
Heimrich said participants also may win weekly prizes.
"We have door prizes and fun little quizzes," she said. "The person who gets the most right on the quiz gets a prize. There are prizes galore and fun galore."
But Heimrich also makes the class educational by teaching proper nutrition, but they last no more than an hour.
To learn more about the challenge, visit the Tiffin "meetup group" at www.Meetup.com/Tiffin-weight-loss-challenge or call her at (419) 443-1367. For more information on Herbalife, visit www.herbalife.com.
"I just tell them what I know," she said. "That's part of being a wellness coach. You help them with their daily menu pretty much."
She teaches serving sizes and other basic information.
She also reviews the importance of exercise.
"Simply speaking, you need to get moving," she said. "Maybe going for a brisk walk or a jog. You don't need to be lifting weights unless you want to."
Another main focus of the program is accountability.
"For people who participate in this course, we provide not fun motivation," she said. "If you're not motivated, you're not going to do it. If you're not having fun, you're not going to do it.
Heimrich said she finds the classes personally fulfilling.
"I really love it because I get to help people and I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they've lost weight and they feel better," she said.
Although she never had a weight problem, Heimrich said she can relate to the higher energy levels.
When she started the Herbalife program, she was looking to improve her nutrition and increase her energy.
"I said, 'What the heck. I'll give it a try,'" she said. "Oh boy, I was blown away."
Heimrich, who has been conducting Weight Loss Challenge classes since October, originally got into the business in April 2009.
"The hardest thing for me to do is talking to people really," she said. "I just don't want to come off sounding like a salesperson, but it's something that works and something a lot of people are looking for."
She started using the products in November 2008.
"It's not only for people who are overweight," she said. "It's for people who are looking for better health, more energy, to feel better."
Heimrich was an emergency medical technician for six years.
"With EMS, you can only help the sick and injured," she said. "This (business) is helping them with the health, helping them feel better."
After a few months on the program, she noticed she no longer had the back pain she had dealt with since she was 18.
"The body works like is supposed to when you put the right things into it," she said. "How can proper nutrition help with my back? But it does. I am proof it works."
Although using Herbalife products is not required to participate in the challenge, Heimrich said she can more easily help people create a weight loss program if they do.
She said some of the company's supplements and meal-replacement shakes are targeted for weight loss. If participants choose to buy supplements or other products, they cost extra.
"They have all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that a proper healthy meal should have," she said.
Other products target heart health, bone health, joint health or specific men's or women's health.
Heimrich said she can take no more than 25 people per class.
"That way we can give each person the individual attention that they need and they deserve," she said. "That's what I tell them. You're not alone. You've got help at your fingertips."