BOPing is the real deal!

Fat? No one ever called me obese, but I’ve always been surprised at photos of me with “love handles” or a belt buckle hidden from view.

It took me many years and hundreds of false starts to recognize it’s not the dramatic changes but rather the little steps taken frequently that yield great results. Which brings me back to BOPing.

So what is a BOP? Nearly every hour of every workday, someone at The Change Companies shouts “BOP time!” Employees gather together to stretch, do push-ups and sit-ups, hula hoop, stand on their heads, lift weights, do cartwheels and invent all sorts of creative motions.

Then, before you know it, BOP time is over as quickly as it began. Everyone has resumed their work…albeit with much more smiles and sanguinity.

BOP stands for “Brief Opportunity for Progress.” This hourly regimen is based on our employees’ thirst for fun and an understanding of James Prochaska’s Stages of Change.

BOPs are Brief. These two-minute bursts allow individuals to tap into new energy, refocus their thinking, express their personalities and create reasons to smile.

BOPs are Opportunities. No individual is forced to BOP, but the joy of the experience is usually too alluring to pass up. BOPs create Progress. Looking at James Prochaska’s book Changing for Good, several processes of change, Social Liberation, Helping Relationships and Commitment, are utilized during BOPs. Precontemplators and Contemplators take these opportunities to move toward action.

In just one year of BOPs, The Change Companies’ staff of 30 employees collectively lost over 250 pounds, reduced absenteeism by 50%, reduced health insurance costs by 30% and dramatically increased productivity.

I don’t have “love handles” anymore, thanks to BOPs. I also don’t count on miracle diets, mail order PhDs or any other “quick fix” solutions. I have learned that the little choices I make each day are what create positive changes in my life and give me a joyous sense of fulfillment.