Marsh Halberg is adroit at strategizing through an argument or proposal even before a word is spoken. Verbal chess matches are his game, and he was ready when Luke Carlson arrived last year at Halberg Criminal Defense to meet with Halberg, other lawyers and staff. Much to Halberg’s surprise, Carlson beat him at his game, which Halberg and the rest of the staff are used to winning. Carlson convinced them to lose—big.
Firm partner Debbie Lang started it all when coworkers noticed her weight loss. “Based upon the change that everyone had seen in me, they wanted to implement change in their own lives,” Lang says. She lost 45 pounds since deciding to focus on diet and exercise, starting in December 2013. With the help of Luke Carlson of Discover Strength in Chanhassen, Lang lost 33 pounds of fat and virtually no muscle. The average person loses 1 pound of muscle with every 3 pounds of fat lost, so Lang’s results are remarkable.
Carlson was invited to the law offices in Bloomington to discuss a weight loss strategy and provide motivation. Halberg learned a thing or two. “It’s just not about weight loss,” he says. “It’s about body composition.” The Chaska resident adds, “[Luke] made me rethink exercise patterns that I’ve had. It seems daunting, but once you’re armed with basic information, it’s easy to do.”
Information is key, according to Carlson. “We’re just bombarded with so much weight loss and fitness information that it’s hard to find credible information,” he says. Using an evidence-based approach with clients, especially this group, seemed to resonate. Sixteen participants, including office members and some spouses, were so inspired by Lang and Carlson that they agreed to a 90-day, weight-loss challenge.
The beginning of the program included the use of a Bod Pod from Discover Strength. It provides data regarding body composition, including pounds of fat versus pounds of fat-free mass (organs, bones and muscle). The $60,000-machine resembles a large egg. Participants enter, the door closes, and for 30 seconds the pod uses air displacement to measure how much volume the participant displaces. The group from Halberg was measured in August 2014 and again in November 2014. “The firm lost a total of 124.6 pounds,” he says. “Of that amount, 107.8 pounds was pure fat loss. The average weight loss was 7.79 pounds per person, and the average fat loss of 6.7 pounds per person.”
The winner of the male division lost 34 pounds in three months. More importantly, he was able to reduce his medications because of his weight loss. “We are proof that when you surround yourself with people making healthy decisions, you’ll make healthy decisions,” Halberg says.
That was a year ago, and even though the staff sent some weight packing, a bit of it has made a return visit. The group wanted another team challenge for motivation to lose even more weight, so it resumed on August 10. “I’m really into a team mentality to what we do,” Halberg says, referring to the challenge and his business philosophy, calling the weight loss program “team building at a very basic level.”