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The right balance

USPS Wellness resources aid employees and teams alike

A smiling woman sits in a fitness room
Cara Greene, the Postal Service’s controller and vice president, has lost 100 pounds by changing her diet and rethinking her approach to exercise.

Like it did for a lot of people, the COVID-19 pandemic changed how Cara Greene approaches health and fitness.

Greene, the Postal Service’s controller and vice president, reassessed the foods she was eating and lost 60 pounds over six months. She also rethought her exercise routine by setting smaller, more achievable goals — such as starting with walking before graduating to running and cycling — and lost another 40 pounds.

“I used to view exercise with the end goal of weight loss, but I changed my mindset. I now focus on exercising for mental health benefits,” she said.

In addition to following a program that helped her complete a 5K run, Greene relied on some of the resources available from the USPS Benefits and Wellness team.

Each month, the team offers several informational webinars that address a variety of topics, including diet and exercise.

The team also publishes a monthly newsletter and manages the USPS Wellness LiteBlue page, which offers a library of short videos on exercise, healthy cooking and practicing mindfulness.

“Our mission is to support the overall wellbeing of employees. We want to provide them with resources and materials to help them meet their health and fitness goals and achieve the right balance in life,” said Jaime Brown, the wellness program manager.

In addition to working with individual employees, the Wellness and Benefits unit offers support for other groups within USPS — including Greene’s department, which has made “family and personal wellness” a core goal.

During quarterly town hall meetings, Greene and her managers celebrate employees for their wellness achievements.

For example, one team member was recently recognized for starting a walking routine and lowering their diabetes A1C numbers in the process.

The controller’s team also completed the recent Coast to Coast challenge, a six-week virtual road trip sponsored by USPS and GEHA, a provider of health plans for federal employees.

Greene said she appreciates how these kinds of programs help employees — and how they have helped her personally.

Her next fitness goal? After finishing a half-marathon in October, she is training for her first marathon this spring.

“I look forward to exercise for the mental health benefits and I remember to take a moment to be kind to myself,” she said. “I feel exercise is a choice, not a chore.”