Peaceful music plays. The view looks down on a single-story house with a red door surrounded by trees. White text on a blue background appears at the bottom.
ONSCREEN TEXT: Columbia, MO
MORGAN: I’ve been thinking about making a change for a while.
Inside the house, a plus-size white woman sits at a desk with a laptop. A jar shaped like an apple, a water bottle, and a hinged frame with nine photos also sit on the desk. Her fingers click down on the keys.
MORGAN: And of course, then the pandemic hit, and everybody’s locked in their house.
Morgan interviews elsewhere in the house. Behind her is a window with red sheer curtains and candles on its sill. White text appears.
Onscreen text: Morgan Dennehy
Real Appeal Member
MORGAN: First three-or-so weeks I found myself making banana bread and cupcakes.
Sitting at her desk, she scrolls through a weight loss program on her computer. She absently holds out her left foot and rotates it in the air.
MORGAN: My desk is literally in my kitchen. I can see food…
MORGAN: …Twenty-four-seven, ‘cause I don’t leave the house, you know.
A cropped photo shows Morgan at a heavier weight standing at the edge of a group, smiling at the camera.
MORGAN: Before I knew it, I was over three hundred pounds.
The next photo shows Morgan standing at a kitchen counter. Laid out in front of her is a sliced roast beef, two bowls of a variety of vegetables, and a salad bowl beside an assortment of dressings.
MORGAN: They took my blood pressure and it was stroke levels, and there was sugar in my urine.
The next photo is a selfie of Morgan standing in front of a mirror, a bag of clothes at her feet. Morgan interviews.
MORGAN: They drew blood. Turns out I’m type 2 diabetic and had no idea.
A black and white photo shows Morgan in an elegant black dress.
MORGAN: I was terrified. And I knew that if I don’t start changing something…
MORGAN: I’m not gonna live to see fifty.
A workout video shows a white man in a red shirt leading a group of people through exercises. Text at the bottom of the video shows a workout name and a timer. A sign with the “real appeal” logo shines on the wall above them.
INSTRUCTOR: There it is. Off and running.
Onscreen text: March 26:54
Upbeat music plays. In her living room, Morgan follows the exercises. She chops her hands out in front of her and steps from side to side. Text appears.
Onscreen text: Morgan joined
Real Appeal; an
online weight loss
by her employer’s
GLORIA: Real Appeal is a program that was developed to really help people create healthy lifestyles…
Morgan raises her arms to the side.
GLORIA: …create healthy habits…
Morgan steps forward and swings her arms upward.
GLORIA: But also meet weight loss targets.
A middle-aged white woman with blonde hair interviews. Text appears.
Onscreen text: Gloria Sargent
Executive Director, UnitedHealthcare MO & Central/Southern IL
GLORIA: It’s guided by weekly and monthly sessions with a live coach who’s helping them meet their weight loss, and also influencing positive lifestyle changes.
In her kitchen, Morgan chops dried fruit and adds it to a pot of various seeds and nuts. She tosses the mixture in the pot.
MORGAN: My husband and I both really like granola. My coach was very realistic and she was very matter-of-fact. “It’s okay if you go a little crazy…”
MORGAN: “…Don’t let yourself be caught up in the guilt for what you have done because it’s done, it’s over. Maybe exercise a little a bit more. Maybe take an extra walk.”
Morgan stirs the sticky granola in the pot.
SEAN: I can definitely tell that she knows deep down that the weight loss is good and transformational.
A burly white man with a goatee interviews. Text appears.
Onscreen text: Sean Dennehy
MORGAN: And it’s very motivating for her and definitely has improved her general confidence overall.
In her living room, Morgan smiles as she follows along with a workout video. Text appears.
Onscreen text: Real Appeal has
into her daily routine –
reducing her blood
She marches in place.
Onscreen text: With the support of
virtual coaching and
digital tools to track
meals, she’s lost
She stretches her arms above her head.
MORGAN: None of my clothes fit.
She laughs. The view focuses on her feet walking in place.
MORGAN: Like my shoes are even too big which is really bizarre.
MORGAN: For the first time in a long time I can look in a mirror and I’m like hey, that’s me. It’s not so bad.
Morgan and Sean walk down a country path, past lush trees and a fenced field. A brown dog walks beside them.
MORGAN: There’s a difference when you walk out the door knowing that your body is behaving differently, you’re shaped differently, you’re moving differently, you’re breathing differently. Your heart’s not pounding in your ears. It’s like there’s a whole new world out there and you feel it for the first time.
ONSCREEN TEXT: After this story was filmed in the summer of 2021,
A photo appears of Morgan taking a selfie in a mirror wearing a red tank top, gray zip-up and jeans. Another photo appears of Morgan wearing a black and white dress with her hands on her hips.
ONSCREEN TEXT: Morgan continued to lose weight with the help of Real Appeal.
Morgan has lost a total of 72 pounds.
The stacked U’s of the UnitedHealthcare logo appear.
Onscreen text: United