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"Lose 2 Win" participants follow along in a yoga-type stretch designed to encourage better posture during a weight loss support and education meeting held as part of the "Lose 2 Win" program at the hospital Monday.

To help encourage “Lose 2 Win” participants to stay on track, Woodward Regional Hospital hosted a weight loss support and education meeting Monday at noon.

It was the first of two such meetings scheduled as part of the eight-week community weight-loss challenge.

Only a handful of the program’s approximately 200 participants attended the meeting, which featured short presentations from representatives of Weight Watchers and Peak Fitness, which are both among local businesses helping to sponsor the weight loss challenge.

However, those who did attend, received some “freebies” from Karen Shifflett, a local Weight Watchers leader, and Paula Hughes, owner of the Peak Fitness gym, as each described how their programs can help “Lose 2 Win” participants to reach their weight goals.

Shifflett allowed attendees their pick from a variety of Weight Watchers brand mini snack bars with flavors including peanut butter bliss, chocolate caramel and cookies and cream.

As they picked out their free snack, Shifflett discussed how Weight Watchers helps people learn how to eat smarter, so unlike with a diet, they can still eat foods they enjoy and can even got out to eat.

“On a diet, you stay home and stop going out, stop socializing, but that’s not what life’s about,” she said.

Beyond allowing people to still go out and eat, Shifflett said the big difference between Weight Watchers and a diet is that “once you’re on a diet, you just change the way you eat until you lose the weight,” but Weight Watchers is about making “a lifestyle type of change.”

Because unless you decide to change your lifestyle, she said you won’t be able to effectively lose weight so that you keep it off.

The Weight Watchers program is also different than just a diet, she said, because it stresses the need to exercise.   “You have to move more,” Shifflett said.

Because of the emphasis that Weight Watchers puts on exercise, Hughes noted “there’s a good connection between what we do” at her gym and at Weight Watchers.

In fact, she noted, “there are lots of members at Peak Fitness that also participate in Weight Watchers.”

Hughes added that the real goal of both businesses is encouraging “a healthy life,” which she said is important because “in order for us to help other people, we have to be healthy.”

For her “freebie,” Hughes led attendees in a quick exercise that promotes better posture, which she noted is similar to the type of stretching that is used in yoga classes that she offers at the gym.

In addition to yoga, she noted the gym is offering some free lunchtime exercise sessions throughout the “Lose 2 Win” challenge.  These are offered weekdays from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., with kickboxing on Tuesdays and Thursdays and some “high repetitions, low weight exercises, designed to increase stamina and muscle strength,” on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

To learn more about these exercise sessions or other opportunities at Peak Fitness, contact Hughes at 254-1807.  For more information about Weight Watchers contact Shifflett at 256-6460 ext. 3030.

Melinda Brock, a registered dietitian with Woodward Regional Hospital, also spoke at Monday’s meeting, sharing details from her recent weight loss experience having worked to shed 50 pounds in the last five months.

As a dietitian, she noted that one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, so “to lose one pound, you have to put your body in debt 3,500 calories and you can’t do that with diet alone.”

She discussed how she has made exercise a priority and strives to incorporate 90 minutes of walking into her daily schedule.  She said she tries to wake up early so she can spend at least 15 minutes walking before her family gets up in the morning, then walk with friends fro about 30 minutes at lunch, and then fit in the remainder of her 90 minutes at night, noting “if it’s after the kids have gone to bed, then that’s when it’s done.”

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