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Team embraces teamwork, tools for
by Cindy Abole
For participants in the 12-week Healthy Charleston Challenge, the
commitment to make consistent healthy choices and fitting in
fitness is part of their daily mantra. Now midway through the program,
the 80 participants are leaner, share more positive attitudes toward
healthy living and, collectively, are about 976 pounds lighter.
Members of the
Healthy Charleston Challenge’s Weight Management Team: Jan Buice, from
left, Matt Harriott (trainer), Kimberly Lenhart, Laurie Zone-Smith and
Mary Ann Carruthers. Not pictured: Dr. Terri Randall, Dr. Himanshu
Upadhyaya and Kimber Price.
For one group, participation in the challenge already has led to
healthier, transformed lives. The seven members of the MUSC Weight
Management Center team are committed to their goals for weight loss
success and embracing a long-term healthier lifestyle courtesy of the
challenge. In January, the center organized a team to participate in
“Every day is a conscious effort for each of us to make good, healthy
choices for ourselves,” said Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., manager,
MUHA Center for Professional Development and Clinical Education
Resources and team member. “Our effort is real and heartfelt. We
encourage each other every day to stay on track to a healthier
lifestyle. The enthusiasm, support and friendships we’ve gained are my
According to Josh Brown, Ph.D., psychologist and director of clinical
services, MUSC Weight Management Center, participants follow a group
version of the center's Focus program. The 15-week lifestyle change
program designed to induce larger initial weight loss using nutritional
supplements (shakes and bars) and one food-based meal per day for the
first eight weeks, later transitions to food-based meal plans to
promote sustainable weight loss. Participants meet weekly to discuss
nutrition, exercise and behavioral topics.
The team has official weigh-ins twice a week including the Thursday
challenge official weigh-ins, plus they chart their progress daily on
individual weight graphs for accountability and continuous feedback.
Members also maintain a weight loss journal and e-mail weekly goals to
Brown and team members.
“We provide them with the tools and practical information, plus
guidance from a comprehensive team of clinical psychologists,
dietitians, and exercise physiologists available to them throughout
their journey,” said Brown. “They're working hard and have come
together as a team.”
Team member, Jan Buice, was determined to succeed in her goal for
“In the first few weeks, I was amazed at what I could do when it came
to combining healthy eating with exercise,” said Buice, who conducts
regular workouts in the Harper Wellness Center individually and with
her team and fitness trainer Matt Herriott. “I have more energy than I
Herriott reassesses each team member’s weekly exercise progress and
physical activity via e-mail or team exercise sessions.
“Every week I preach to them how they gotta want it,” Herriott said.
“They’ve already proved to themselves that they can succeed. I’m proud
of each of them for doing a great job.”
The winning team will receive a prize package that includes massage
therapy session from MUSC’s Center for Therapeutic Massage, $100 worth
of healthy meals from Meal Week, a Gold Pass for one year’s free
admission to Charleston County Parks and Recreations and $100 cash from
Friday, March 7, 2008
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