The latest participants of MUSC Weight Management's group Lunchtime Losers celebrated the participants' combined weight loss of 136 pounds July 26 as the 10-week program concluded.
Ann Benton, an occupational therapy manager, opted to share her story in MUSC's Employee Wellness Spotlight on Wellness series, hoping that it might help others who are trying to lose weight. Benton said she decided to sign up to get healthier and lose the weight that she gained the last few years.
"I was just tired and disappointed as to where I was at and knew by signing up to participate, it would make me commit to losing weight. As I told Josh (Brown) when I asked him to send me the info – 'I just need to commit to it otherwise I will never do it.' It was a good class – it was fun and easy to talk about all the bad behaviors and not feel a failure."
Individual winner Ann Benton, right, got encouragement from dietitian Tonya Turner.
Becoming healthier while feeling less tired were her primary goals for joining the program, and she found her biggest takeaways from the program were learning how to select the right foods for weight loss, nutrition and such improved health factors as lower cholesterol.
"What is so funny are the things I've changed since starting the program. For instance there have never been so many fruits and vegetables in my refrigerator as there are now. Planning ahead, daily tracking of both my weight and what I ate and truly understanding portion size and calories made a big difference."
Benton found motivation in letting others know about her participation in Lunchtime Losers. "I printed the results and posted them on my door each week, and announced to my co-workers I was going for my weekly weigh-in. It was fun to see the results outside of class when they're posted on Facebook and the monitors around MUSC."
Tonya Turner, a registed dietitian with the center, emphasized that a daily weigh in is the best way to keep accountable during and after the program. "Many people go by how their clothes fit as a measure of whether or not they are gaining weight. It takes 10 to 12 pounds before you'll generally feel your clothes getting tighter. At that point, you're mad and it may be harder to continue and stay focused."
Benton also noted that being part of a team made her more accountable. Simple, easy tools presented in an effective manner along with an easily accessible on-campus program were the ingredients for her successful weight loss of 10.8 percent.
"We had fun supporting each other with encouraging emails during the week. The class for me gave me a goal – a goal to lose weight and be successful in doing so, to have fun in the process and have others to talk to and support you. I still have a way to go – but am excited as to where I have gotten in really a short period of time."
Participating teams included Sassy by Summer, The Avengers, The Last Timers, Tri Lams and team winners "I'll have another," with members Bonnie Jones, Kathy Sellers, Vanathi Vignesh and Lauren Mattox with a combined team weight loss of 6.59 percent. The next class scheduled is "Happy Healthy Hour," which follows the same format as Lunchtime Losers but is held 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. For more information on this program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Employee Wellness events
- MUSC's Pitch the Pack Program: Free smoking cessation program offered to MUSC employees and students. Enroll online at: http://ceii.muschealth.com/SCP/SCPRegistration.aspx.
- Zumba at Harborview Office Tower: Join licensed Zumba instructor Felecia Curry for a weekly Wednesday night Zumba class held in HOT room 910 from 5 – 6 p.m. Space is limited, so email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 822-6136 for more information or to register.
- MUSC Urban Farm Work & Learns: "Planning Fall Gardens: What, When, Where and Why." 9 – 10 a.m. Thursday, August 2, and 9 -11 a.m., Saturday, August 4. Bring water, sunscreen and a plastic bag to take home some fresh produce in return for work efforts. Closed toed shoes required. Open to MUSC employees, students, and the general public. Families welcome on Saturdays. Email email@example.com to register.
- MUSC Urban Farm Lunch & Learn: "Planning Fall Gardens: What, When, Where and Why" - Thursday, August 2 from noon - 1 p.m. Bring lunch and a favorite recipe that uses seasonal farm-fresh produce to share. Preregistration not required for this event. For more information visit www.musc.edu/urbanfarm and on facebook at www.facebook.com/MuscUrbanFarm.