New Weight Watchers sessions beginning at Affirmations

By | 2011-03-12T09:00:00-05:00 March 12th, 2011|Uncategorized|

FERNDALE – A frequent New Year’s resolution is to eat better and lose some weight. Many people make such a pledge and find that they often don’t have the support system needed to stick to it. For those people who find themselves making and breaking that resolution year after year, Affirmations Lesbian Gay Community Center has a Weight Watchers group geared toward the LGBT community.
Weight Watchers is structured in 12 week sessions with the next session starting Thursday, Jan. 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the center. People can join at any time during the 12-week period. “Although for newcomers it would make the most sense to come for the first of a 12-week sessions, people can join any time after the session starts, at a prorated rate,” said Laura Kane-Witkowski, Health Services Coordinator at Affirmations. The 12-week session is paid for ahead of time.
A common misconception is that Weight Watchers is only for people who are really struggling with weight. Kane-Witkowski says this isn’t true. “Based on the body mass index, a member must have a minimum of 5 lbs. to lose in order to join, but many people join Weight Watchers to help them watch what they eat,” she said. “The world we live in is in fast forward all the time, many people find that they basically skip meals and eat junk food all day long. Even if this isn’t making somebody ‘obese’ it certainly does cause less energy, lower immune system, and nutritional imbalance.”
This is not to say that Weight Watchers can’t help those who are looking to lose a lot of weight. David Struck of Ferndale has been attending the Affirmations Weight Watchers group since June. “Initially I joined because I wanted to get healthy and lose weight and not drop dead of a heart attack,” he said. “My Doctor suggested the stomach bypass surgery and I felt it was too invasive and I said, ‘I’ll prove to you that I can do it without it.'”
As of Dec. 2, Struck has lost over 86 pounds. “The program has been very beneficial,” he said. “I never thought I could lose weight, I never thought it was possible.” Struck notes the support he’s gotten from the group as a major factor in his ability to lose weight.
In addition to learning how to eat right for maximum energy and health, Weight Watchers offers members an encouraging community. “It’s honestly lots of fun,” said Kane-Witkowski. “Our group is very encouraging and there’s always lots of laughter.”
The first Affirmations Weight Watchers session lost over 250 pounds during their 12-week session. “Our newest group, which is much smaller, has lost 92 lbs with two weeks left in the session,” Kane-Witkowski said.
The Affirmations Weight Watchers group is run by a Weight Watchers rep, who, according to Kane-Witkowski, is extremely nice and energizing. “She has a great sense of humor and is a really inspiring leader.”
Although the Affirmations Weight Watchers group is not strictly limited to LGBT people, having a group that is aimed at the LGBT community allows members to be themselves and be honest in the group. “This is crucial when you’re trying to lose weight, as a lot of time is spent talking about the factors in your life that might affect your weight loss,” said Kane-Witkowski. “People spend a lot of time talking about their families, so if you are not comfortable at a regular Weight Watchers center saying, ‘Well, my partner has been really great about helping me find new low point foods at the store,’ or whatever, it can really hinder your progress. Being honest with yourself is crucial and makes for a much more successful group.”
Struck is living proof that a combination of eating well and exercising can lead to weight loss and better health. “I want to do everything in my power to encourage everyone to come to this Weight Watchers group,” he said. “It’s just been a godsend to me. I feel so much better about myself.”
Living well and being healthy has become a priority in Struck’s life. “It’s very easy to make excuses, but you’ve got to just find the strength within. Basically it comes down to: you’re doing this for yourself and you have to put yourself first,” he said. “Your future depends on your health.”

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