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Local group sheds a ton of weight—literally

Members of the Goodrich, Ortonville Weight Watchers group check in at the Goodrich United Methodist Church. Photo by Patrick McAbee. (click for larger version)
January 12, 2011 - A group of area residents are now missing 3,130.5 pounds.

And no one is seeking its return.

About 90 Goodrich and Ortonville area members participated in a supportive Weight Watchers group last year, shedding about a ton and a half over the course of 2010. The group, started about four years ago, meets weekly at the Goodrich United Methodist Church, 8071 S. State Road. The group also includes about 100 "lifetime" members, or members that have participated for many years.

Stacy, a member that joined last February, lost more than 90 pounds last year.

"My main motivations were my sister and my mom," said Stacy. "My sister had started the program and asked me to go and I started walking regularly with my mom."

Weight Watchers member Jennifer, who lost 120 pounds over an 18-month period after joining the group in May 2009, was happy with the program.

"I found my motivation behind the fact that I really felt uncomfortable in my own body and my doctor had informed me all the heath problems I was at risk for," she said.

Jennifer had never tried to lose a large amount of weight before— Weight Watchers being her first attempt—and it worked out well. "It's a lifestyle, not a diet,"she said.

Stacy, however, had tried a few different programs before.

"This time it just clicked," she said. "It's been really simple to stick to the rules, writing down everything I eat and never going over my point values for the day.".

Tami Yard, Goodrich and Ortonville area group leader, has been participating for the past three years.

"The Weight Watchers system is a simple program to follow," said Yard. "Each person is given a set number of points that they can eat each day, depending on their weight loss track. Every food item has a number of points based on the amount of fiber, carbs, protein, and fat it contains."

Weight Watchers promotes smaller portioned and healthier eating styles, instead of extreme dieting or exercise. Stacy has noticed a difference in the way she feels using Weight Watchers versus her other diet methods.

"I crave more fruits and vegetables now and I can eat as much as I want since they are zero points with the program," she said.

However for the Weight Watchers program to be successful, members must continue the lifestyle after they reach their goal, so as not to relapse, she added.

"I'm pretty nervous about being able to keep the weight off. I think that is going to be the hardest part," said Stacy.

Jennifer still has a few more goals to accomplish.

"I still want to lose 20 pounds and incorporate more exercise into my life," she said.

The big difference for both Stacy and Jennifer with using Weight Watchers, was the motivation and support they got from the group. "Tami is a very motivating leader," said Stacy. "The support from all of your friends and peers really makes a difference."

Staff Writer Senior at Goodrich High, part of the marching band color guard, and excited to be a part of the Citizen Newspaper.
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