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October 10, 2002 Weight Watchers bond to get slim




Some of the Weight Watchers gang: Clockwise from left: Wendy Hedrich, Kathy Hedrich, Julie Cadham, Maria Barreca, Kathleen McAleese, Dina Tavares, Marie-Anne Cheong Youne, Francie Beresford, and in front, leader Judy Goddard.

Photo by Jean-Philippe Roy

Dina Tavares (Rector’s Cabinet) is an active member of Concordia’s Weight Watchers group. She conducted an interview with the group.

What inspired you to join and stay with this program?
“I want to lead an active, healthy life, especially in retirement. The only way to achieve this goal is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For me, that means losing weight and maintaining the weight loss in addition to increasing my physical activity.”

What do you get out of the weekly meetings?
“Support. There’s a strong sense that we’re rooting for each other. We understand when someone has a tough week and we celebrate our successes together. We’ve had some pretty memorable meetings so far. We’ve started a tradition where we have a potluck lunch at the end of each session. Everyone brings in a dish, along with the recipe and the amount of ‘points’ per serving.”
“Hearing other people’s stories of success encourages you to keep on going. I’m impressed with the positive atmosphere of the meetings and enjoy spending time with the members. It’s a wonderful group of people.”

How does each session work
“There are 12 to 16 weeks prepaid for each session. There are weekly meetings at noon on Wednesdays at work where members weigh in and discuss issues with the leader and each other.”

What are some of your challenges?
“Incorporating healthy eating habits into a lifestyle where eating out and entertaining at home are the norm. The constant bombardment of television ads that sell food loaded with fat and little nutritional value is annoying.”
“Finding recipes that achieve a balance between tasty and healthy. Also, realizing that this is a lifetime commitment. The things I like to do have always been of a sedentary nature, and Weight Watchers encourages members to be involved in some form of physical activity. Even walking is good.”

How many people are involved?
“Now, there are about 15 people involved. Most meetings are attended by at least 12 people.”

What are some the challenges of the program?
“Time to prepare meals according to the program. With a family’s busy schedule, meals are often picked up in between activities, so it’s a little more difficult to keep to the plan. Dinner often happens around 8:30 pm, so the period after work is a challenge (snacking instead of eating a proper meal, because you are hungry by 6).”

What inspires you?

“So far I’ve lost over 50 pounds, so I’m more than halfway to goal weight. Losing weight made me feel more positive about myself. It’s given me more energy and I can fit into nicer clothes, plus I’m more motivated to exercise.”
“I would not have been able to lose 28 pounds so far without all the encouragement.”

For more information on the Weight Watchers “At Work” , call Dina Tavares at 848-4834.