One of the problems of living in a developed country, albeit a nice problem to have, is the ample and fatty foods.
They practically throw themselves at you!
It would be tempting enough if the food was available just in grocery stores and such. But no. Restaurants have expert teams of diabolical scientists who are constantly finding new, delicious, evil ways to prepare food. It’s gotten to the point that you can’t even make a sandwich better at home!
So, it’s incredibly easy to pack on the pounds. And, as a cruel twist of fate, it’s seemingly impossible to lose them.
But it only looks and feels that way. The truth is, with just a little focus on healthier eating, and a firm commitment to regular exercise, you can lose all the weight you want.
We’ve also learned over the years that doing it is easier if you’re cheered on by others who are also trying to shed pounds, as well as friends and family who add encouragement from the sidelines. In many cases, as in television’s The Biggest Loser, it can become a fun and friendly competition.
All that – plus an invaluable expertise in both diet and exercise – is what makes Augusta’s Family Y’s “Team Lean” program so delectable.
The 12-week program, open to nonmembers too, helps individuals and teams lose weight with exercise, free weekly health presentations, community events and dietary guidance provided by the experts at Weight Watchers.
Losing weight is no small matter, either, especially in Augusta. As the Team Lean program notes, the Centers for Disease Control in 2008 cited Augusta as the fifth-most unhealthy community in the country.
In the bigger picture, being obese or overweight has not only robbed many Americans of more active and rewarding lifestyles, but has even become a national security issue. Weight-related health problems are becoming more and more of a drag on an already-ailing national economy.
Augusta is no longer on the CDC’s list of the top 20 unhealthiest places, and the Family Y’s efforts may have something to do with that.
So can peer pressure. When you’re involved in a competition such as Team Lean, you not only want to lose weight for yourself, but for the team. And there are weigh-ins every Thursday at area Y’s to keep participants on track.
Lots of folks make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, but the pledges are often vague and lonely and quickly and easily discarded. A group effort can help you focus on specific, attainable goals, and to keep working toward them. In the case of Team Lean, participants are even competing for cash prizes.
Team Lean weekly health presentations include tips on healthier navigating of both the grocery store and the restaurant scene.
You may have noticed that the number and size of fitness centers in the area have exploded in the past few years, and there’s a good reason for that. Healthier living can be habit-forming. It feels good to feel good, and you’ll be surprised how quickly even small changes in diet and exercise will have you feeling good.
We encourage you to take your all-too-often temporary New Year’s resolution and trade it in for a New Life promise to yourself. It’s done one step at a time – and you don’t have to do it alone.
(Today is the final day of registration for the upcoming 12-week Team Lean competition. To register, stop in for a weigh-in at any area Y. The sign-up fee for the 12-week competition is $50 for Y members, $70 for nonmembers, $300 per church or school – with a minimum of 10 participants – or $40 per person for corporate teams, with a minimum of 10 participants.)