It’s a new year, and that means only one thing: weight loss resolutions. We make them every year. Some people succeed, while others will wind up making them again in 12 months. In fact, statistically speaking, many people who made them a week ago have already fallen off the wagon and are back to their old habits. For these people, whether the problem is willpower or setting their goals too high, the idea of losing weight can begin to feel unattainable, and the hopeful notion of deciding on a weight loss resolution can become a deflating, dispiriting and humbling annual tradition. But what if part of the problem is that you’re trying to lose weight on your own? What if expert help could not only make your goals feel more attainable, but also improve your overall day-to-day health? Now, what if that same expert help was available to you at your workplace?
Blount Memorial Business Health programs nurse supervisor Kathy Yarlett says several local employers offer that help to their workers. “Blount Memorial Business Health offers a worksite weight management program called ‘Healthy Choices for Life’ to local companies,” she said. “The program includes 12 or 13 one-hour sessions that help participants focus on healthy eating, building healthy habits and increasing physical activity,” she explained. “The focus of the program is to help people embrace healthier behaviors and lifestyle changes that, ultimately, will help them achieve their goals,” she added.
“For the first session, I like to do an overview of the program’s contents,” Yarlett continued. “Participants are able to ask questions, and then are asked to complete a lifestyle pattern and assessment questionnaire. At each session, participants weigh in – in private with me – and we discuss successes they had for the week and challenges that they faced for the week. Each participant also is asked to keep a food diary or journal of everything they eat each day. We also help them explore ways they can increase their physical activity each day,” she added.
Yarlett says the idea is to provide people with the tools necessary to lose weight and keep it off for good. “Over the course of the program, we cover a wide array of topics including such real-world weight loss challenges as dining out, deciding what to shop for and cook on your own, how to begin and expand an exercise routine, and portion control,” she said. “Our last few sessions, though, focus more on the mentality of weight loss, such as how to stay motivated, how to cope with setbacks and accepting the idea that weight loss is a lifetime commitment, not something you can just drop once you reach your desired weight. Losing weight is not about a quick-fix; it’s about changing your life for the better, forever,” she added.
“Aside from the obvious benefits for employees, our ‘Healthy Choices for Life’ program also can be a huge benefit for employers,” Yarlett continued. “The fiscal health of a company is tied directly to the health of the people who work there. Healthy employees are more likely to show up for work on-time and be more productive. Plus, investing in programs that promote health and wellness can reduce everyone’s overall health care spending,” she added.
For more information about Blount Memorial Business Health’s worksite weight management program, call 865-977-5795.