SMARTWEIGH PROGRAM: Participants tell of changed lives, changed behaviors

[Read about the SmartWeigh program in another post:  SmartWeigh program may be THE way to lose weight.]

“I am doing something I didn’t think I could do.”

That was one participant’s way of summing up her 8-week experience during the Bond Wellness Center’s early 2013 SmartWeigh program.

Others from that group had their own highlights. Their clothes fit better. They had greater energy. They had fewer pains and better moods.

The 10 participants in the early 2012 session gathered March 25 to talk about their experiences over a potluck dinner. The dinner featured healthy dishes each of them had contributed, along with a recitation of its calorie count, and a description on how to cook it. Among the offerings were Sante Fe Chicken (from the website; low-fat blueberry smoothies; creamy cauliflower and roasted garlic soup; poached pears; crustless spinach pie; quinoa with dried cherries and walnuts; strawberry angel food cake. Plus, nutritionist Donna Poe cooked a Chicken Picatta during the meal, right there in the Center’s Conference Room.

The group members ranged in age from 83 to a woman in her 30s with young children at home. “This is my time,” the young mother said. “This is where I focus on myself.”

Most in the group this time were women, though one man was a faithful attendee.

“The people here are so encouraging and so nice,” said one participant.  “It’s been a wonderful experience.”

About the leaders, Anne Mellor and Donna Poe, one woman said, “It felt like we were partners in this, and we were going to figure out how to do this together.” 

Group members discussed the access they had to the fitness facilities, as well as the encouragement from Anne Mellor to try everything they were comfortable with to determine what kind of exercise they liked best. 

One woman pointed out that she had always been active in her life, “But I’ve doubled my exercise amount since starting this program.” She said she had “learned to eat,” and now makes an effort to go on walks with her husband. 

“I’ve tried out everything that I could [at the Bond Wellness Center],” another woman said. “This was a wonderful way to get to know the place without having to fully enroll.”

She described SmartWeigh not as a diet, but as “retraining and learning.” 

Several participants remarked on the relationships they built up through the weekly meetings with others. As part of the program, the group will continue to meet monthly for another 12 months.

Read more about the SmartWeigh program here.

Try Nutritionist Donna Poe’s Chicken Piccata Recipe 

1 to 2 T flour

½ t pepper

1 T olive oil

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

½ c low sodium chicken broth

1 T fresh lemon juice

4 thin lemon slices

1 T chopped fresh parsley

Mix together flour and pepper. Pound chicken breasts to ¼-inch thickness. Dredge cutlets in flour mixture. Heat oil in large skillet. Add cutlets and sauté until browned and cooked, approximately 3 minutes. Remove to a dish and keep warm. Add broth, lemon juice and lemon slices to skillet; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add chicken. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

4 servings; 200 calories; 5g fat


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