Pants fitting a little tight in 2015?
Local diet and wellness coaches say they can help. Here is an overview of two programs offered by residents in the Pine River Valley.
Take Shape for Life and Transformation 30
Louetta Phelps of Arboles has been a coach for Take Shape for Life for the past three years.
She has helped clients lose everything from a few pounds to 100-plus pounds.
She had looked at other health programs, but likes this one because it focuses on changing habits to keep the weight off for life, instead of a quick fix that lets the pounds pile back on.
But Phelps said not every plan works for every person interested in losing weight, so she has another program, Transformation 30, which is part of Juice Plus.
The programs also have monthly local meetings and online support so people aren't trying to lose weight on their own.
Phelps explained weight loss isn't rocket science - eat less, move more, and watch your portions. But it's still a challenge.
As a coach, Phelps said she can't motivate her clients, but she works with them to see why they want to lose weight, then helps them focus on that goal.
Instead of exercise, she tries to focus on activities - what is something you want to do that gets you up and moving? Some clients want to be able to play with their kids. Others want to hike.
Phelps said one client's goal has been to go line dancing. She has lost 138 pounds and is feeling ready to do that.
Take Shape for Life involves eating five pre-packaged meals and snacks every day, then eating one "lean and green" meal, usually a lean meat and vegetable or salad. But it can be breakfast or lunch, not just dinner.
She and Cathy Seibel, another local coach, and their clients meet monthly, typically the second Saturday of the month, for a healthy meal, to share success stories, and often to trade and give away clothes as folks lose weight.
Seibel said she signed up for the program because she was frustrated she couldn't play with her grandkids. She had tried every diet she had heard of, but knew it was time for a permanent change.
She's lost 142 pounds and has lowered her dosages of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
"I live pain free," Seibel said. My ankles and knees don't hurt." She still has some hip pain, but one exciting thing for Seibel has been the ability to breathe easier, and she's playing with her grandkids, even taking them down a slide at the park.
"We can climb a hill in our field," she said. "I couldn't do that before."
Now as a coach, Seibel said she enjoys sharing in the excitement as someone starts losing weight.
"I've been where they are," she said.
She's helped a friend lose 88 pounds, and that friend is bringing her friends to the gym and getting them to exercise with her.
Both Phelps and Seibel coach folks around the country, keeping in contact via phone and email.
Even after losing a lot of weight, Seibel said she doesn't judge other people. She remembers feeling embarrassed when she couldn't fly on an airplane or get on a ride at an amusement park. "I have taught my grandchildren, don't make fun of somebody," she said. "You haven't walked in their shoes." Losing weight permanently can be hard and involves a lot of hard work, she said.
Even after losing about half of her body weight, she is still working toward her goal weight and watches what she eats.
For her, it's been worth it.
"Losing weight is so emotional," she said. "You're up and down. Today I feel so much better. I have more energy and a better outlook on life."
Phelps can be reached at 749-1747, Seibel at 759-0787. They frequently host wellness information sessions in Bayfield, Ignacio and Arboles.
Elaine Labach, owner of Bayfield Pilates Connection, just started a 12-week Weight Watchers class with a group leader from Durango. She will be starting a new group in April.
Labach said she likes Weight Watchers because it's a proven weight-loss method. Those participating in the group meet once a week to weigh in, then attend an hour-long meeting.
"It's an open forum to hear information and discuss what works and what doesn't work," she said.
Participants can track their food and information online, and an online coach is available 24/7.
Weight Watchers is still known for tracking food by points. Different foods have different point values, and it's up to the individuals to decide how they want to use their points for the day. Points are based on a food's protein, carbohydrate, fat and fiber content.
While an apple and a small cookie each have 95 calories, the cookie counts for two points, while the apple has none.
Weight Watchers was started in the early 1960s in Queens, N.Y. by Jean Nidetch. She and her friends decided to meet once a week to support each other and track their weight loss.
Labach also wants to start sessions with a wellness coach to learn about healthier food choices. She's hoping to start that program within the next two to three weeks.
For information about her programs, Labach can be reached at 769-0811.