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healthy Living
A variety of healthy lifestyle programs in Franklin County are providing the knowledge and support participants need to improve their health. One such program,
Healthy Eating Adventure, celebrated a graduation in July with a delicious, nutritious meal in Wilson College’s Jensen Dining Hall.
Healthy For
the Long Haul
Weight Loss achieved by 29 participants
Engine2Mercersburg
28-Day Adventure in Healthy Eating
COMMUNITY LIFESTYLE PROGRAMS OFFER THE
MUTUAL SUPPORT AND MOTIVATION TO HELP
PARTICIPANTS MAKE LIFE-LONG CHANGES.
4–5 LBS.
5–9 LBS.
10–14 LBS.
by Rachel Pappas • photos by Chris Jackson
W
hen Michele
Wright, overweight and out of
breath, ambled
into Dr. Paul
Klink’s office at Summit Weight Management Services, she noticed a clear
tube filled with something white and
strange. “What is that?” she asked. Her
answer: the gunky white stuff was the
sugar she was putting into her body with
her “six Mountain Dews a day” habit.
That was enough to motivate her to
15–19 LBS.
drop back to three, then one —
and eventfully none.
Michele previously lost 100
pounds following gastric bypass
surgery but slowly began gaining it
back after quitting her job to care for her
parents and mother-in-law. “I didn’t actually come to Dr. Klink to get skinny,
and I told him that,” she says, unhappy
about the pressure she’d felt all her life
to be a certain weight. “I just wanted to
feel better. He said, ‘Good. Skinny is not
our goal. I’m here to teach you how to
20–29 LBS.
OVER 30 LBS.
get healthy.’” Since
beginning her weight management program in 2011, she has done
a 180 with her entire diet, and the
pounds keep coming off.
“I believe I’m having more success
now for two main reasons: an education
on how what you eat affects you and
finding foods I like.” Michele nixed her
Due North 2013: The Best of Life in Franklin County
39
Community Adventure in Healthy Eating teaches people how to
shop, cook and eat smartly. Eighty percent of illness in our 40s to
60s is tied to lifestyle and often preventable through diet.
country-fried steaks for grilled chicken,
her potatoes in butter and gravy for
grilled zucchini and salad, and salt for
fresh garlic. “I learned to measure my
food, and that was big. You have no idea
what you’re eating when you just throw
a pound of meat in a skillet.”
Developing healthy eating habits is
about finding tools to set and accomplish
doable, long-term goals. For some, it’s a
structured program like the medically supervised support Michele received. For
others in Franklin County, it’s less regimented, grass-roots programming offered
by a number of Cumberland Valley organizations that promote healthy, active
lifestyle changes through everything from
individualized weight management plans
to food tastings and education.
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT
As a driving force behind the MACWell program, Dr. Elizabeth George (top, center) has formed
multiple community partnerships, counting Penn National Golf Course Community Vice President
Patti Nitterhouse and Fulton Center for Sustainable Living Program Manager Christine Mayer
(top, left and right) among local supporters. Penn National was one of the first communities to
adopt the Healthy Eating Adventure, and the potlucks and graduation ceremony (above)
featured produce from Wilson College’s Fulton Farm.
40
Due North 2013: The Best of Life in Franklin County
Founded in the spring of 2008, Mercersburg Area Council for Wellness’
(MACWell) local initiative is creating a
groundswell of community commitment
to live well. “Why is it that in Mercersburg 30 percent of today’s teens will be
obese by adulthood, based on current
trends? And in Boulder, Colorado, the
rate is 11 percent?” challenges Elizabeth
George, M.D., a family practitioner and
MACWell president. “Where you live,
and the people you’re surrounded by,
make all the difference in the choices
you make.”
With this mantra, MACWell challenged local businesses to adopt healthy
habits, and gave them a reason to want
to do it. The concept was Business Wellness Games. For 10 weeks, employees
from competing companies thought outside the box to stay active and make
other healthy choices. Their activities
were converted to steps, then translated
to points. Staff at DL Martin, which won
the competition, stepped and marched
beside their machines while they operated them. They and their rivals walked
at lunchtime, and kept the momentum
off the clock, eating five vegetables daily,
giving up sodas, and/or sleeping seven
hours a night.
Community Adventure in Healthy
Eating is another MACWell program,
teaching people how to shop, cook and
eat smartly. Health practitioners lecture
weekly on the value of plant-based,
whole foods. Participants hear that 80
percent of illness in our 40s to 60s is tied
to lifestyle and often preventable
through diet. The lectures are reinforced
over a month through potluck dinners
introducing new foods. Participants
break up in teams with coaches that answer questions about personal food
choices and reading labels, and they pass
out recipes.
“This grass-roots approach is so much
more effective than when, one-by-one,
patients come to my office and hear,
‘Here’s a great book; follow the recipes
and lower your cholesterol,’” says Dr.
George. “That’s because you are surrounded by 50 other people, all doing
the same things.” Healthy Eating Adventure is tracking results among participants who use vouchers they’re offered
for blood work. “People are coming off
or reducing their cholesterol and blood
pressure medications. They’re lowering
their blood glucose and losing weight,”
says Dr. George.
The program is expanding through
Franklin County, with Penn National
Golf Course Community among the first
to adopt it. “Most of our residents are
retired or will soon be. They care about
wellness, so bringing Healthy Adventure
here made sense. But we’ve had people
come from beyond our community:
Mennonite farmers, patients from heart
labs, doctors, lawyers and families,” says
Patti Nitterhouse, vice president of Penn
National Golf Course Community. “People like learning and socializing in groups,
but they also like that they get answers to
personal concerns, like how they can eat
vegetables that not only won’t upset their
diverticulitis, but diminish it.”
HEALTHY AT ALL AGES
Summit Health has long been on the
forefront of promoting healthy lifestyles
with programs like My New Weigh of
Life. The 12-week program focuses on
Super Foods for
Super Weight Loss
THE NUTRIENTS FOUND IN THESE SUPER
FOODS HELP ACHIEVE AN AFFORDABLE,
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.
Black beans:
High in fiber and protein, without saturated fats in meats
Salmon:
Lean protein filled with MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), which
may help with weight loss
Kale:
High in fiber — which is healthy and filling — and only 34 calories per cup
Fresh berries:
High in fiber and antioxidants, low in calories
Broccoli & cauliflower:
High in fiber and antioxidants, low in calories
Oats:
Steel-cut or rolled varieties in particular are high in fiber
Grapefruit:
Lowers insulin, a fat-storage hormone
Apples:
High in antioxidants, filling and believed to help reduce belly fat
Avocados:
A source of healthy fat (monosaturated) — no more than half an
avocado per serving
Due North 2013: The Best of Life in Franklin County
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physical activity and diet, with group
social support, exercise and hands-on activities. Participants discover tools like
pedometers and smart phone applications to track food and activity. The
motivation is there when they learn that
by strapping on a step counter, they’ll
probably increase their steps by a mile a
day, and ultimately lose 10 pounds in a
year. Participants brainstorm together
and do take-home activities to identify
high-risk foods and other traps, as well
as alternative behaviors. “The program
is for individuals who are open to the
group dynamic and who need weekly
follow-up and support,” says Dr. Klink,
who coaches participants.
Dr. Klink also runs Summit Weight
Management Services, meeting one-onone with patients to help them set and
achieve goals. It’s typically for people
with medical concerns affecting their
weight, whether emotional eating, challenges tied to age or disability, or medications that cause weight gain. Some
come simply for nutrition counseling.
Summit’s KidShape program focuses
specifically on younger patients who are
overweight or at risk for being overweight. The nine-week program includes a multidisciplinary team, games,
incentives for behavior change and
group discussions. The same educational, socially supportive approach that
works for adults is helping youth as well.
Corbin Schlottman was considered
obese, weighing 175 pounds at age 12.
He had already lost 10 pounds with a dietician’s help, but hit a wall. Twenty-five
weeks after entering KidShape he’s down
to 152 pounds, despite an inch growth
spurt. Why did the program work?
“Corbin came to understand how what
he eats affects his body. It’s how we finally got him to try new things. And
being with other kids, seeing he wasn’t
alone, helped,” Kimberly Schlottman
says of her son, who refused lettuce on
his sandwich for years and has since
found that if he combines them, he actually likes tomatoes, banana peppers, even
onions. The team approach was key, too.
“We are all involved — parents, a gym
teacher, therapist and dietician. Doing
this together in a supportive environment was instrumental,” says Kimberly.
From his office at Summit Health’s Weight
Management Services, Dr. Paul Klink keeps
patients focused on changing their lifestyles,
rather than being skinny.
Support is key to success regardless of
your situation — as is taking one step at
a time. “We have unbelievable influence
on what happens to us,” says Dr. Klink.
“Achieving desired change is about unconditional support, fresh starts and realizing we don’t have to be perfect, just
good enough.” )
MACWell
124 N. Main St., Mercersburg
www.mac4wellness.org
My New Weigh of Life
Call 717-217-6798 for details.
www.summithealth.org
Summit Health Weight
Management Services
Paul Klink, M.D.
757 Norland Ave., Suite 203,
Chambersburg
717-217-6798
www.summithealth.or
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