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Getting a grip on a weighty issue

By By Susan Seal/Special to The Star
Dec. 27, 2000
The holidays are almost over and soon it will be time to get a fresh start.
After cleaning your kitchen of left over candy, cakes and other holiday treats. it will be the traditional time to start your diet. This year, however, do something a little different. Don't go on a fad diet that you can't maintain and don't just focus on losing weight. Instead, focus on living a healthier lifestyle.
This year, do it right. Get a "Healthy Start" with the MSU Extension Service's weight control program.
This workshop begins in January and will consist of two meetings one on Jan. 11 that gets you started on the program and another one on March 1 that measures your progress and keeps you going. In between, you will receive lessons in the mail each week that will give you valuable information, ideas and encouragement.
First, we'll take a hard look at why you want to lose weight. What is your motivation and are you truly ready to make the life change that achieving good health requires? Maybe you don't even consider yourself that much "overweight," but are you "overfat" that is the real issue when it comes to health. In that first meeting, we will also weigh in so we can monitor our progress, and begin to look at healthy ways to lose weight.
Other lessons will include "Watching What You Eat," "Getting the Upper Hand on Snacks," "Fitness Essentials," "Overcoming Backsliding," "Dining Out Tips" and "Beware of Super-Strict Eating Plans." At our final meeting on March 1, we will weigh in to measure our success and discuss "Now What?" Living a healthy lifestyle is not something you start every time the calendar rolls over to a new year. It is something you do everyday, and we'll give you ideas that will work in the real world.
During the course of this seminar, as the topics indicate, we will consider the various aspects of weight loss. Although weight loss can be obtained through diet alone, the one-two punch of diet and exercise works better. Try to get into a routine of exercise that fits your lifestyle.
Maybe you're the type of person who can get up in the morning and go for a brisk walk before your day begins. For many people, that is the best way for them to start their day. Or, maybe you need to get rid of the anxieties of the day with a good work out in the afternoon or evening. Find what works best for you and stick to it.
This seminar is not a quick fix. It is a way to get you started on the road to a healthier life. Often times we want to rush the process, but actually losing an average of 1 pound a week is a healthy amount for most people.
Before you get started, however, consult your physician. He or she can help you determine what your weight lose goals should be.
To register, call your local Extension Office at 482-9764 and let us know if you would like to attend the noon or 5:30 meeting on Jan. 11. Registration will begin Tuesday. For more information, call the Family &Youth Center at 1-888-588-8545.
Susan Seal is director of the Mississippi State University/Extension Service, Family and Youth Center.

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