Toi Degree column

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

After scrounging around the kitchen for one last holiday goodie, you find a single sugar cookie hiding in the bottom tin. You grab it, and head toward the mountain of decorations that need to be packed away until next year. Several hours later, the last box has been shoved into the attic or garage.
Surveying the house, you see that all the gifts have been put away and everything appears to be back to normal, finally.
And then you spot it, shouting at you from the bathroom floor … your old friend, the scale. It seems to chastise you for neglecting to visit over the holiday season.
Slowly you drag yourself to the bathroom, not eager to see the damage done by the large amounts of holiday sweets, treats and drinks you consumed over the last two months.
After the initial shock of the numbers subsides, you resolve to eat better and exercise more, and lose those holiday pounds, and maybe even a couple more. But first, you have to figure out how.
Does this sound like you? If so, a new program from North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the North Carolina Division of Public Health may be just what you need. The Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program is being offered by North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Rowan County started this month.
Carolyn Dunn, Ph.D., professor of nutrition with North Carolina State University, is one of the program authors.
“We created Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less to help people learn about strategies that have been proven to work for weight loss,” she says.
“Over the 15- to 19-week program, participants learn to pay attention to what they are eating and listen to their bodies. They also learn to be mindful of how much activity they get each day,” Dunn says.
To help develop these healthy habits, participants receive a journal to record their progress and a full-color magazine with tips and recipes to help them along the way. Weekly weigh-ins with a program “buddy” help keep people on track.
“Most people think they need a prescriptive weight-loss program,” says Sheree Vodicka, R.D., L.D.N., healthy weight communications manager with the North Carolina Division of Public Health. “With that type of program, most people gain the weight back over time. Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less helps people develop lifelong healthy habits that will help them not just lose the weight but maintain their new, healthier weight.”
North Carolina Cooperative Extension is offering this program starting Jan. 28 at Rowan County Agriculture Center, 2727-A Old Concord Road. The enrollment fee is $25 per person and includes the journal and the magazine. To register for Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less, stop by the office and complete a registration form, waiver and prepay by Jan. 15.
Classes will be held each Monday from 12 to 1 p.m. Participates are encouraged to bring their lunches. A healthy snack will be provided.
For more information on the programs offered at these locations or to get a program started near you, please contact Toi N. Degree, family and consumer education agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension at 704-216-8970.