Trisha’s reason for joining the YMCA’s Weight Loss Program was simple: “to have a better me.” She says that after years of gaining weight and falling out of a regular exercise regimen, she wasn’t feeling her best, and needed support to get back on track.
“I know I need to eat a little better, and I’ve always tried,” she says. “But I’ve never had the encouragement that this program gives.”
A long-term approach to healthier living
Trisha was among the first in Middle Tennessee to sign up for the YMCA’s Weight Loss Program, a 12-week, discussion-based class that convenes a small group of people all working toward a common goal—establishing a healthier lifestyle.
Although each hour-long weekly session involves progress tracking—participants weigh in each week, track what they’re eating, and report back on the goals they set the previous session—program facilitators don’t lead the group in workouts or prescribe specific diets. Instead, the program is built on the idea that each person holds the answers to improving their health.
“A lot of weight loss programs want to tell you what to eat, what not to eat, how often to work out,” says Elizabeth Hughes, program facilitator over Trisha’s class. “This program is about helping people self-design their own action plans and set realistic goals so that they can start to take small steps towards making change.”
“It can’t be done alone”
For Trisha, 12 weeks of thoughtful discussion with her classmates and time to reflect on her own daily habits has brought about small but significant changes: she’s toned up, added muscle, and dropped a clothing size. “As I choose food, whether I’m out at a restaurant or at home, I make a better choice,” she says. She’s made the switch from deep-frying to baking when cooking for her family, and has her kids scaling back on sugar, too.
Beyond just cutting calories and choosing healthier substitutes, Trisha says she’s also learning to recognize and curb the past behaviors—like eating out of boredom—that once had her reaching for an unhealthy snack. And she’s discovered an interest in cycling after trying out a spin class with other participants.
“It’s been a great journey. I feel a lot better, I have a lot more energy, I work out more. I have a better mindset.”
Having the support of the group, she says, has made all the difference in maintaining that positive outlook. “The accountability is very important to being successful.”
“Learning from each other and inspiring each other…is really powerful,” says Elizabeth, who’s been encouraged to see participants’ personal growth and how they’ve helped each other along the way. “It can’t be done alone.”
Find a Weight Loss Program class near you at ymcamidtn.org/weight-loss. Pricing is just $69 for members for all 12 sessions. See below for dates and to secure your spot.
Maryland Farms YMCA
Starts Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Brentwood Family YMCA
Starts Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 5-6 p.m.
North Rutherford Family YMCA
Starts Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 6-7 p.m.