YMCA member Ruth Pavey attempted to lose weight for the past decade. Like many others she became discouraged and unmotivated when she didn’t achieve her desired results. “I struggled to experience healthy food choices and exercise as a lifestyle rather than a ‘quick fix,’ ” she said.

Ruth saw an opportunity to try again with the YMCA’s Weight Loss Program at the Brentwood Family YMCA, one of many centers that offer the program.

Ruth Pavey

Beyond the scale

During the 12-week Weight Loss Program, Ruth lost 13 pounds. But the scale is just the beginning. She said the Weight Loss Program equipped her with tools and resources for long-term health. “The program gives so much help on understanding concepts and our behaviors that are crucial to a successful weight loss journey.”

Over the course of the program, Ruth embraced the small-group setting and accountability of weekly weigh-ins, discussion and reflection. That was the missing piece.

“What's so crazy to me is that over the past 10 years, I`ve tried to lose that amount in a short time and, not surprisingly, I`ve always failed. Now I’m really motivated, and I am confident that I will accomplish my long term weight loss goal.”

A personalized approach

Each group in the Weight Loss Program has around 10 participants, and the program is designed to meet the individualized needs of each person. “I love how the Y`s program is nonprescriptive in that there are no right or wrong answers. It’s not a one-size-fits-all package,” Ruth said.

The supportive environment creates a safe space for the group to share ideas and challenges, but Ruth said there’s no pressure to do so. “You can be as discreet at sharing with the group as you choose.”

Topics include SMART Goals; personal environment; food choices; positive psychology; and the impact of sleep, stress and exercise.

Start the journey

Empowered by the Weight Loss Program, Ruth urges others to make a commitment to it—and follow through. “I can't speak highly enough about the program. But you have to be prepared to give it your best. I`m on a committed journey to make my total health a priority, and you can do this too!”

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