Faculty and students bring weight loss program to campus

Posted by Mariel Kennedy

Have Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas cookies, Valentine's candies and all those trips to late night this semester taken their toll on your body?

Are you not loving your winter love handles?

Spring break is right around the corner and — if you are like me and plan to be spending some time at the shore — you are already dreading swimsuit season, which is looming ominously over the horizon.

If you are looking to shed weight along with your puffy winter coats and clunky snow boots, you are in luck. A group of students and faculty are attempting to restart a Weight Watchers group on campus this semester.  This is not the first time that Weight Watchers has been brought to Skidmore's campus.

According to the organization's official website, Weight Watchers is "an integrated approach that combines smarter eating, healthy habits, exercise and a supportive environment."

The program, which started more than 45 years ago, "guides you toward nutritious eating choices, and helps you lose and maintain a healthy weight" through watching caloric and fat intake and weekly support meetings.

Patricia Poirier, coordinator of Biographical Records, is behind the group this semester.

Though she states they "won't be having a group for awhile" due to a lack of participants (there is a 15 person minimum required), all one has to do to join is respond to one of the many membership appeal e-mails Poirier sent out.

According to Poirier, the group started because "several of us wanted to lose weight and a couple people had experience with Weight Watchers and liked the idea of meeting here at work during the lunch hour."

Poirier states the group is dedicated to helping members feel better, look better and be healthier in general. Weight Watchers claims to help members adopt healthier lifestyles and thus be able to keep off lost weight. "[Weight Watchers] is a very supportive group and leader.  No chastising if you don't lose weight, but lots of encouragement," Poirier explains.

When speaking of the meetings, held at noon on Thursdays in North Hall Large Conference room. Poirier states, "The leaders are exceptional and very encouraging.  We exchange ideas of how we handle different situations to stay on track.  We have had several lifetime members during our years on campus including myself."

From vegetarians to brides, nursing mothers and families to manly men, Weight Watchers online states that it has a plan — including recipes and tips — for everyone.

For more information on the program, go to www.weightwatchers.com, which gives thorough and informative answers to many questions regarding the program, its values and its goals.

Students who are interested in a Weight Watchers program on campus should notify Poirier at ppoirier@skidmore.edu.

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