The Bad, the Good, and Your UW Opportunities for Weight Loss
Weight loss is such a touchy subject but such an important topic for so many. I decided to begin with some eye opening facts. According to the Center for Disease Control:
- About 1 in every 4 Americans die of heart disease in the United States every year.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men.
- Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.
- Obesity and overweight increases the risk of heart disease.
- Behavior change is one way to prevent heart disease.
Losing weight can be a desire for the New Year, before the summer months, or when some big event is coming up. So many search for the quick fix, the immediate result. But weight loss is a journey that requires education, patience, and support. For some, weight loss is a constant battle of ups and downs, trying every fad diet out there, and the elimination of foods one loves.
Is it wrong to be so focused on a number? Well for some the accountability is crucial. The focus should really be loss of body fat, as fat increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and harm to your body. But body fat testing is not always easily accessible, so weight loss and body mass index is typically the measure.
Here are my favorite tips for weight loss:
- Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal – Make it Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic, and Timed.
- Surround yourself with support. Social Support has been proven to be a key to success.
- Do progress checks each week. This will keep you accountable.
- Calories IN vs. Calorie OUT is the bottom line (The quality of calories has more benefits).
- Stop with the GOOD food and BAD food nonsense. All foods can fit with moderation.
- Get active and stay active.
UW Weight Watchers at Work is an excellent opportunity for faculty and staff to learn about a healthier lifestyle as well as gain support and accountability. As a UW employee, you can join Weight Watchers campus meetings at any time for a special rate of $39.95 per month provided that you purchase your monthly pass directly through the Weight Watchers Registration Portal. Use the information below to sign up, and, when prompted, pay with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal to purchase your monthly pass.
- Employer ID: 22388
- Employer Passcode: WW22388
Tuesday Meetings at Schmitz Hall: Weigh-in starts at 11:45 a.m. followed by a meeting from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. on Tuesdays at Schmitz Hall in Room 490.
Wednesday Meetings at the UW Tower: Weigh-in starts at 11:30 a.m. followed by a meeting from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. on Wednesdays at UW Tower, Building C, Room C-140-E.
Thursday Meetings at Harborview Medical Center – NEW: Weigh-in starts at 11:45 a.m. followed by a meeting from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. on Thursdays at Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Avenue, Seattle. Room locations vary and are posted on the Benefits Calendar. Also, see the Harborview map. Please manually enter this address: 325 Ninth Avenue Seattle WA 98104.
Friday Meetings at Health Sciences / UW Medical Center: Weigh-in starts at 11:45 a.m. followed by a meeting from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. on Fridays at Health Sciences in the following locations: Room T-663 – March 28 to June 20, 2014.
I had the pleasure to interview a UW employee on her experience with Weight Watchers at Work. She continues to reap success with the program.
Question: What made you try Weight Watchers to help you reach your health goal?
Answer: Weight Watchers has a common sense approach to weight loss. You learn how to make healthy eating choices and lifestyle changes to support healthy living.
Q: What was your health goal? Have you reached it?
A: My health goal is to lose weight and then keep it off once I’m at my goal. I did reach my goal weight in the past and quit going to Weight Watchers meetings and following their program because I thought I was done. That was a big mistake! I gained back some of the weight I had lost. I now know this is a lifelong commitment to myself, and I’m back on track. I’m not back to my goal weight yet but I am making steady progress again.
Q: How is Weight Watchers motivating?
A: The weekly meetings keep me on track by offering good tools, tips, and insight into how to make healthy choices. I’m in this for the long haul and attending the meetings keeps me honest with myself.
Q: What would you say to another UW employee who was considering joining this program?
A: Just do it! I like the Weight Watchers at Work program because it’s very convenient for me to attend a meeting over my lunch hour once a week. I like meeting other UW employees from different parts of campus too.
Q: Do you incorporate exercise into your plan? If so, what?
A: I do incorporate exercise into my daily routine, and have always done so even without the Weight Watchers program. I love to swim, so that is my main form of exercise. Weight Watchers does include exercise into their program and offers lots of ideas about how to do that to fit your lifestyle, particular health issues, and personal preferences.
Other great resources on campus to help with your weight loss goals include:
The UWalk Program
The Bike to Work Month Program in May
The Whole U Fitness Discount Network
The UWB Recreation Center
The UWT Fitness Opportunities
UW Healthy Dining Options
What do you find successful in managing your weight or helping with your weight loss goals? Do you know about other opportunities open to faculty and staff? Please share below!
One Thought on “The Bad, the Good, and Your UW Opportunities for Weight Loss”
On April 4, 2014 at 12:43 PM, Lethe said:
I really wish you guys would focus on health instead of weight loss. Thin does not equal healthy, and fat does not equal unhealthy. In fact, recent research suggests that good habits influence mortality far more than weight does:
I’m not sure how to link here, but that is the URL for an article in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.
Weight Watchers and other diet systems (and yes, WW is a diet) fail 95% of the time. When they fail, even if someone’s actual health has improved, because we are constantly sounding the alarm that “OMG! FAT=DEATH!” many people will give up those habits, because they’ve been told they can’t POSSIBLY be healthy if they aren’t thin.
Eating a well-balanced diet (in the sense that diet refers to what people eat and not a restrictive weight loss plan), getting moderate exercise and enough sleep are all factors that lead to better health, just not always, or even usually, lower weight.
Please do not engage in weight stigmatization, it leads to stress for people who are over what society has arbitrarily decided is a healthy weight (and anything based on the BMI IS in fact arbitrary), and we all know that stress decreases your overall health.
I would be very unhappy to see a hallowed institution like the UW, whose own Metabolism Division do not know how to make fat people thin, supporting the bullying of fat people.
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