Ann Phelps doesn’t consider herself a joiner. She did Weight Watchers decades ago and knew that kind of support group worked, so she stepped out of her comfort zone and back into her work-out clothes a year ago and joined OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center and the Warren County YMCA program for women who want to improve their health, Be WELL (Women Enjoying Living and Learning. Be WELL | Live Healthy. Live Happy.)
Phelps is a short-haul truck driver and said the lack of ability to move much during the day takes a toll. “I knew I needed to do something. I was too heavy,” she recalls. She really liked that the program provided access to the YMCA three days a week. “I knew myself well enough to know that those three days would help. If it was open access, I could always say, ‘I’ll go tomorrow,’” she admitted.
Phelps lost 16% of her body weight and five inches off her waist in the inaugural Be WELL program. Registration is underway for the four-month, weekly program that addresses all aspects of women’s health.
Tina Canada, a nurse and OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center diabetes education coordinator, said feedback from participants in the pilot program, including those who completed the full year program and those who attended only some of the time, was used to refine the new 16-week program.
Meetings and activities will be held 11-11:45 a.m. Tuesdays at the Warren County YMCA, 700 W. Harlem Avenue, Monmouth, Illinois. The cost is $100 but will be prorated if participants join anytime during the four months.
Participants have fun learning evidence-based approaches for staying well through fun activities including: cooking demonstrations as well as dance, stretching, martial arts instruction, plus relaxation and stress management tips and techniques among other activities.
Non-YMCA members will have access to the YMCA fitness facilities during regular business hours Monday-Friday including the pool, the wellness room, and any group fitness classes. For an additional cost, the YMCA is offering babysitting services.
Phelps liked trying group fitness classes the YMCA offered because it gave her a chance to find what she likes and what works for her.
“Everyone is amazed by what I found I liked which is aerobic kick-boxing class. It’s a lot of fun,” she shared. Her advice to anyone considering the BEWELL program – try it.
“It works for people like me who aren’t always comfortable doing classes or group activities because you’re with people like you who have the same goal.” And for those who do join she suggested, “I would encourage anyone interested in losing weight to try it with the mindset to try everything.”
Phelps, who started a private Facebook group to keep in touch with and stay accountable to her inaugural Be WELL friends, added, “It might not work but you might as well try it. You find what you don’t like but you keep trying until you find something that works for you. It’s easy because they (the program) gives you a range.”
She also continues to make some of the recipes she acquired during the program.
“I have a half dozen recipes that I still use,” said Phelps. She also enjoyed the focus on stress reduction and self-care. “We had a spa day and that was amazing!”
To register for Be WELL | Live Healthy. Live Happy, visit the Warren County YMCA at 700 W. Harlem Avenue, Monmouth or call (309) 734-3183.