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Holiday meals challenge weight watchers

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

As residents continue to partake of various Yuletide dishes today, local members of a nationally recognized weight-loss program are striving to stay focused on their goals through the new year.

Weight Watchers meetings in Henry County are reportedly promoting a recipe for holiday success, by encouraging members to stay active, be mindful of portion control, and seek out healthy food alternatives.

Claire Monroe, of Hampton, is a meeting leader for the company, and has been a Weight Watcher for nine years.

Monroe, 34, says the current festive season often presents challenges for even the most ardent followers of a weight-loss regimen.

"We have so many traditional foods, which are not healthy for us, that our resolve to eat right and exercise might slip during the holidays," she says. "There's more food lying around, special events and fewer healthy foods available."

Earlier this month, a group of Weight Watchers members went beyond attending meetings and watching calories. More than 50 people from the organization, in various stages of the weight-loss journey, participated in the Jingle Jog 5-kilometer and 1-mile races on The Square in McDonough.

Monroe says she was "excited" to see so many members, choosing to increase their level of activity through the event.

"We had put a team together for the Goblin Gallop in October, and about two dozen people signed up," she says. "We doubled that with the Jingle Jog."

Monroe says in addition to emphasizing Weight Watchers' principles regarding portion control and exercise, the company is reminding its members to set goals for themselves.

"It's one thing to indulge for one day," she says. "It's a different thing to do it for a week, or two weeks. But, the worst thing to do is to deprive yourself of things you like."

Weight Watchers in Henry will continue efforts in the coming months to help people achieve their goals, while giving something back to the community.

In April, members are scheduled to take part in a charity walk and run sponsored by Luxottica.