Meridian Star

September 16, 2012

Meridian Activity Center begins weight loss journey

By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — All right, y'all, I do realize that losing weight will not bring a return to my younger, "cute" days. But I do believe that weighing less can give me more energy, probably reduce my blood pressure, make my clothes fit better and get my sister off my back!

    Now who out there wouldn’t like that?

    So when Penny McInnis of the local Weight Watchers program called to ask if I wanted to have another MAC class, I took the bait. And we think we have enough people to make it work!

    Not too long ago, "diet’" was a four-letter word to me, I had not, in my entire lifetime, ever gone on a diet. Too often friends dieted, lost it, then gained it back. What a boring lament!

    I noted that lately, however, I did not like to have my picture taken — when I used to love it, if only to study my latest "look." Of course, there’s nothing I can do about what time has wrought, but while still able I want to fight that creeping sedentariness that overcomes so many of us.

    While in Santa Fe recently, I was too much aware of how fit everyone was – riding bicycles long distance, swimming every day, etc. Not the occasional yoga class I was doing or walking back and forth to the kitchen for coffee (I’m not forgetting the high-energy Slimnastics class with Brenda Golisch at 4:30 Monday/Wednesday/Friday – I have to move in that class or be left behind).

    Penny McInnis has been with Weight Watchers for 27 years. She is a little bitty birdlike lady; I cannot imagine her ever weighing as much as 169 pounds. After her 10-year high school reunion (at which time she weighed that much), she was determined to drop the weight. She tried the Marine Corps Diet, Dr. Spillmans Weight Loss program, the Grapefruit Diet ... But it was the Weight Watchers program that gave her a new way of eating by counting "points" applied to various foods.

    That is pretty much how the program works today, although it has changed to counting points on carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber rather than calories, which have been eliminated. All fruit has 0 points. Most vegetables have 0 points. It’s easy to see how one can lose weight once we begin eating like many dietitians suggest we eat – with more fruits and vegetables on our plates.

    I’ll keep you posted on how much we are losing. Wish me luck and perseverance.

    Another thing, about balance ... because so many people worry about losing theirs: Movement requires balance. Sitting does not. If you don’t regularly put your body in situations where it needs balance, your sense of balance will get worse. Sitting for long periods tells your brain and body, “Balance is not important to me.”

Life Writing. A Message

From Steve Owens:

    "When Barbara Wells asked me to write a short article about my life writing course, I gladly accepted. Considering the students I taught last summer at the Meridian Activity Center, I am excited to once again have the chance to encounter bright people who are determined to write and share the stories from their past.

    Perhaps one way to intensify the importance of convincing you to sign up for this class is to ask you to envision this tragic scene: Picture a Thanksgiving or family reunion. A great-grandfather or grandmother begins telling fascinating stories from childhood about long-gone family members.

    Everyone listens politely, but no one takes the time to write down the stories. Within a few years, the storyteller passes away. Tragically, like old photographs in the preverbal family attic, after time fades these unique insights into family history, they are lost forever!

    “Life Writing” offers a solution to this tragic scenario. I plan to teach techniques to help you journey into your past so pertinent details can be recalled and then written in vignette form. If you have thought about writing down the stories from your past, but need a kick-start to get going, now is your chance. The next Life Writing class starts Oct. 4 and meets from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

    Keep in mind, time waits on no one. If you don’t write your stories, who will? How long and how accurately will your favorite stories be remembered?”

    Meridian Activity Center is located at 3300 32nd Ave. in the middle of a residential area between the high school and Northwest Middle School. The best cross street is 36th Street off 29th Avenue or Poplar Springs Drive.

    Call (601) 485-1812 for information about any of our classes, ceramics, pool room, Bingo, retiree meetings, walking trail, neighborhood watch meeting, quilting workshops, painting workshops and more.

    • Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at