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Options available for those who want to shed pounds

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sara Patterson is a registered dietitian at Mercy.
(Loretta George/Tribune)
If you're like many people, you still have extra poundage from the holidays. Exercise and diet are the components to reigning in that upward crawl on the scales.

In Fort Scott, two facilities are specifically designed to helping get you back into shape.

Buck Run Community Center, 735 Scott Ave., is one, and Mercy Hospital's Health For Life Fitness Center is another. Mercy also has a registered dietitian who can customize an eating plan as part of long-term weight loss.

Shannon Barbour works out five days a week at Buck Run Community Center. She moved here from Overland Park.
(Loretta George/Tribune)
Sara Patterson is a registered dietitian who does consults for anyone in the community, from her Mercy Hospital office. "The biggest mistake in losing weight is not planning. If we don't plan, we go with instinct, which is high-fat and high-sugar. That's what our bodies will crave if we let (them)."

Snacks should be prepared in advance if noshing is part of a weight-loss plan.

"Small baggies prepared ahead of time, with the correct portion size," are a smart proactive part of the plan, she said.

Eating in front of a TV is not advised. "Don't eat in front of TV. That is unconscious eating. Designate your kitchen or dining room table for eating."

Patterson designs a specific nutritional diet plan and programs to target clients' health needs. Additionally, she identifies strengths and weaknesses in a person's diet and evaluates metabolic intake in a 30-minute session.

Health For Life, the fitness center at the lower level of Mercy Hospital, offers personal training at the initial session, state-of-the-art equipment, sports performance training, massage therapy, a beauty salon, individual TV monitors on the cardio equipment, and is currently offering a weight-loss challenge.

The challenge is called "Biggest Team Loser." It officially started on Jan. 7, but HFL Manager Kirk Sharp said it's not too late to join. The program is designed to use peer encouragement to help individuals get fit and lose weight.

Up to four people can form a team, and points are earned for workouts and pounds lost. Each member must weigh in weekly on Thursday or Friday. New incentives this year are getting your team entered in a drawing for $100 HFL Club Bucks and a chance for each squad to receive $20 in HFL Club Bucks when they reach 100 total points.

Also, if clients attend a HFL class, use a personal training session, get a massage or use the salon service, they can earn 10 bonus points weekly.

Currently, there are 14 teams, Sharp said.

Courses are available for many fitness levels including circuit training, rumba classes, dance, fitness ball, ballet and spin classes. For more information, contact Mercy HFL at 223-7073. The hospital is located at 405 Woodland Hills Blvd.

Monthly membership fee is $30 per month, a family membership is $40 per month. "There is also a daily guest pass for $5, but if they want to try it out for free, they can the first time," Sharp said.

Buck Run Community Center is also having a biggest loser competition, an individual contest that started Jan. 9 and runs through March 20. "People have to have their own fitness plan," said Dave Fly, recreation supervisor at Buck Run.

Cost of the competition is $15. Each week, participants try to lose 1 percent of their weight. If they do, $1 will be pulled from the entry fee and put into a weekly winner's pot. Whoever loses the highest percentage of weight each week will win that amount. Participants must weigh in each week to have a chance at it.

Currently, there are 22 participants, and the competition is still open to entrants. The overall winner will be determined by the highest percentage of weight lost, not total pounds.

Participants weigh in from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekly. Call 223-0386 for more information.

Buck Run staff does not recommend a program, or offer information on how to lose weight; that is up to the individual.

There is one personal trainer available, Ryan Metcalf, who can be contacted for an appointment.

Shannon Barbour of Fort Scott works out every day for an hour, except on weekends, and was walking on the treadmill at BRCC on Wednesday morning.

"I know the importance of health and wellness. Your body has to carry you through your entire life, so you have to take care of it. You will feel better if you exercise," she said.

Having moved here from Overland Park last year, Barbour said the price of a membership at the BRCC Fitness Club is "unbelievably" good at $128 per year for a family of four. A single fitness membership is $78 per year.

BRCC is open from 5 a.m. To 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturdays and Sundays, it is open from noon to 5 p.m. Anyone may walk or use the gyms free when the rooms are not being used for programs and/or rentals.

"There is a mileage calculated for the walks" at the facility, Fly said, to help you know how far you've trekked.

Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics, tumbling, aerobic, dance aerobic and long-distance running classes are also available at BRCC.

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