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Local Nutrition Class Yields Results, Companionship

The class is offered through the Severna Park Community Center and educates area residents on the importance of making good decisions when it comes to nutrition.

Severna Park resident Dorothy Franchak has lost 35 pounds in the last two years and she didn’t appear on a reality show, have surgery or experiment with a new diet.

Instead, Franchak learned about the benefits of healthy eating and found a support group thanks to a nutrition class sponsored by Herbal Life International and hosted at the Severna Park Community Center.

“You really start to feel better about yourself,” Franchak said. “And you think twice sometimes about what you eat.”

The six-week class, entitled Severna Park Nutrition, is run by Pam Booth and meets every Tuesday and Thursday for walks. After the walks on Tuesday, the group gathers for a one-hour nutrition class.

“It’s a nutrition class, not a workout program,” Booth said. “Inner nutrition is as important as exercise. Your metabolism can help you burn calories.”

Each week group members step on a scale to see where they weigh-in, after six-weeks those who have seen the most progress are recognized and rewarded with a cash prize. However, the class is based on body fat percentage lost not pounds.

“It’s the accountability as well as the support that keeps people coming back,” Booth said. “Something about having to step on that scale each week keeps them checked in on their goal.”

Joyce Wiesner from Pasadena has lost 170 pounds. She started her diet regimen with Weight Watchers but credits the nutrition class with her success in keeping the weight off.

“I have lost about 20 pounds with the class,” Wiesner said. “This class keeps me from gaining it back and it gives great support. I want to keep the weight off long term because I am too old to diet again. So I am going to do it right this time.”

While the class offers education about sugars, structuring your metabolism, eating out and more, it’s the friendships and camaraderie that keep people coming back.

“It’s the people. They are all nice and helpful,” said Diana Biega from Millersville. “You share things with them. And with the class, I think you are more conscious of what you are eating.”

A new 10-week class at the community center will begin on January 8 and is $35 to enroll. For more information or to register contact Pam Booth at 410-766-6402.

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