The Gift of Health

The Gift of Health

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Laura Burns, a marketing specialist at Deaconess Hospital, is eagerly anticipating good things for 2009. That’s the year she expects to be engaged and turn 25.


For her, 25 means shedding 35 pounds and, above all, being healthier. To accomplish her goal, she joined a health club in the fall and has been conscious about her diet. The corporate Weight Watchers program at her workplace has also kept her motivated.


Burns says it didn’t take her long to notice a greater sense of well-being. “I feel a lot better since I joined, both physically and mentally,” she says. “I feel energized once I get done working out.


Like many women, Burns says she doesn’t gauge her success by a figure on the scale, though she does keep a specific goal in mind. “I want to get back to the weight I was in my college years,” she says. “Not sure why, but I seemed to gain my ‘freshman 15’ and them some once I graduated. I want to fit back into the clothes I wore a couple of years ago.”


To further motivate herself, she says she keeps a few articles of clothing in her closet as a visual reminder. Another motivating factor is her sister’s support as a gym buddy. There’s something to be said for faith in a common goal.


“Having a buddy there to meet me makes the time go by so much quicker and keeps me obligated to go to the gym to meet her,” she says.


In the meantime, Burns says she has set a mini-goal for herself of 10 to 15 pounds by May for a special occasion. Aloha! — look for a thinner and healthier Burns on the beaches of Maui!


Local nutritionist and dietician Peachy Seiden helps women like Laura achieve their health goals. Her Silverton-based business, Peachy’s Health Smart, is a scientific approach to weight loss:


“We start with their weight goal to be accomplished so many months,” she says. “I measure their waist circumference and body fat and BMI and record them. In between our [bi-weekly] meetings, they keep a daily and detailed record of their [calorie] intake and activities. We go over them at our meeting or they email them to me every three to five days, and I give them a feedback.”


Seiden says she provides a few rules of thumb for weight loss. First, she advises her clients to lose no more than two pounds a week. For good weight loss and weight loss maintenance, she says, clients should follow a healthy diet. That means no fad diets or short cuts. Half of the success comes from regular and scheduled exercise, she insists.


In addition, incorporating small changes in your lifestyle like parking farther away and taking the stairs can make a world of difference.


“Even the people with desk jobs have to incorporate more activity in their work days,” she says.


For more information about Seiden’s counseling practice, see her Web site or call (513) 793-2949.



Photos: Amy Storer-Scalia

Model: Peachy Seiden