When Sheila Parker stands at the front of Thistle 244, her tone is one of unfailing optimism.
“Now who treated themselves this week?” the Weight Watchers representative asks the crowd of about 20 at a recent meeting at Brock. Someone raises a hand, and Parker steps into the audience, extending a sheet of stickers that portray cookies with bites out of them. She rips off a sticker and gives it to the woman as a reward.
“That’s what you get at Weight Watchers,” her colleague jokes. “A cookie with a bite out of it.”
It’s this kind of light hearted ritual that has drawn about 25 Brock faculty and staff to Brock’s new weekly Weight Watchers meetings, offered through the Brock Wellness Committee. Each Wednesday at noon, health-minded people meet for a weekly dose of optimism. They report their progress and chat with people they don’t see in an ordinary work day.
The committee conducted a survey of Brock faculty and staff and asked what health initiatives they wanted to see. Several said they wanted to see some sort of weight loss program, said Susan Mifsud, committee member and Human Resources manager.
The group is in its second 12-week program on campus, Mifsud said. New members can sign up at any time.
The lunchtime meetings involve support, camaraderie, and a lot of laughs, she said. Each meeting involves a weigh-in, a talk from Parker about healthy eating and little rewards such as stickers for the week’s victories.
“It’s such a great group of people,” Mifsud said. “The members are from all different areas of the University. It gives them a chance to sit down and have a common goal and cheer each other on.”
Committee member Paula Wake, who works as a Facilities Management real property asset management co-ordinator, didn’t have much weight to lose, but she wanted some new tools to eat healthier. She put on her ski pants this year and found them a little tight, she said.
“It was a matter of buying new gear or doing something about it.”
Group discussions revolve around food choices and how to balance dining out with maintaining a healthy weight, she said. “I’ve learned a lot about food choices.”
Also, she said, the meetings are fun.
For more information about the Brock Wellness Committee’s on-campus initiatives, or the Weight Watchers group, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Brock Wellness has also launched a fitness challenge. For more information, read the February newsletter.