Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter

News

Losing Weight Is a Winning Proposition for Fremont Resident

December 14, 2010

Right Weigh Participants Gain Knowledge & Support While Losing Weight

Even as a young woman in the U.S. Army, Wanda Johnson struggled with her weight. Over the years, she continued to gain, even though she tried various diets. Then a year ago, at age 72, she decided to try the Right Weigh Program at the Washington Women’s Center after her doctor urged her to find something that "worked." She has lost more than 25 pounds and is determined to lose even more.

"When I was in the Army, even the military had trouble keeping my weight down," recalls Johnson, a native of the Bay Area who met her husband when they were both stationed in Germany.

"We got married in Switzerland, and we traveled a lot, living in places ranging from Texas and Oklahoma to Japan before my husband was posted to the Presidio in 1975, and then we just stayed put," she says. "All that time, I kept adding on the pounds, to the point where I was substantially overweight. My blood pressure and cholesterol were elevated. Plus, I had both hip and knee replacements, and the doctor said losing weight would help my new joints hold up better."

Enrolling in Right Weigh proved to be a life-changing experience for Johnson. The program, developed and led by Washington Hospital registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Anna Mazzei, promotes sound nutrition, physical activity and positive lifestyle changes that lead to long-term weight loss and improved overall health.

"I had joined Weight Watchers years ago, but the weight just came right back," Johnson explains. "The Right Weigh Program offers more personal attention, and it’s a lot less expensive than Weight Watchers. Plus, the people at Weight Watchers are not experts in nutrition, like Anna Mazzei is."

Johnson actually has gone through the Right Weigh Program twice. After her first series of classes that started last January, she re-enrolled in May to get her daughter to join the program, too. Now she takes part in a follow-up program called the Right Track, which meets once a month to keep participants going in the right direction.

"I’m the kind of person who needs someone to needle me and keep after me, and Anna Mazzei has been great for that," Johnson says. "The program offers basic nutrition education and tips for being more active and for changing bad lifestyle habits. It’s a big eye-opener as to what foods and habits are bad for you. You get a binder with lots of information and charts to help keep track of your progress. I’ve learned that I do much better if I keep a food diary, which is one of the suggestions in the program."

The Right Weigh Program starts out with weekly meetings for the first four weeks, with group meetings every two weeks for the following two months. The fee for the eight sessions is $185. Participation in the Right Track follow-up program that meets once a month is "pay as you go."

In addition to continuing in the Right Track follow-up program, Johnson goes to arthritis exercise classes and chair yoga classes, at Washington Women’s Center. She also participates in the Ladies Choice exercise program offered by the Cardiac Rehab Center.

"Ladies Choice is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the cardio-pulmonary gym," Johnson notes. "They have easy-to-use exercise equipment, and a certified trainer instructs you in how to use the equipment. Yet you don’t have to pay a premium price for a personal trainer like you would at a big private gym."

Johnson’s participation in the Right Weigh Program, combined with regular exercise, has made a big difference in her overall health. These days, she’s active as a co-leader for her granddaughter’s Girl Scout troop, accompanying the girls on excursions around the Bay Area. She also went on two cruises this year and managed to do plenty of walking and not resort to using a cane or scooter to get around.

Thanks to the knowledge and support she has gained from the Right Weigh Program, Johnson isn’t even too worried about possible weight gain over the upcoming holidays. "I’ll just have to watch my portion control," she says, "but now I know how – Anna has taught me well!"

Learn More About the Right Weigh Program
For more information about the next session of Right Weigh program that begins in January, contact Kathy Hesser, R.N., Washington Women’s Center Coordinator at (510) 608-1356. Group classes and meetings take place at the Washington Women’s Center Conference Room located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. To learn more about all the programs and services offered at the Washington Women’s Center visit www.whhs.com/womenscenter