EatWell Weight Loss
Our Registered Dietitians at EatWell coordinate a weight loss program for our community, which includes UK employees, retirees, and spouses. Each week the weight loss group meets once in the afternoon and again in the evening to discuss topics of all sorts. An online group also meets once weekly to discuss the same topic as the in-person group. Examples of topics include "Weight Loss Mistakes," "How-To Stop Worrying and Love the Farmer's Market," and "Outsmart Your Food Cravings."
The procedure for weight loss group meetings generally involves participants signing in, picking up supplemental information, submitting their food diaries, and then weighing-in. Each participant typically has a few minutes of one-on-one time with a Registered Dietitian to talk about their perceived weekly challenges and successes. Once everyone has trickled in the Registered Dietitian begins that days discussion, and it is just that, a discussion. The RDs are really good about involving their audience and making it more of a conversation than a lecture.
I am finding my niche in this process, and last week I had the opportunity to help record weights. I am still getting the hang of learning people's names and making conversation, but my customer service skills have served me well. Over the course of these 7 weeks I hope to make a connections with some of our repeat participants, and the process will only become more natural with experience.
E. S. Good Barn Farmer's Market
Another way EatWell serves the UK community is by participating in the Farmer's Market on campus. We represent UK Health & Wellness and advocate for local farmers by encouraging our community to participate in the market.
EatWell encourages employees, retirees and spouses to participate by offering a program called Farm Fans, an easy-to-use text messaging and email reminder service. Each week at the market there is a secret word that participants must text to this service line, which earns them points over the course of the summer. Once participants reach 5 visits they get a prize (or 10 visits if they choose to hold out for a better prize)!
The best part about Farm Fans is that we inform all participants about what foods are available that day via text message. That way, our community knows what is available at the market before showing up and they can plan accordingly.
I love the Farmer's Market because it gets us out of the office and out from behind our desks and into the sunshine. We get a chance to interact with people, we give away prizes, and we hang out with the farmers. Additionally, a lot of our EatWell Weight Loss group members frequent the market, so it is a good time to develop more rapport.
Another personal benefit of working at the market each week is the ability to purchase local produce without setting aside extra time. Here are a couple of pictures from the market. A big thanks to farmer Steve for giving us some complimentary peaches at the end of last week's market!!
UK Health & Wellness professionals held a department meeting this week, affectionately referred to as Town Hall by all. It was a good chance to see familiar faces from my meetings held the week prior, and it was interesting to hear everyone give updates about where they are in the program process. With the next round of Check-Ins coming up in August, the ongoing FitBit initiative, and a new cooking class called VegOut launching, everyone is staying busy!
The most interesting and important bit of information learned during this meeting concerned the upcoming budget for the university. As many of us know, Governor Matt Bevin has made major budget cuts to higher education institutions, which includes the University of Kentucky. Despite these budget cuts, President Capilouto determined UK Health & Wellness deserved a budget boost!! It was not a huge increase, but how fortunate for the team to learn that they will be able to continue full steam ahead on their projects. It just goes to show how important their work is, and how valued they are by the university administration.
Most of my free time this week was spent working on my research project, which examines the relationship between EatWell Weight Loss program attendance frequency and overall weight change. That's it, that's all I'm saying, you'll have to read the paper!! (This is what authors say, right?)