Jessica Paradis leads three “weight-loss challenge” groups in Ticonderoga. Last year her classes lost 2,000 pounds. The goal for 2012 is 10,000 pounds.
continued Each challenge group is divided into two teams. Each meeting includes a discussion of a health-related topic — diet, exercise, heart health, digestive health, maintenence, etc. — followed by a weigh in. The team that makes the most progress is declared the winner that week.
Results are posted on a Facebook page along with inspirational quotes, advice, recipes and other information.
The program is non-profit and Paradis doesn’t get paid. There is a $35 registration fee. That money is used for prizes and refreshments.
“Each week we discuss a piece of overall wellness,” Paradis said. “It’s when you understand how the pieces go together that great things happen. This is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. The goal is always to promote healthy living.”
A challenge is 12 weeks long. Goals aren’t always met, Paradis admitted. Often people will sign up for a second challenge.
The program is becoming so popular Paradis is hoping another wellness coach steps forward.
“I have a group that meets Tuesdays at the library (Black Watch Memorial Library in Ti) and two groups that meet back-to-back Wednesdays at the (Ti) high school,” she said. “I also help people one-on-one and, of course, I have a job teaching. I have to be careful that I still have a life.
“But, I do love it,” Paradis added. “I love to get calls, texts and Facebook messages from people meeting their goals. I love it when people get results. As a teacher, I want to see people succeed.”
Wendy Courtright of Port Henry has succeeded in the program. She wanted to lose 28 pounds during her “challenge.” She lost 48.
“I feel awesome,” she said. “I feel so much better. I have so much more energy for my family and children.”
Interested people can contact Paradis by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org