CHARLES TOWN – Hoping to get through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s without gaining weight? Eastern Panhandle residents can find support through Maintain, Don’t Gain, a free weight-maintenance program.
Nov. 21 is the final day to sign up for the unique program, which began in Jefferson County a decade ago.
Despite all the pumpkin pies, egg nog and tantalizing entrees on the menu at holiday dinners and parties in the weeks ahead, Maintain participants work to weigh the same from before Thanksgiving through early January, according to Judy Matlick, who oversees the program for Healthier Jefferson County and West Virginia University’s Jefferson County Extension Service.
Matlick said Maintain, Don’t Gain aims to get out the word that by making wise food choices and fitting in time for regular exercise, it’s possible to get through the holidays without gaining weight.
Anyone interested can pick up a welcome packet at a Maintain location: Gold’s Gym in Charles Town, Curves in Charles Town, the Clarion Health Spa & Fitness Center in Shepherdstown, Weight Watchers near the DMV in Kearneysville, Shepherd University Wellness Center, the Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic in Ranson, Jefferson County Health Department, Jefferson County Community Center at Sam Michaels Park and Harpers Ferry Family Medicine.
While there, participants step on a scale and get their weight recorded. They then return the week of New Year’s to get weighed again and to pick up an invitation to the Maintain completion celebration in mid-January.
As part of the program, each Maintain packet includes passes for free visits to Gold’s, Curves, the Clarion, the Wellness Center and the Jefferson County Community Center. Matlick also mails out a newsletter each week with tips and healthy recipes.
The program began with Dr. Johanna Biola, then a West Virginia University medical student who completed her residency in Harpers Ferry. She read a study that found many people put on pounds during the six-week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
At the January celebration, Maintainers can take home door prizes such as gym memberships, gift certificates for massages and other prizes. But best of all, said Matlick, is the sense of accomplishment that comes when participants get through the holidays with their health regimes still on track.
For details, call Matlick at 304-728-7413, Ext. 3 or email Judy.Matlick@mail.wvu.edu