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Employees Lose a Half-ton

September 04, 2009 10:00 AM

Established on the downtown campus a year and a half ago, a Weight Watchers group has proven to be successful for a number of Tulane staff, faculty and students looking to shed some pounds. Paula Lucas joined because "denial wasn't working anymore."

weight watchers

Paula Lucas (left) has lost more than 60 lbs. since joining Weight Watchers. Kerri Clark (right) is the leader for the Tulane Weight Watchers group. (Photo by Dee Boling)

Lucas, an administrator in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine, has lost more than 60 pounds so far.

She is not alone. Since the Tulane meetings started, members have collectively lost more than 1,000 lbs. Eight members have achieved "lifetime" status, meaning that they have reached and maintained their goal weight.

Lucas says her weight loss has improved her self-esteem and also has had dramatic effects on her health. "My cholesterol is under 200 for the first time in my life," she reports. "I'm eating smarter and making healthy choices."

The current program offered by Weight Watchers is called Momentum. It not only helps members learn how to control portions and keep track of what they eat, but also stresses how "filling foods" can help members manage hunger.

Meetings are held every Wednesday at noon in room 105 of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine building at 1440 Canal St.

Kerri Clark leads the meeting and, like all Weight Watchers leaders, she is a member as well, losing 61 pounds to reach her goal a couple of years ago. She can relate to the challenges that members have and can offer real-life suggestions that have worked for her.

A free open house will be held on Wednesday (Sept. 9). Visitors will learn how the program works and meet current participants.

Dee Boling is director of communications for the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.