According to the Michigan Surgeon General's latest Health Status Report, Michigan ranks the third worst among all 50 states for rate of obesity. We've been among the ten heaviest states for the past 14 years and 62% of adults in Michigan are considered overweight or obese.
So 7&4 News decided to help three Northern Michigan adults make a healthy lifestyle change. For our special series Scaling Back, we've paired up three different women with three weight loss and lifestyle change programs.
First up is Casey White. She's 31-years-old, a mother and wife and she's ready to make a lifestyle change. Casey wrote to us, sharing how reaching for cookies and chips has become an involuntary reflex, how she avoids getting her picture taken and how she cringes at her reflection in a full-length mirror.
"I do see a beautiful person in there, it's just a struggle to see through it sometimes," Casey says.
Casey is a college student, studying to be a social worker and being social hasn't always been easy for her.
"We live in a small community and you kind of have a target on your back, especially when you're not perfect or stick thin," Casey says. "I've tried really hard to blend in, especially in school. Now that I'm older and an adult it's easier, but still a struggle every day."
But, it's a struggle that Casey is ready to face head on. She knows what she needs to do, but needs help getting there and that's where the Munson Medical Center Healthy Weight Center comes in. Casey will be working with Ron Hessem, the Coordinator of the Healthy Weight Center. Ron has a plan to get her healthy.
"We're going to ask her to make some changes in her diet, the way she eats and the way she prepares meals," Ron says.
The Healthy Weight Center at Munson combines exercise, dietary changes, counseling sessions and group education to change people's outlook on life.
"We want people to learn to be healthy, to live healthy and to be able to carry that on for the longer duration of time," Ron says. "We don't pre-judge, we're there to help them make the changes they want to make, we're not going to push them into things they don't want to do, but by listening we can hear what their wants are."
For Casey, her wants are simple: to gain back some self-confidence and to set a good example for her son.
"I want him to look at me and be proud of me and know that I tried me hardest to live my life for myself and also for my family," Casey says.