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.
Dana Potocki is a 38-year-old wife and mother. Last year her father fought cancer and that inspired her to quit smoking, and now to lose weight. Dana hasn't smoked one cigarette in the last year, but since then she's also gained 20 pounds. Next year is her 15th wedding anniversary and she wants to look good for her husband.
"You don't realize until you look at pictures of yourself how bad it really is getting and that was a wake-up moment, when I saw a picture of myself this spring and I'm like, 'You're not just chunky anymore honey,'" Dana said.
Dana admits that she doesn't work-out and she doesn't eat that well, but she's about to get a little help with that from internationally recognized weight loss program Weight Watchers.
"Weight Watchers is the one program I've heard about since I was a kid and it has withstood other fads and diets and it's real life," Dana said.
Weight Watchers representatives agree.
"The nice thing with Weight Watchers is it's something anyone can do, anyone can fit into any lifestyle," said Deborah Roels, the manager for NWMI Weight Watchers. "With Dana, she has a young family, and she's at home with her young family, so there's a lot that she deals with on a day-to-day basis."
The idea behind Weight Watchers is to bring people together to help themselves and each other.
"You can come somewhere and get the support from folks who get you, folks who do what you do and struggle with the same things you struggle with," said Deborah.
Dana began her journey at a Weight Watchers meeting where she met her group leader and discussed the program. The longer Dana sticks with Weight Watchers, the better her chances are of keeping the weight off and reaching her goals.
"If I feel better, if I wake up in the morning and my feet don't hurt, if I can look in the mirror and not see round-face, but instead see my real face shape, that's going to be pretty good," Dana said.