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      Scaling Back women share the skinny over dinner

      7&4 News is helping three Northern Michigan women lose weight with three different lifestyle programs in our series, Scaling Back. The women have been working for over a month now and recently got together to meet in person for the first time.

      Italian Restaurant Tuscan Bistro in Traverse City played host to our first-ever Scaling Back dinner. The women and their coaches got together over delicious food to discuss their weight loss ups and downs and even though they've never met before, the women were like long lost friends.

      "We all have families and other issues like school and work, so we're all going through the same thing which is making it a lot easier for me," said Casey White.

      Casey has been working with Munson Medical Center's Healthy Weight Center on this journey, which hasn't always been easy. But at dinner, Casey and the other women shared some of the lessons they've learned with each other.

      "I think the biggest thing I've learned is it's okay to treat yourself every once in a while and not feel guilty about it, we're all human beings and you shouldn't feel guilty about having a piece of your son's birthday cake," Casey said.

      "Never take the easy way out, it's hard work, but it's worth it and every step of the way is hard, but it's worth it in the end," said Misty Marshall.

      Misty is working with the Grand Traverse Athletic Club and says this program has pushed her beyond where she thought she could go.

      "It's hard work, but it's been rewarding in the sense that I accomplish things that I thought I'd never be able to accomplish before, I'm meeting goals that I never thought were possible," said Misty.

      But there have still been struggles. At dinner, Misty discovered she's not the only one who's learned new things about herself.

      "I didn't think I ate emotionally, I'm finding it's hard because it's not just setting the cookie down or making a better choice, you have to really evaluate what's causing you to eat the item and not so good stuff," said Dana Potocki.

      Dana is working with Weight Watchers and finding it's okay to give in a little, especially at this time of the year.

      "I'm doing really well, I'm enjoying it, but I'm definitely having some struggles. It's Christmas, there's cookies and parties and I've indulged a few times, but tried to make it up the next day," said Dana.

      Sharing the same table, these women are sharing more than just a meal. They're sharing a bond.