This is one in a series of articles based on a new book about Wellspring Academies, the first weight-loss boarding school for teens. This book will be published in October 2007.
Most teens that come to the Wellspring Academies are familiar with fad diets because they have tried and failed at them. Here are a few of their experiences in their own words:
I tried everything. I did Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach all of them. I did Atkins and actually lost 40 pounds. But then I slowly gained it back and then some. (Henry)
I tried Weight Watchers, Atkins (couldn’t stay on that very long), the grapefruit diet and I even tried eating only dinner and nothing else. That was the most unhealthy thing I ever tried and I couldn’t keep that up for very long. (Allison)
We went to this place that’s like Jenny Craig called Healthy Way. It’s a really stupid weight loss place where you buy all your food there. It didn’t work at all. I also did Nutri System, Weight Watchers and Atkins. I think I did okay on Nutri System, but then I hit a bump in the road. I went off track and then I felt like “screw that.” I stopped losing weight and I got frustrated. (Hillary)
Wellspring Family Camp Offers Weight Control for the Entire Family
The first and only family camp for weight control is back for its second season in 2007.
Because the first season of Wellspring Family Camp was such a success, the staff is making very few changes, according to Rachel Yudin, camp director. The Wellspring Family Camp in the upper peninsula of Michigan is the only camp where parents or grandparents can enroll as a family with one or more overweight children.
Last year’s campers lost an average of 4.2 pounds a week, but more importantly, they learned how to maintain lifestyle changes once they got home. Ms. Yudin said that even family members who did not participate in the camp themselves lost weight as a result of the changes in grocery shopping, exercise and cooking methods adapted by the campers. The majority of campers continued to lose or maintain their summer weight losses throughout the year.
The Poetry of Weight Loss
Successful weight controllers rely on language and creative expressions to help them change. Consider the following as examples within the lexicon of effective weight control:
- The Devil is in the details.
- Exercise every day is the way.
- Everything counts.
- Deviate quantitatively, not qualitatively.
- Biology is not destiny.
- Extremism in pursuit of permanent lifestyle change is no vice.
- Moderation in defense of failure to change is no virtue.