Inside the ‘Learn. Live. Lose.’ Program

Thanks to the advent of electronic medical records, Family Practice Associates in Lexington studied its client base and discovered a troubling pattern – 60% of patients were overweight or obese, according to Body Mass Index numbers.

Because excess weight is linked to diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, the practice realized many of its clients would benefit from a weight management program.

As that realization hit, the practice received a call from Carol Donnelly, owner of KC Wellness of Lexington.

From that piece of serendipity, a partnership was born and a new program was launched – “Learn. Live. Lose.”

This comprehensive, personalized weight management program is medically supervised featuring a BMI calculation and lab work to measure blood pressure, cholesterol and thyroid levels.

The goal of the program is to have an impact on current patients and then to all of Central Kentucky.

That impact starts in January with the four families participating in Lexington Family Magazine’s Fit Family Challenge, sponsored by Family Practice Associates.

To commemorate its 15th anniversary, the magazine will chronicle these four families for four months starting in January and culminating with the annual Summer Camp & Activities Fair on April 13 at Lexington Christian Academy.

As sponsor of the Challenge, Family Practice Associates is making “Learn. Live. Lose.” available to the four families for free.

KC Wellness will implement the program that emphasizes nutrition counseling and fitness education to create lifelong lifestyle changes.

To test the program, KC Wellness offered it to the Family Practice Associates 60-member staff.

Nearly half signed up and about 20 members participated in the eight-week program.

Staff members met once a week for an hour for a weigh-in, goal-setting, support, and fitness and nutrition advice such as how to shop at the grocery and how to dine out sensibly.

Participants followed the D.A.S.H. diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which is heavy on grains, vegetables and fruit.

The weekly sessions also included help with behavioral changes from Raleigh M. Kincaid, a marriage and family therapist at Family Practice Associates.

The result after eight weeks? The group lost a combined 225 pounds.

Based on the weight loss and testimonials at the exit interviews conducted by Cheryl Lewis, an advanced practice registered nurse, the program exceeded expectations.

One satisfied participant was lab manager Gwen Howard.

“I loved it and I liked the interaction in the group setting,” she said. “It was helpful being accountable to others. The program helped me to eat better and exercise more.

“I absolutely met my goal and will continue to follow the program.”