Resolute Support: Help Available To Make 2004 Resolutions A Success



Rim country residents who joined the masses making the resolution to lose weight and get in shape don't have to struggle alone.

A variety of programs in Payson are available to lend guidance and support through the rigors of eating less and moving more.


Nancy Kinney, center, is one of 54 participants in the MHAXIII program at the Payson Athletic Club. The program is operated in conjunction with the Mogollon Health Alliance and monitored by Beth Rimmer, left, and Judi Harman.

Two grassroots weight loss programs have a variety of meetings: Taking Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) and Overeaters Anonymous (OA).

The three fitness centers -- Club U.S.A., Curves for Women, and Payson Athletic Club -- all have weight-loss programs planned to coordinate with the exercise opportunities they offer.

The TOPS program has a Tuesday meeting, 6:30 p.m., at the Powell House, 806 W. Longhorn Road, and a Thursday meeting, 7:30 a.m., at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Easy Street. There is also a meeting in Pine, Wednesdays at 7:45 a.m. at the Pine Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ilona Swenson is with the Thursday morning group in Payson. She said there are about 30 active participants in the 50-member group.

"We gain a lot of new members at the first of the year," she said, "And there is always room for more."

The group's bible is the book "The Choice is Yours," Swenson said. It is a practical guide to the program, including menus, exchange lists and more.

"It was written by four different experts," she said. The book is only $12 and is available over the Internet, at, or, Swenson said.

Participation in TOPS costs an annual fee of $20 for national dues and $3 per month to attend the meetings. The meeting fee is paid in three-month increments.

"With the national dues, you get a magazine with hints, advice and news," Swenson said.

She said the group's first meeting of the month covers business, then subsequent meetings feature informational programs.

"We've had programs on diabetes, arthritis. Members give programs or we have experts come in and talk to us," she said. "We have contests for incentives -- walking contests, charms for losses."

The TOPS program provides both information and support.

"Everyone is there for everybody," Swenson said.

The only thing people need to participate is a weight-loss goal set by their health care provider within the first couple of months attending the meetings.

For more information about TOPS, call Swenson at (928) 472-3331 for the Thursday morning Payson meeting; Barbara Anderson at (928) 474-6528 or Naomi Wilson at (928) 468-8577 for the Tuesday night Payson meeting; or (928) 476-3024 for the Pine Wednesday morning meeting.


Because it is patterned after the 12-steps and anonymity of Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous members go only by their first names and last initials. The contact for the Payson chapter is Gail H.

"It's for women and men and young adults," Gail said. "We share experiences, strengths and hopes to stop eating compulsively."

There are no dues charged, but the group is self-supporting through voluntary contributions.

"OA has been operating for more than 100 years and has been in Payson for eight to 10 years," Gail said.

The group is open to everyone.

"There are no requirements, except a desire to stop eating compulsively," she said.

Weight problems are seen as a disease, she said.

"Members look for spiritual and emotional support, as well as recovery. We use the 12 steps to help us abstain from compulsive overeating," Gail said.

She said members work with sponsors to get a food plan that works for each individual.

Right now OA is not a large organization in Payson, there are only three meetings: 1 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday and 3:30 p.m., Thursday. All are held at the Manzanita Courtyard Apartments recreation room, 809 W. Longhorn Road.

For more information contact Gail at (928) 472-7132 or Mary Jo at (928) 472-4330.

"If there is enough interest, we can start an evening or weekend meeting. We invited everyone interested to join us to find support and share it as we work on a common problem," Gail said.


ClubU.S.A. opened April 2003 and now has about 500 members, ranging in age from 14 to 90.

"We're offering a new weight-loss program," said Heather Slater, managing partner of the business' plans for the New Year.

The new eight-week program combines evaluations and assessments, an individualized diet plan, personal training and exercise program, plus eight sessions of HydroMassage.

Slater will meet with each participant for an hour every week during the course of the eight-week program.

"We do a diet evaluation and create a new diet. Every diet is not going to work for every person," Slater said.

Each participant will have a body assessment, which includes taking measurements and determining their Body Mass Index (BMI). An individual training program will also be developed.

"Regularly the cost is $299, but for the New Year, we are only asking $199," Slater said.

The individual service from the people at ClubU.S.A. is not unique to the new weight management program.

"We feel people out at first to find out their background with exercise," Slater said of the business' service for all clients. "We take them through all the equipment. We are very proud of our facilities. We design a program for each client, it's very individualized. And then a personal trainer works with them for as many sessions as they need to get comfortable with the equipment."

The workout program is sketched on a check list and the clients use it to keep track of their efforts.

"I'm surprised at how many still stick with it," she said. "It has really helped people become more comfortable with working out."

ClubU.S.A. has Cybex weight machines, Precor cardio equipment and a variety of aerobics classes including step aerobics and kick boxing.

"We update the classes as to what people want," Slater said.

The business also has two types of tanning services, regular UV systems, where the clients either stand up or lay down, and the Mystic Spray Tan system, which has just been added.

"It's very popular. A lot of people don't have the pigment to tan -- like me, I just freckle. It lasts a week," Slater said.

In addition to the new weight management program and the addition of the Mystic Spray Tan system, ClubU.S.A. will be bringing self-defense classes to Payson, which will be available to non-members as well as members.

"The class will be structured around what a majority of participants want," Slater said.

The club is open from 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call (928) 474-2582.

Curves for Women has been in Payson since June 2002 and now serves between 300 and 350 members, according to owner Martha Hemphill.

"We are totally set up and developed to help women keep their New Year's resolutions," Hemphill said.

There is new equipment and it is simple to use, she said. It uses hydraulic resistance and has no weights to change.

"We're woman-friendly with no men and no mirrors," Hemphill said. "You can do your entire workout -- both aerobics and strength training -- in just 30 minutes," she said.

"And you only need to come in three times a week to get your full benefit. We also help with personal motivation and training," Hemphill said.

Participants are weighed and measured by the staff, which also keeps the records of members' workouts, weights and measurements.

"We provide in one place for your fitness needs, nutritional counseling and supplements to get everything working together," Hemphill said.

Staff is supervising everyone all the time to make sure members are able to use the equipment without injury.

A Curves membership can be used at any of the 6,000 centers in North America and if people move, their memberships can be transferred.

Coming in the new year: more new equipment; a computer tracking system; and weight-loss classes.

"We will meet once a week to learn how to become a fat burning machine instead of an energy burning one, through diet and strength training. Strength training is a big key in weight loss and maintaining it as it keeps your metabolism up," Hemphill said.

The Curves weight loss class starts Jan. 13 with sessions at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Curves is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.

For more information, call (928) 474-9797.

The Payson Athletic Club is offering its Fit Weigh Program again to help Rim residents lose weight and/or get in shape.

The program was designed by Sue Thompson, who is a member of the PAC and a personal trainer. She has worked for "Fitness" magazine and Nike, according to Marci Sanders, manager of PAC.

It focuses on both fitness and nutrition and this is the third time PAC has offered it, Sanders said.

"It's a four-week program, with Ramona Coppelli, a nutritionist, and Beth Rimmer, a registered nurse and certified personal trainer," Sanders said.

The program includes a four-week membership to PAC.

"Ramona will teach participants to eat right and Beth will develop a workout program for them," she said. Once the program concludes, a support group will continue.

The program starts Jan. 28 and meets Wednesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is limited to 20 persons. The cost is $75 for non-members and $50 for members.

"If you sign up for full gym membership in January the Fit Weigh is a free bonus for those interested," Sanders said. For those not interested in the program, a January sign-up for membership will result in waiver of the initiation fee.

The Wednesday session of Fit Weigh is for nutritional counseling, participants, once they have their workout program, can come into PAC any time to do their exercises.

PAC continues its partnership with the Mogollon Health Alliance in offering the MHAX III Health Plus program, which is designed to aid in the recovery and quality of life for people with health challenges such as cardiac disease, hypertension, respiratory conditions, stroke, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, diabetes, etc. Qualified medical personnel conduct the program and monitor participants. All that is needed to participate is a prescription from a health care provider.

The cost is $35 a month and the MHA has scholarships to assist those who need help with the fee. It is supervised by Rimmer and Judi Harman, a certified nursing assistant, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In addition to the two special programs, PAC has a wide array of fitness equipment for both aerobic exercises and strength training. A number of aerobic classes are offered and there is supervised childcare as well. The childcare is available from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sanders said.

A gym membership includes sessions with a personal trainer, up to two or three times until the client is comfortable with their routine, plus a reassessment of their needs in order to continue successful results, Sanders said.

It is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.

For more information about PAC call (928) 474-0916.

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