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The Road to Success

Garret Whitney was about to turn thirteen and was growing fast. His height had shot up six inches, but more importantly, he was quickly putting on pounds past what was considered healthy. He had seen his doctor and was told that he needed to get a handle on his weight now before it became a problem in the future. Garret’s grandparents, who raise him, struggled to help him get to a healthy weight. Their own health problems made it harder for them to be active with him. The family needed help. Garret’s doctor provided the solution in Wake Med ENERGIZE! – a program that would teach the family how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Garret’s doctor knew about the project that was coming to Henderson County where the Whitneys lived – the Childhood Obesity Prevention Demonstration Project. The project’s goal was to get the whole community working together to help kids and their families eat better and get more activity everywhere they went – from schools to churches, to doctor’s offices – even in their own homes. Wake Med ENERGIZE! was part of this program. As soon as they enrolled in Wake Med ENERGIZE!, the road to change for the Whitney family began.

At the beginning of the program, the Whitney family set a goal of losing weight. After Wake Med ENERGIZE!, they changed their focus to adopting a healthy lifestyle. Garret and his grandparents have found that little changes make a big difference. Changes such as a little more activity, using smaller plates and eating lunch portions for dinner are a few of their secrets to success. Mrs. Whitney has learned to cook for three people instead of six to cut down on second helpings. Garret has learned many new things about food and nutrition and loves that his grandparents are more active now since participating in the program with him.

The Wake Med ENERGIZE! program has changed the lives of the Whitney family and they plan to continue with their new habits for life. While they are unable to continue the program at the Lola Patterson Center they are looking for other options, such as the Hendersonville YMCA, to fit the family’s budget.

Garret has not been the only family member to experience success. Mrs. Whitney has accomplished something she never thought possible. After years of inactivity, just walking up a hill was a struggle. Now the hill behind the Lola Patterson Center where the family attends Wake Med ENERGIZE! classes poses no challenge to her. The day she climbed to the top and back again was the day she felt she conquered the world. As Mrs. Whitney shows, small steps taken one at a time lead to success.

What was a road to health problems has now been traded for hopes of a long, healthy life for Garret and his family thanks to what they learned through Wake Med ENERGIZE!


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