Find Support in Winning Over Weight!

Pam Noonan (left) and Christine Ritoli (right) of Winning Over Weight

With the New Year, many of us are looking to start new, healthy habits as we leave old ones in the past. For some, that means improving health.

Last June, a discussion about weight loss on Nextdoor sparked a group of people to form a group. Pam Noonan offered to host the group, and the rest fell into place. Christine Ritoli offered to serve as the co-administrator, joining Pam. The group meets on Mondays, from 9:00AM to 10:30AM at the Gingerwood Mobile Home Clubhouse. Anyone is welcome to join, as long as they’re willing to abide by the group’s guiding principles. Members must:

  • Know their “why”. What does life look when the weight loss goal is achieved?
  • Provide support to other members.
  • Be encouraging to themselves and each other along the journey.
  • Be accountable to themselves and the others in the group.

The group is comprised of women and men ages 38 to 90, with 8 members who have been with the group since its inception. Since June, there have been about 25 members total who have participated.

New members are confidentially weighed and their body measurements taken. This process is repeated at each meeting. The purpose of this is to keep members accountable along their journey. Another unique feature of the group is their quarterly monetary incentive for the members who have lost the greatest percentage of weight and the most inches. The two winners split the money collected. This financial incentive has proven popular with members as they encourage and engage in some good-natured challenges to win the money. As a group, they have lost about 1.5 lbs per week since June, which is excellent progress!

No selling or pushing a personal agenda in the group is allowed. That means members can participate in Noom, Weight Watchers, keto, or whatever type of diet and exercise plan they’d like, but they cannot press other members to join or sell products of their own. The group was founded to encourage others to find the path to healthiness that is best for them, and them alone. “Everyone in the group is an adult who knows what works best for them,” said Pam Noonan. Christine Ritoli added, “Members provide inspiration and motivation to each other.”

To that end, the group continues to support one another outside of the weekly meetings, which cost $3.00 to attend (this is how the money for the incentive prizes is raised). They have a phone and email tree that members can use to reach out to each other during particularly difficult times. The group doesn’t use terms like “cheat” or “fail”. Instead, they acknowledge the behavior and encourage the member to move forward in a positive way. For example, during a family celebration, a member may be presented with the chance to eat a cupcake. If the member chooses to eat the cupcake, they should enjoy the moment, rather than be riddled with guilt. Becoming healthy is a process, with ups and downs (both literal and figurative) and members need to realize and accept this fact.

New members are encouraged to contact either Pam Noonan or Christine Ritoli for more information. Pam’s email is HERE and Christine’s is HERE. We wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year! We also encourage those who are looking to become healthier in 2023 to check into Winning Over Weight for help in achieving those goals.


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