EAGLE RIVER - The Eagle River YMCA sponsors a program called "Y-Weight" every year.
Participants have trainers to teach them about good nutrition and exercise.
They also have each other for support... and a little competition.
Sounds a lot like The Biggest Loser, except the point of this program is slow, steady weight loss that lasts.
"I got into the program because I wanted to change for me." said winner of Y-Weight Competition, Debbie Heller.
Changing for the better are these people's goals.
"I didn't like who I looked like, what was taking place," Heller said.
"So I wanted to feel happy with myself and when you're happy with yourself it kind of leaps over into every aspect of your life."
"During this past year my husband became ill and had lost a lot of weight," Y-Weight competitor, Bonnie Kegley said.
"I was very proud of him and pleased with the progress he had made and decided I needed to do something as well."
But it's not an easy task when you're first starting out.
"You have to change the eating. You have to change the exercising," said Y-Weight competitor Dave Sadenwasser.
"You have to change the portion control and you really have to change the way you think and the way you go about everything. It's a total commitment of every asset."
Even though this was a competition to see who would lose the most weight, Heller says it wasn't about winning.
"It was about doing something for us. And that was the big difference," Heller said.
"You have to change too and want to change for yourself. You can't do it for somebody else or you ultimately aren't going to succeed."
You may not be doing it for somebody else, but having somebody else's support is important.
"You're going to build your friendships. Certain people are going to click with other people and I've seen friendships being built here that I think will last a lifetime," said personal trainer, Mandy Rottier.
"It's so important to build those friendships with people that are also on that healthy lifestyle journey."
The YMCA of Eagle River runs the 10 week program once a year.
But they are looking into expanding it for the summer time.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center today.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
Cooking for people with multiple, chronic health conditions
MINOCQUA - For people struggling with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease, cooking can be a challenge.
But being careful with how you cook doesn't mean your meal has to be bland.
One dietician teaches the "Cooking for Multiple Diseases" class at Nicolet College in Minocqua.
People taking her class need help finding the best recipes for their conditions.
"Maybe they have diabetes and their spouse has heart disease. Or other people in the family may have a different disease," said Mary Sikora-Petersen, a Registered dietician. "They want to know, how [to] cook a meal that's going to be for everybody in the family."
Petersen also stresses the importance of using healthier ingredients without losing flavor. One way to do that is by using seed-based seasonings and avoiding too much salt.
"[Add] flavors to food without adding salt. Certainly, salt adds flavor," said Petersen. "But there are other ways to add flavor, such as adding ground seasonings, adding fresh herbs to the foods."
Petersen also recommends using light olive oils and whole wheat products.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
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