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Healthy Food Choices Accountability Group

“Healthy Food Choices Accountability Group” is a free, 10-week program to help people of Waldo County develop healthier habits and lifestyles. Coordinated by Hester Kohl (Certified Health & Wellness Coach) and Mirja Pitkin (Certified Personal Trainer), the program uses elements from the Wellness Mapping 360 program at Real Balance Global Wellness Services. Our goal is to provide the education and group support necessary to start eating healthier as a lifestyle, not a diet.  Applicants must have a Body Mass Index (BMI)* over 30 and obtain prior approval from a doctor before participating. This program is for people who can commit to attending 10 weekly group meetings and making significant changes in their lifestyles including food choices.

Please note, this class does not contain an exercise component, however we encourage all participants to exercise either on their own or in one of our classes, or in other classes.  Before, during or after our 10 week program, we encourage our participants to attend our Move it to Lose it exercise class.

In 10 weekly group meetings, you will:

  • Learn about choosing and preparing healthier foods through meal planning, cooking together and taste-testing.
  • Hear from speakers on Nutrition, Sleep, Emotional Eating, Mindful Eating, and other topics.
  • Participate in activities with wellness coach Hester Kohl about creating your own personal wellness plan.
  • Talk with other group members in a supportive environment focused on long-term health.

Click here to view our Class Schedule with homework Fall 2014, which includes what we’ll be doing each week.

Outside of weekly meetings, you will:

  • Record all food & exercise daily on the “My Fitness Pal” website or if you do not have regular internet access, you may record on a paper log we provide.  Logs will be collected each week.
  • Complete homework assignments or readings each week
  • Connect with your assigned “buddy” by phone/email twice each week between classes.
  • Exercise is strongly encouraged though not required.

Qualifications needed:

  • A BMI of 30 or higher
  • Be highly motivated and willing to change your exercise and eating habits
  • Attend all 10 group meetings.
  • Obtain your doctor’s prior approval before participating.
  • Purchase your own copy of “Your Journey to a Healthier Life: Paths of Wellness Guided Journal” by Michael Arloski.  Available online at Amazon or Whole Person.

If you don’t qualify for our program, or want to start before our next program begins, click here to see our community Weight Loss Resources.

Next session: Fall 2014 Wednesdays 5:00-6:30pm, September 17 to November 19

Application Process:

When is the deadline to apply? Monday August 25

I submitted an interest form.  When will I be contacted? By August 28

I submitted an interest form.  When will I know if I am accepted? By September 2

If I am accepted, what else will I need to do?  Accepted applicants will be emailed a provider referral form which you will need to give to your provider and return to us.  If it has been a long time since you’ve seen your doctor, he/she may want to see you before approving your participation.  If you do not currently have a doctor, we can arrange for a pre-screening visit with a provider at WCGH.

You will also need to sign up for a pre-class fasting health screening Monday September 8 between 7:15-9:30am (and again in December date TBD) including cholesterol, triglycerides, Blood Pressure, glucose, resting heart rate, waist circumference, height, weight, and BMI.

Purchase your own copy of “Your Journey to a Healthier Life: Paths of Wellness Guided Journal” by Michael Arloski.  Available online at Amazon or Whole Person.

Space is limited to 14 participants. If you wish to apply, please complete the interest form below no later than the application deadline listed above.  For any questions about this program, please contact Hester Kohl at or 930-2514.

* BMI (body mass index) is a height-to-weight ratio. Because program participants must have a BMI over 30, we encourage you to use the calculator below to determine your BMI for the program application. Click here to learn more about BMI for adults.

Interest Form - Wednesdays 5:00-6:30pm September 17 to November 19, 2014

Welcome! Please read through the full program description above before submitting a form. Your interest form will be reviewed and if you qualify we will contact you with additional questions once we start reviewing applications. Please note that we receive more interest forms than we have space for in this program, and that due to space limitations not everyone who applies will be chosen to participate. Personal information will be used only for this application and will not be shared or used for any other purpose.


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