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Weight Loss Is Just One Benefit Of CHIP

            GREENEVILLE, TN. – Losing weight is just a natural outcome of participating in the Coronary Health Improvement Project, a lifestyle health program also known as CHIP.

            CHIP targets people who have or wish to avoid heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “One great side effect of the program is that participates also lose unhealthy weight,” Lynda Nelson, local CHIP director, explained. “But they gain much more – they gain knowledge about how to live healthier.”

            Free introductory classes to CHIP will be offered Jan. 8 and 12 at Takoma Regional Hospital and again on Jan. 12 at the YMCA. Registration also will occur at these meetings.

The month-long CHIP program will be offered Jan. 19-Feb. 19 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The program begins and ends with special “heart screenings,” to monitor progress. Participants also learn how to make healthy food choices, as well as the importance of a regular fitness program.

Sheila and David Bailey of Greeneville both are 2008 CHIP graduates. Sheila lost around nine pounds during the six-week course, but has since lost a total of 16 pounds. Her husband lost 15 pounds during CHIP, but has also dropped an additional 10 pounds.

“CHIP is a wonderful thing,” said Sheila, administrative assistant for the assistant director of Greeneville schools. “I would recommend everyone trying CHIP because weight loss is just the fluff. The best part is how much your overall health improves. We feel so much better now that we’re eating healthy. The weight loss was just an added bonus.”

She praised the program for being so informative. “I feel empowered now with the knowledge to make healthy choices,” Sheila a said. “I really didn’t understand the importance of doing this before CHIP.”

            In addition to losing weight, the Baileys both saw their blood pressure drop and their cholesterol improve. “My husband was a borderline diabetic and now he’s not,” she said of David, a senior vice president at American Patriot Bank.

Brenda Winfree of Greeneville also is a recent CHIP graduate. “The CHIP program has definitely made a difference in my life -- for the better,” Brenda said. “I have lost weight, which has always been a challenge for me. I am more mobile, and my lab results have improved, and I’ve be able to maintain these improvements.  My only regret is that I didn't make these changes much earlier in my life."

For more information on CHIP, which receives financial support from Takoma Regional Hospital, please call Lynda Nelson at 638-6633 or Peggy West at 638-7804. Brochures also are available at Takoma Regional Hospital.