Step Up & Scale Down program in Llano teaches healthier habits

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

LLANO — When Llano County AgriLIFE Family and Consumer Science agent Jennifer Page holds the first lesson of the Step Up & Scale Down program, she won’t just be leading the class, she’ll be participating.

“My husband and I are going to do it together,” she said. “So I’m going to be a student as well as one of the leaders.”

Step Up & Scale Down is a 12-week healthy lifestyle course offered through the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service and Scott & White Hospital starting Feb. 27 from noon to 1 p.m. at Scott & White Hospital, 200 W. Ollie St. The idea behind the program is to give participants the tools, support and resources to lead healthy lifestyles, which includes diet, fitness and other aspects.

Page said it’s something Llano County needs.

“In Llano County, one out of four people is considered overweight and some obese,” she said. “And there are a lot of problems that come with that.”

The 12-week program, which meets weekly, provides a place for people to learn healthy habits, become better shoppers and get support. Page pointed out that people often start a weight-loss program only to set it aside after a few rough spots or plateaus.

“Weight loss is not easy. Being healthy is not easy,” she said. “Having a weekly reminder or, more or less, a support group really helps you through those times when you’re struggling.”

The program features 12 weeks of lessons during which Page and others share tips on shopping, cooking healthier, staying motivated and understanding your own body type.

“In the first week, a doctor will come and weigh everybody and get our (body mass index),” Page explained. “The BMI gives you an idea about the type of body you have. And, with that, you can better determine what’s best for you.”

The program is designed so participants can track measurable progress throughout the 12 weeks.

The idea isn’t just to give a series of lectures and send participants on their way. Instead, leaders give people the tools to replace negative habits with better ones on the way to creating a healthier lifestyle.

“It takes about 21 days to develop a habit. It takes about two months to change a lifestyle. So, if you do something consistently for 12 weeks, you’ll develop a lifestyle, and that’s what we’re trying to do with this program,” Page said. “It’s all about taking baby steps, starting small. Those can lead to big changes.”

Registration for the event is $30. Officials ask people to sign up by Feb. 27. Checks can be sent to the Llano County Extension Office, 1447 Texas 71 East, Llano, TX 78643.

The first meeting starts at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 27 with the weigh-in.

Call Page at (325) 247-4849 for more information.

Also, $5 from the $30 registration fee goes into a pot, which will go to the person who loses the highest percentage of body fat.

daniel@thepicayune.com