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Fit City Success: ETMC Olympic Center gains national recognition for "Lite for Life"

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EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- It's a nine-week program that has transformed the lives of hundreds of East Texans since it started in 2006.   

People who have graduated from the program said it works because they are making a lifestyle change through exercise, education and changing behaviors.

Lynn "When I first came up here I could barely walk down the hall," Lynn Jenkins said. "There was a need between Glynn and I to get more exercise at our age. We needed to know what to do for ourselves. Not something generic for everyone."

Lynn, along with Glynn Jenkins, turned to "Lite for Life" for the sake of their health. At the time, it was less about losing weight than living right.

"I was on the edge of becoming a diabetic and I had high blood pressure," Glynn said. "I just got a report from the doctor, blood work and it all checked out fine. Sugar way down and BP way down."    

Exercise Specialist Cassie Ebert said the program focuses on lifestyle modification.

"It's not a fad diet," Ebert said. "It's not the next cheap quick thing you can do to make yourself skinny. It is ways to make yourself healthier and we work on your whole lifestyle."   

Trainers who work the program say Lite for Life works for people of all ages and weights. 

When she started the program, Lynn said she couldn't last two minutes on the treadmill. But trainers were patient with her. 

"Now I can do 25-30 minutes," she said.

And Glynn could only walk for 10 minutes.

"Now I walk for an hour everyday," he said. "I walk an average of three miles a day."  

Glynn hits the gym five days a week, whittling three inches off his waist.

"Britches feel whole lot better," he said. "I had clothes I got that I couldn't get into."

 Lynn is 25 pounds lighter and not bound to a wheelchair, which is where she was headed.    

"I'm thinking that probably a year from now with all of this encompassed, I'll be able to walk through a store and go shopping like you do," she said.   

The Jenkins said they feel healthier than they have in years because of Lite for Life. That's one of the reasons the program was singled out; for it's positive outcomes and program growth.    

The next Lite for Life program begins Monday.

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