Moving Forward


There’s a lot more to a comprehensive weight management program than just giving up fattening foods. And at Moving Forward, IU Health Bloomington’s approach to weight management, the emphasis definitely is on “comprehensive.”

Taught by a team of physical therapists and dietitians, Moving Forward combines exercise, nutrition education, and behavior modification in order to “provide the tools to adopt and develop lifestyle changes,” says Ryan Taylor, wellness program coordinator.

The program is offered in eight-week sessions throughout the year. Participants meet two evenings a week for 90 minutes. The first half of each class is devoted to exercise. “Each person will have a specific, personal exercise program that takes into account pain, range of motion, and strength,” says Taylor. The second half is devoted to nutrition and behavior modification.

The program is designed primarily for men and women in the 40-60 age range. Classes take place in the cardiac rehabilitation area of Bloomington Hospital. “We want to create as few barriers as possible and appeal to the person not comfortable walking into a gym,” says Taylor. “And being associated with the hospital gets the message across that this is about wellness.”

It’s not that everything in the course is new. “A lot of times people know what to do,” says dietitian Barbara Murray. “The question is how to get the motivation, how to make it a habit?”

She cites the example of someone who may go to a party, overindulge, say “I blew it,” and abandon the program. What they should do instead, she says, “is think, ‘I fell off the track. Everyone does. We can’t be perfect. I need to get back on track.’”

Because people often turn to food in stressful situations, Murray and fellow dietitian Mary Jo McClintic teach techniques such as meditation and muscle relaxation as “things to do in place of eating as a stress management tool.” They also discuss grocery shopping, meal planning, and the setting of priorities and goals.

“We give you the guidance,” says Taylor, “but you need to make the change yourself.”

The cost of an eight-week program is $99, and enrollment is limited to 12. For more information, call 353-5252.