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Group takes STEPs to increase fitness together

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

Encouragement, other rewards increase motivation

TELL CITY - Customers of a local fitness center are bending together in their war against unwanted weight, and invite other men and women of Perry County to join them.

Shed Those Extra Pounds classes are free and meet at 6 p.m. Mondays in the basement of Everbody's Fun and Fitness Center, 710 Fulton St., Tell City.

Libby Bauer and Sharlene Crossley started STEP "because there were no evening meetings for Weight Watchers in Tell City," Bauer said.

The program's purpose is to help people learn about diet, exercise and other health issues, and participants are free to use Weight Watchers or other programs. They track progress with weigh-ins and use rewards and encouragement for motivation. The first half hour of each weekly gathering includes those and the sharing of recipes and other information. Periodic guest speakers have included an Everbody's trainer, Crossley said, and doctors will be asked to share ideas about the benefits of diet and exercise at future meetings.

"We just want to help people make intelligent decisions," she said.

"It's real hard to get into a routine at home," Bauer said, "but we've been doing this from the first of the year, and a couple of us have lost 20 pounds."

She said STEP participants don't have to join Everbody's, but they're welcome to.

"We were already members," Crossley said. "Libby and I joined a year ago, but we were hardly using it. We decided at the first of the year to do something about it."

The group recently began adding 45-minute exercise sessions to their half-hour meetings. They are guided by an Everbody's trainer, and for those, a gym membership is required. The cost for an individual is $30 per month. Couples pay $50 monthly, and families use the facility for $60 per month.

Forming a group of people with the common goal has been motivational, Crossley said. "Once you start doing it, it gets easier, and it's almost like you start craving it."

Bauer said she feels she has more energy and mobility. Crossley said she feels stronger.

"If you just diet and don't exercise, you can lose weight," Crossley said, "but not as much."

"People who exercise are the ones who keep the weight off," Bauer added.