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CHIP participants discuss health issues at the Rocky Mount Lifestyle Health Center.
Friday, April 26, 2013
More is better; you don’t often associate that with a diet program. That the Complete Health Improvement Project is a different kind of weight-loss program is immediately apparent.
It does help participants change their diets, sometimes drastically, but more importantly, say participants and those in charge of spreading the word about the program, it helps people change their lives.
“We provide people with the tools they need to make better choices : to eat more, learn more and live more,” said Sheryl Dunn, CHIP facilitator. “The program can help anyone feel better, even if they aren’t sick, but it is especially helpful to those with some chronic illnesses.”
The CHIP program was started in 1988 by Dr. Hans Diehl, who was asked to come up with a program that would changes lifestyles in Canada.
“If changing our lifestyles will make us healthier, why aren’t we all doing it?” asked Mike Little, a board member of the Rocky Mount Lifestyle Health Center, a local non profit where local CHIP classes are taught. “You have to change a lifetime of habits, and that’s hard.”
Annette Anderson agreed. She said making those changes can be challenging but worth it. Anderson joined the CHIP program in 2010 after being diagnosed with cancer.
“I was so sick I don’t even remember the first few classes,” she recalled. “I had tried everything, but this program is what made me healthy again.”
Anderson credits the CHIP program with lowering her cholesterol, blood pressure and weight, while building up her energy level and basic health.
CHIP is an “educationally intensive lifestyle intervention program” that doesn’t restrict foods specifically; it provides scientifically backed education as to what will happen to your body when you eat certain foods.
“They don’t tell you that you can’t eat something, they show you what happens when you do, and you make your own decisions,” said Barbara Dill, who participated in the program two years ago with her husband.
Joining a class costs $399, which covers materials, including a cookbook with hundreds of meat-free recipes.
“If you want to eat meat you can, but when you understand what happens to your body when you do, most people decide to try to go without it. We sure did ,” said Dill.
Dill said she and her husband saw reductions in their weight, cholesterol and glucose levels.
“I have used skin creams and lotions all my life for dry skin. Within three weeks of starting the program, my skin totally cleared up. I don’t have any problems with it now,” said Dill.
Dill’s husband, Dickie, said he saw a dramatic reduction in symptoms related to his heart condition, according to his wife.
Participants have blood drawn before and after the four-week class to identify changes in their health that are not immediately apparent.
Dr. John Clark, a volunteer presenter for CHIP, his wife, Julie, and son Connor are all CHIP program graduates.
“The best thing about this program is that it gives the scientifically proven lifestyle changes that lead people toward their optimal health, and it supports you while you do it,” he said.
“The healthy don’t need medicine,” added Clark. “With the CHIP program, your immune system becomes stronger, so most members find their prescription use is less, and symptoms from chronic illnesses are reduced.”
Dunn said the program is about more than what one eats.
“It’s not just about the diet. Health is related to happiness; everything is connected,” she said.
“If you aren’t healthy, it can affect your job, your relationships with family and friends, your basic happiness suffers. The CHIP program can prevent, arrest and even reverse many chronic health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, high cholesterol and heart attack risk.
“But it’s not just a change in diet, it’s what you eat, how often you relax, how much you sleep, how you deal with stress and many other factors.”
The next CHIP class will start in the fall. For more information, visit www.chiphealth.com.
To contact the Rocky Mount Lifestyle Health Center, call Dunn or Lois Vincent at 483-7775 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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