Danielle and Grace // STOP
Sisters Danielle Fox and Grace Roberts were like many children growing up in America. They ate many of their meals out of a box or a drive-through and spent much of their time in front of the TV. Their weight was becoming an issue, but more than that, their overall health was suffering.
At ages 10 and 6, something needed to change. And their mother Melissa was determined to get help. Referred by their pediatrician, Melissa enrolled the girls in Reid’s Stop Taking On Pounds (STOP) program, and their family was ready to establish new, healthy habits.
In the beginning things were slow and difficult. “It’s more about not giving up,” Danielle said. “It was hard in the moment, but it’s not just about losing weight; it’s about being healthy and having a healthy heart.”
One part of the program encouraged the girls to get up and get moving. This included the use of pedometers each
day. “We would march around in the driveway to get extra steps,” Danielle said. Grace took her pedometer to school for Show and Tell. She explained to the class, “I use this to run.”
Danielle loved exercising. She ran 20 minutes – usually laps around the house – every morning before starting her day. The girls learned to get up and do jumping jacks on commercials when they were watching TV.
Grace liked basketball, but her favorite part was learning the food groups. Logging food, trying new fruits, and learning portion control and how to cook healthy meals kids will eat were all important lessons for the entire family.
“It was about being a team and holding each other accountable,” Melissa said. “There were days I would go to Christie Ferriell (Diabetes and Nutrition Education Coordinator) crying, because I could not motivate them.” Christie taught parents how to speak on the kids’ level.
The entire family learned to set weekly goals, and celebrate when they were met. “You have to be committed to your family for it to work,” said Melissa.
The results were startling. During the 12-week program, Grace lost 6 pounds, decreased her body fat by 4½ percent and decreased her BMI by 2 percent. Danielle lost nearly 16 pounds and decreased her body fat 10 percent and her BMI 5 percent.
“It’s not just about losing weight,” said Danielle. “It’s about being healthy and having a healthy heart.”
Danielle would offer advice to other kids entering the program: “Don’t give up. Don’t think of it as how much time is left; think of it as ‘I’m gonna have fun today’!”
Melissa and her girls are thankful for the STOP program. She knows her decision to make lifestyle changes will have lifelong benefits. “It is for your kids. The behaviors you teach them now, they will teach their kids someday.”
STOP is a free physician-referred weight management program for ages 7-17. By learning more about eating right, exercising and choosing healthy lifestyle habits, they can reach their weight management goals.