May 16, 2014
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Before and after: Associate Olivia Lester achieved weight-loss success through participation in “Fat Flush” program classes at the Jacksonville Store Support Center.​

HRIS Analyst Olivia Lester says she’s glad she chose to participate in the lifestyle-based weight loss sessions at the Jacksonville Store Support Center in October.

She began with the 11-day Fast Track Detox Dietby author Ann Louise Gittleman, a program based on eating foods that support the body’s own detoxification organs and kick-starts weight loss. She lost 12 pounds in the 11 days and then she began Gittleman’s Fat Flushprogram and continued to lose weight eating healthy foods. No calorie-counting or weighing foods, just fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, lots of water and eventually foods with healthy carbohydrates.

Her results so far speak for themselves – she’s lost 40 pounds and has dropped from a size 22 to a size 14. She’s not done yet, though – her goal is size 12 at 165 pounds and beyond.

“I’m still on my journey,” she said. “My plan has been so successful because I’m not just doing one thing. It’s a way of life. For me, it was a lifestyle change.” She’s inspiring others at the support center and at her church and has even started a page on Facebook for motivating herself and her friends.

Pam Onstead, a registered nurse and former foods and nutrition teacher, and wife of Bi-Lo Holdings President and CEO Randall Onstead, spearheaded the classes, a program that aligns with the company’s Living Well campaign. The program was developed by nutritionist and author Ann Louise Gittleman and is designed to foster weight loss and health through eating the right foods and staying active with exercise.

The plan is divided into three phases: Phase one detoxifies the body to accelerate weight loss. Lester said she lost 12.5 pounds during that phase. Phase two is balanced for continued weight loss until participants reach their goals and phase three, the “Lifestyle Eating Plan,” is a maintenance program for lifetime weight control, designed to increase vitality and well-being.

“It is really a lifestyleway of eating, not a fad diet that you stay on temporarily.” Onstead said. “It’s amazing how the weight comes off and how much better you feel when you give your body the foods it needs.”

Onstead said that a key part of Lester’s success with the plan is that she has surrounded herself with support at work, at church and at home.

“She made a commitment to herself to get healthy and to lose weight. That’s something that has impressed me about her,” she said.

Lester said she is happy with her results and is determined to stick with the program.

“It’s happening. I’m feeling healthier. I love seeing the sizes come off,” she said.

The Fat Flushclass meets every Wednesday in the Jacksonville Store Support Center and features cooking demonstrations, Q&As, discussions about weight loss and meal plans. The initial class, the 11-day Fast Track Detox Diet, is offered every quarter. Classes are free and program foods are provided by the cafeteria. Participants receive the Fat Flushprogram book and the Fat Flush Cookbook.

For more information, contact Sharon Clark, Living Well Manager.

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