Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Goal of Streamliners members is to have fun and lose weight

Transcona club meets once a week

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WHEN Gail Reimer decided she needed to lose 15 pounds, she knew she couldn't do it alone.

That's when the Transcona woman signed on with the Streamliners, a weight loss support group. Six years later, not only is Reimer an active member of the group, she is also the group's president.

And the Streamliners has turned out to be more than just a method to keep her weight in check. It's a way to meet and bond with diverse women in the community.

"For a lot of women, it's an evening out. We discuss why we can't lose weight," says Reimer, a retired clerk for the Manitoba legislature. "But the exercise is the fun thing."

Reimer says women of all shapes, sizes and ages have belonged to the Streamliners. They include those in their 20s and 30s trying to drop post-pregnancy weight, as well as retirees.

Dolores Lee, vice president of the Transcona Streamliners, joined the club in 1996 at the urging of a friend. She says the experience has been invaluable; she's met her 10-pound weight loss goal, thanks to the support of the group.

The aerobics classes provided by the fitness instructor have also helped her stay in shape.

"It's been very good. The exercises are great," says Lee. "You can't do a workout like that at home on your own."

From September to May, the group meets once a week for about an hour and a half. During this time they do low-impact aerobics with a licensed fitness instructor and often have guest speakers (local health experts) talking about subjects ranging from menopause to nutrition.

Reimer says the group doesn't experiment with fad diets. Instead, they just follow the Canada Food Guide.

Support group

Occasionally, there is "taste night," a potluck evening when club members bring in low-fat foods.

The goal? To have fun and stay motivated to drop weight.

"It's women in the neighbourhood getting together to support each other in weight loss," says Reimer, adding that the Transcona branch had about 40 members last year, but in the past has seen up to 140 members.

Streamliners will give you plenty of incentive to drop those pounds. There is a weigh-in at the beginning of every meeting. Gained weight? You'll have to pay up 25 cents for every pound of increase, money that's distributed to those in the group who have lost weight, explains Reimer.

And there's more incentive to lose weight.

Every June, a Streamliners queen and a princess -- two Streamliners who have lost the most weight -- are crowned at a special dinner. This year's queen came from the Kirkfield chapter and lost 17 pounds, just a half-pound more than a Transcona member, says Reimer.

A River Heights woman started the cit's first Streamliners chapter, says Reimer. Today, there are six Streamliners groups in Winnipeg, including branches in River East, Seven Oaks, St. Vital and central Winnipeg. There is also a Streamliners group in Brandon.

Reimer says weight-loss hopefuls must have at least 10 pounds to lose before they sign on with the Streamliners. And becoming a streamer is bound to make a lifelong impact.

"We get to know each other so well. I've made a few close friends out of it," says Reimer. "And you start to change the whole way you approach eating and weight loss."

The Transcona Streamliners start their first meeting of the season on Sept. 8. Meetings are held at Ecole Centrale, 604 Day St. For details, call Gail at 222-2413 or Dolores at 224-4671.

The River East Streamliners meet every Tuesday at Polson School, 491 Munroe Ave. For details, call Gert at 661-1651.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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