Y-Change is the right change for one family

Published 10:52 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2009

At the Suffolk Family YMCA, we strive to encourage our members to embrace a healthy lifestyle through the support of all of our staff and the fitness team. For Amy Bowman, it was the Y-Change program that helped her and her family begin to take those steps.

Amy joined the Suffolk Family YMCA in the summer of 2007, with the idea that it was time for a change. However, it was not until February of 2008, when Amy enrolled in Y-Change, that her transformation began.

Y-Change is a 6-week program designed to help individuals meet their personal fitness goals, with an emphasis on nutritional education, physical fitness, and fellowship in a group setting. The groups meet three times a week with their Y-Change coach.


Email newsletter signup

One of their weekly meetings focuses on nutritional education in a classroom setting, where the coach provides the participants with the tools to make healthier food choices. The other two weekly meetings consist of physical fitness, where the Y-Change coach exposes the participants to new areas of health and wellness. Y-Change groups can be found engaging in starter classes and activities like yoga, cycling, step, walleyball and more.

Like most health seekers, Amy and her family had never been members of a gym or a fitness center. They joined as a family and initially were only using the Y for their daughter, Aerienna’s before- and after-school childcare.

Being in the Y-Change program taught Amy healthy eating habits, how to set personal fitness goals and how to create new habits, and it provided her with new friendships and workout partners. “The most important thing that stands out to me from my involvement in the Y-Change program is that it’s not all about my weight,” she said. Amy reports that she has lost eight inches and has gone down a clothing size.

Y-Change is only the beginning for Amy and her family. Amy’s family was 100-percent supportive of her new lifestyle choice. In April, Amy’s husband, Lloyd, and their 12-year-old daughter, Kylene, committed to running the Suffolk Family YMCA 6th Annual Spring Stride 5K. Though Kylene described her first 5k as “tiring,” she and her dad plan to run it again this year. Lloyd also will be challenging their youngest daughter, Aerienna, to run in the 1-mile Fun Run portion of the Spring Stride with him, as well.

Since the 5k, the Bowman girls have enjoyed participating in everything from swimming to the Interactive Zone. Aerienna has racked up points in the Interactive Zone, gaining the coveted No. 1 captain position on the Pirates of the Interactive Zone board on numerous occasions by dancing away on Dance Dance Revolution and playing the Wii.

Aerienna’s enthusiasm for working out in the Interactive Zone through interactive video games has played a helpful role in keeping the family motivated, as well. Aerienna’s commitment to fitness is what pushes Amy to the YMCA, even when she is feeling tired after a long day’s work. Kylene, a seventh-grader at Kings Fork Middle School, also added that she loves coming to the Y, because all her friends are there. She enjoys being part of the Teen Leader’s Club, and participating in SPARK and Teen’s Night Out.

Amy and Lloyd together have made the right steps to make fitness a priority in the Bowman household. Amy admits that she could not continue to make healthy choices without the support of her family. With her family’s help, though, she’s able to regain her focus when she hits roadblocks along the way. She also attributes her success to the wonderful staff support at the Suffolk YMCA.

Amy has completed six Y-Change sessions and has even been encouraged to lead her own Y-Change group. To learn more about how you can sign up for Y-Change at the Suffolk Family YMCA, call 934-9622 or sign up online at www.ymcashr.org.