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Park Rapids mother wants her family to have a healthy future

Garcelon family

Eydie Garcelon is making an effort to have a healthy family that's excited about eating well and exercising for fun.

Power Up 2010, a program being offered through Community Education, is helping the Park Rapids family with their goals. Eydie, along with her husband Neal and children Shelby, 10, and Ben, 11, are making weekly goals.

"We're all on board, doing little things that we can to improve our health," she said.

On Dec. 7, Eydie had gastric bypass surgery. She had numerous health issues, including diabetes, and wanted to make a change.

"I had been trying to lose weight before surgery and had actually lost 49 pounds before the surgery," she said.

As of Saturday, Feb. 6 she had lost 100 pounds total.

"When this Power Up came up, I really wanted to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into our whole family," Eydie said.

With the surgery, she can no longer have caffeine, sugar and carbonation.

Eydie and Neal have started shopping for more healthy food options and have made an effort to exercise and be active with their kids throughout the week.

Shelby and Ben don't drink much pop anymore and will pick up a banana to eat as a snack rather than chips.

Ben's goals during the Power Up program have been to eat more protein and resist grazing. He makes sure to eat everything on his plate and is trying more fruits.

"We tried star fruit and grapefruit," Ben said.

He likes to eat sour food so grapefruit has become a new favorite.

Instead of buying packaged meats, Eydie has been slicing turkey herself.

"I make sure I have plenty of time to go grocery shopping and make good choices," she said.

Shelby has been trying to drink more water instead of pop or juice. She eats oatmeal for breakfast and likes to snack on fruit.

The kids aren't deprived of other foods, though. Sometimes they get fast food, Eydie said. But she has noticed that the kids are making healthier choices on their own.

"I like getting apples instead of fries sometimes," Ben said.

He will also order milk instead of pop.

Eydie is already feeling better since she began losing weight.

"My health problems are literally all gone," she said.

Her family has been supportive of her weight loss.

"We're so proud of her," Neal said.

He has tried to cut down on his coffee drinking and is trying to eat more low fat dairy.

"I've always exercised so that's not new," he said. "It's been fun to play hockey with the kids, though."

The family often heads down to the basement for a rousing match of floor hockey between the kids and Neal while Eydie spends time on the exercise equipment.

"It's been a neat way to spend time as a family," Eydie said.

Another way Eydie has found to stay active is by walking the hallways at Century School while her kids are in basketball practice.

She has had to get all new clothes because of her weight loss but "it hasn't been so bad," she laughed.

The overall goal has been to have her family create healthy habits, Eydie said.

"I got a second chance," she said. "But I wanted these guys to have a healthy future."

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561