It would be no surprise to learn that more than 30% of all Americans, including children and adolescents, struggle with weight control or obesity. More than 300,000 deaths a year are associated with obesity, and a myriad of other heath conditions, including depression, hypertension, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and more are directly attributed to this chronic disease. Unfortunately, our own state of Mississippi is at the top of the list of the highest obesity rates in the nation, and that problem is well-known fact at home and abroad.

In just the last 30 years, television shows and video games, the infiltration of fast food on every block corner, and little leisure time can cause individuals and families to easily fall into a lifestyle that is conducive to fast weight gain, and the realization that gaining weight is easier than losing it has finally set in. Just three decades ago, weight issues were rarely talked about, but today it’s characterized as an epidemic. Since this seems to be a relatively “new” problem, maybe it can be fixed in a short amount of time. It’s certainly top of mind for health insurers and employers, and it’s certainly top of mind for individuals in our own state. Dr. Carolyn Rogers is one of those people who recognize the problem and wants to introduce approaches that can change habits that could lead to the drastic lifestyle changes that will lead to a healthier body and weight control.

Dr. Rogers is from Morton, Mississippi, and played on a nationally ranked Mississippi College girl’s basketball team in the 1970s. Although she was active through athletics during her high school and college years she claims that she was a “chubby child” and knows what it is like to struggle with weight. As a young adult, Carolyn coached several successful high school girl’s basketball teams and has quite a resume of accomplishment, including a PhD. “I look good on paper, but I’ve had my own issues, and I like to teach people through counseling how to cope with life stress. Weight gain is usually the result of other issues, and it’s my job to help people understand how to cope and how to put their issues, including eating disorders, in remission,” says Carolyn.

Carolyn is the newest therapist at First Baptist Jackson’s Summit Counseling Center and her first order of business when she joined the staff was to create a weight loss support group. “In my practice I help clients with mental health issues while incorporating a ‘total well-being’ approach with each client.  I strive to help each person attend to both mental and physical health and develop a healthy lifestyle. I have found it is difficult, if not impossible, to be mentally fit if one is physically unfit. This support group will give people a way to learn how to manage their physical health while working on their spiritual and emotional health.” Fitness trainers from First Baptist Jackson’s fitness center will also work with the support group to show them proper techniques on exercise equipment.

“We set the start-up date for the support group for October 30. This will give people a runway to work with in preparing for the holidays, which are traditionally loaded with food and unhealthy portions. Everything we do in this group will be spiritual-based, and you don’t have to be athletic to conquer your fears and struggles with losing and managing weight,” continues Carolyn.

To learn more about Carolyn and the weight loss support group that starts on October 30, visit the Summit Counseling Center Website.

Summit Counseling is a ministry of First Baptist Jackson.