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Meltdown comes to life

The Nevada County Meltdown is taking on a life of its own as it moves into its second week.

Since last week’s sign-up dates during which hundreds joined to lose weight and get fit as a community, there have been these developments:

• A local restaurant has issued a special Meltdown menu.



• People reported to Meltdown creator Carole Carson that weight scales were hard to find last week in area stores.

• Meltdown stories were picked up by the Associated Press and Google news services.




• A Meltdown limit of 950 participants was set.

Teams will continue to sign up at 7 p.m. tonight at the Nevada Union High School cafeteria, where all other meetings will be held every Tuesday until Feb. 24. Carson will speak about how losing 62 pounds two years ago changed her life.

Carson challenged the community to get fit and lose weight together in a Thanksgiving column. She remains overwhelmed by the response.

“Increasingly, people are taking ownership,” Carson said. “My dream is to take what we have done and make it available to the nation.

“I think we have a chance to make Nevada County the meltdown center of the nation. We have the expertise and the people.”

Nutritional expertise came into play when Charlie’s Angels Cafe co-owner Jeanie Moore consulted Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital registered dietitian Laura Seeman.

“I went to the first meeting because I was interested in getting into a good exercise program,” Moore said. “I saw a ton of my customers there. I thought if they were going to be involved, maybe I could come up with a special Charlie’s Angels meltdown menu.”

“I took her menu and came up with some new ideas and revised things,” Seeman said. “I got rid of the fries and macaroni salad,” and substituted fruit or green salad with a sandwich.

“It’s not always easy when you eat out,” but people have to know what to ask for, Seeman said. “You have to ask that sandwiches be grilled dry, put the salad dressing on the side, ask for egg whites instead of the whole egg for your omelet, and skip the cheese on your sandwich.”

Seeman is also a fan of the Meltdown.

“It’s outstanding. It’s great,” she said. “I hope people continue the habits they start and not just make them new years resolutions.”

Nancy Thompson went to Kmart to buy a scale last week as she began the Meltdown, but they were all sold out. She got lucky when she went back home and found an old scale.

At 178 pounds, she joined the Meltdown “because I need to. I am overweight.” Thompson knows Carson through church, “and I’ve watched her through the past couple years” as she became fit. “This sounds exciting. How can you not get on the roll of this bandwagon? What a way to start 2004.”

Thompson said her doctors want her to lose weight because of a recent diabetes diagnosis. Weight loss may enable her to cut back to just one medication for the disease, she said.

Joseph Leuchtmann is a financial adviser in St. Louis, Mo., who saw a copy of The Union’s story about similar weight loss programs in other cities. He e-mailed The Union Monday morning and encouraged locals to succeed.

A former marathon runner, Leuchtmann said, “I was able to train for these events while I had a full-time job and married. I have seen in my 24 years of running and 95,000 miles later that people just don’t or can’t make time to exercise.”

But Leuchtmann said: “It can be done. I have a normal job and a normal life.”

___

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Nevada County Meltdown sign-up. To lose weight and get fit as a community.

WHEN: 7 p.m. today

WHERE: Nevada Union High School cafeteria

INFORMATION: Please bring a folding chair for yourself and a neighbor. There will be more teams formed to a limit of 950 people.


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